Recent dialogue between Occupy LA and the city imploded because representatives of City Hall were bargaining in bad faith. The resolution that was passed by City Hall on 10/13/11 clearly states many of the reasons why Occupy LA continues to reside in the public park around city hall. The resolution can be found here: http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2009/09-0234-S1_ca_10-12-11.pdf. The issues include, but are not limited to: mortgage fraud and government debt crisis; unemployment and underemployment; wealth inequality; health disparity; educational costs; and crumbling infrastructure. Not only are all Californians and Americans facing this crisis, but so are all humans who live under the same system of wealth and health for some, and poverty and illness for the rest of us. While the city decries that our encampment is “unsustainable,” Occupy LA charges that the unjust economic system is what brought about this occupy movement and it is that dysfunctional system that remains truly unsustainable.
Part of City Hall's resolution to support Occupy LA, illustrates why occupiers choose to live in public. The resolution states: “The Occupy demonstrations are a rapidly growing movement with the shared goal of urging U.S. citizens to peaceably assemble and occupy public space in order to create a shared dialogue by which to address the problems and generate solutions for economically distressed Americans.” This financial crisis did not happen overnight, and formulating solutions that address its local, national, and global scope may take years.
Occupy LA is in its infancy. It is not an organization; it is an occupation. This fact was never hidden from the city. Furthermore, Occupy LA was already occupying the lawn at 200 N Spring, when this resolution was passed. So with regard to ending our occupation of City Hall in exchange for some office space, we say no thanks. The gesture of offering office space and a farm was generous, but this does not address any of the problems outlined in their 10/13/11 resolution or in our grievances. And for point of clarification, the Mayor did NOT give Occupy LA sufficient time to even discuss this offer through our General Assembly before notifying Occupy LA he would evict and withdrawing his offer. Three days is not enough time to debate this critical issue and neither is a 72 hour notice to vacate.
It seems like a lifetime ago when Mayor Villaraigosa sent ponchos to us during the first rainy days of Occupy LA, but we have not forgotten his gesture of kindness. It was symbolic and needed support. We ask for the same support now and request that no force be used against us. We have witnessed the police violence against peaceful occupiers at UC Berkeley, UC Davis and in San Francisco and Oakland. The violence reflects badly on our entire state. As Californians, we do not want to see any more blood of the citizens on the hands of the police.
Occupy LA asks Mayor Villaraigosa and city council members to be patient with our process and not bend to the will of the corporations who want to see Occupy LA brutalized. Today, Occupy LA calls on Villaraigosa to do what is necessary to halt an impending threat of a raid, so that Occupy LA can get back to its essential work of creating solutions to a global crisis that will only worsen if we do not collectively act now.
Please sign this petition if you want Occupy LA to stay on the lawn surrounding City Hall.