Occupy Los Angeles
|Occupy Los Angeles|
|Part of the Occupy movement|
|Date||October 1, 2011 – present
(2 years, 2 months and 4 days)
|Location||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Causes||Economic inequality, corporate influence over government, etc.|
|Methods||Demonstration, occupation, protest, street protesters|
|Arrests and injuries|
Occupy Los Angeles (also referred to as Occupy L.A.) is one of the many occupy movements in the United States, following the original Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protest. Participants of Occupy L.A. first met at Pershing Square on September 23, 2011. Activists came to consenus to occupy public space in solidarity with the growing movement. Occupiers first marched in Los Angeles on September 24, 2011. They next protested a fundraiser being held in Hollywood at the House of Blues for President Obama. Participants met at Pershing Square every subsequent night to plan out the logistics of an occupation set to begin on October 1, 2011. After debating potential locations around Los Angeles, people decided on the lawns around City Hall. Tents first manifested on October 1, 2011 on the grounds of Los Angeles City Hall.
The camp experienced a relatively uncontentious relationship through its duration.
On November 17, Occupy Los Angeles joined with a permitted organized labor march through downtown Los Angeles. The parade was generally orderly, though a circle of about twenty protesters surrounded three tents in the middle of a street in deliberate disobedient behavior and were arrested. Later in the day, an unpermitted march went to a plaza at the base of the Bank of America tower, when police brought the march to a halt. More protesters were arrested for trespassing, 73 total for the day.
As of June 2012, Occupy Los Angeles had continued to engage in organized meetings, events and actions.
Occupy is a social movement, not a political party, concerned with bringing equality back to the American system and then the world.
OLA's goals include the following, all approved by OLA GA in the past:
- Get money out of politics.
- Re-instate Glass-Steagall
- Stop the offshoring of American jobs.
- Stop cutting government.
- Take care of our veterans and our homeless.
- Healthcare for all.
- Save grads from crushing student loan debt.
- End bank fees.
- End the wars and pass a tax to pay for them.
- Stop the Homeland Security driven crackdowns on people exercising their Constitutional rights to assemble and speak freely.
- Return ethics and honesty to journalism by reinstating the Fairness Doctrine.
- Close tax loopholes so that every entity, human or corporate, pays their fair share.
- End “police brutality” by fairly investigating reports of such.
- End the Patriot Act.
- End the Federal Reserve Bank’s existence as a non-profit corporation and move its functions into the Department of the Treasury,
- Abolish any “anti-homeless” law that makes sitting on a sidewalk an arrestable offense.
- Do NOT interrupt anybody’s Facebook, YouTube, ulead or other social networking for any reason. Stop SOPA & PIPA & ACTA!
- Amend NDAA and stop indefinite detention without trial
Some of these visitors were interviewed by InsightOut News, a grassroots journalism website that emerged from Occupy LA. These interviews were sometimes critical, raising the issue of whether wealthy celebrities could really be aligned with the working class.
City Hall eviction
Antonio Villaraigosa, mayor of Los Angeles, announced an eviction order deadline of Monday morning, November 28, at 12:01 a.m., giving the reason that "It is time to close the park and repair the grounds so that we can restore public access to the park."
Early Monday morning protesters and the encampment remained after the city ordered an end their protest. Four people were arrested for unlawful assembly.
On Tuesday, November 29, 1,350 police raided Occupy Los Angeles. Five hundred armed police officers quickly entered the park out of City Hall doors. At 12:30 a.m. LAPD declared the Occupy L.A. site an unlawful assembly, and told demonstrators they had 10 minutes to clear the area or be arrested. A total of 292 people were arrested.
Report of Patrick Meighan
Patrick Meighan, writer for the Fox animated sitcom Family Guy, was one of the 292 arrests made on November 29. He posted an account of his arrest. He also participated in an eight-part YouTube interview chronicling, in more detail, his experience the night of the raid.
Patrick Meighan's account alleges police destruction of personal property, use of excessive force, and use of force to produce reactions that then were cited as resistance for justification of further use of force. Police destroyed tents providing shelter or medical service, which news outlets reported as garbage left behind by protesters. The officer who arrested Meighan had forced him into a painful wrist lock; when Meighan recoiled, he was thrown to the ground on his face, and then had his face ground into the pavement until he bled. In Meighan's report, he also alleges that police set high bail and then refused to accept payment of the bail or allow access to legal counsel. In his interview, he mentions a unique Los Angeles law that allegedly allows jailers to refuse bail, or refuse to process bail, at their own discretion.
On May 1, 2012, Occupy Los Angeles resurfaced publicly joining general May Day protests all around Los Angeles. The Occupy supporters organized as "four winds" coming in to downtown Los Angeles from the four directions, starting in Van Nuys in the north, Santa Monica in the west, Cal State Dominguez Hills in the south and East Los Angeles College in the east. A General Assembly was conducted in Pershing Square. Occupy San Fernando Valley, Occupy Rose Parade and Occupy the Hood were all represented. Numerous other protesting groups joined.
- "Los Angeles to evict Occupy camp on Monday". Chicago Tribune.
- Westfeldt, Amy; Long, Colleen (November 20, 2011). "Police clashes mar Occupy Wall Street protests". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
- "Anti-Wall Street protesters arrested at L.A. bank". Reuters. November 18, 2011.
- "Occupy Los Angeles: Event Calendar". Occupylosangeles.org (Official website). Retrieved April 15, 2012.
- "Jesse Jackson Interview". OccupyLA.org. November 12, 2011.
- "Bill Maher Interview". OccupyLA.org. November 10, 2011.
- "Shepard Fairey Interview". OccupyLA.org. November 4, 2011.
- "OccupyLA Day 8 Wrap Up". OccupyLA.org. October 11, 2011.
- "Comedian Jeff Ross Visits Occupy Los Angeles". OccupyLosAngeles.org. October 19, 2011.
- Firecloud, Johnny (18 October 2011). "Insight Out News Covers Occupy LA". Media Roots. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
- Paez, Margot (12 October 2011). "Tom Morello Interview". InsightOut News. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
- Paez, Margot (7 November 2011). "Day 37: Bill Maher Interview". InsightOut News. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
- "Occupy Los Angeles faces Monday eviction deadline". The Guardian (London). November 26, 2011.
- "Occupy L.A. speaks -- and says protesters aren't leaving". Los Angeles Times.
- "L.A. mayor says Occupy camp must leave City Hall by Monday". USA Today. November 25, 2011.
- Linthicum, Kate (November 26, 2011). "Villaraigosa announces impending shutdown of Occupy L.A. camp". Los Angeles Times.
- Gabbatt, Adam (November 28, 2011). "Occupy LA - Monday 28 November as it happened". The Guardian (Los Angeles).
- "200 arrested as cops raid Occupy LA camp". CBS News (US).
- "Few Protesters Remain After Police Make Over 200 Arrests at 'Occupy L.A.'". Fox News (US). November 30, 2011.
- "My Occupy LA Arrest", Patrick Meighan (Los Angeles)
- "Patrick Meighan Occupy LA Raid Interview", Patrick Meighan (Los Angeles)
- Lauren Foliart (May 1, 2012). "Occupy L.A. Resurfaces For May Day". Neon Tommy.
- "May Day protests: Hundreds gather at Pershing Square as night falls". LA Times. May 1, 2012.
- Tanya Ramirez (May 1, 2012). "Occupy returns to May Day". Daily Sundial.