Occupy All Streets
I think the events in Oakland and Portland have taught us all the limits of passive physical resistance, i.e. by just being there. By rational comparison, there has been little violence or injury. A few regrettable incidents have occurred, often with the offending person(s) arrested. And loud shouts of “this is what a police state looks like” were frankly, well laughable. Just ask any Syrian.
I added this article from the OccupyLA site to show how one chapter might proceed.
Submitted by daniil on Sat, 11/12/2011 - 2:35pm
In Late September, the Los Angeles General Assembly reached consensus to occupy City Hall Lawn for an indefinite period of time under the stipulation that, at a future date, other locations would be considered for occupation.
I would suggest that the time has come to discuss other locations, downtown and elsewhere.
The question arises: What of the land we have already occupied at City Hall Park? Strategically, that land is at a perfect location to attract liasons between City Hall and Skid Row. The City Hall has been negligent in sending city resources to Skid Row, and so Skid Row has rightfully taken to the liberated space surrounding City Hall. City Hall Park is fulfilling its potential as a site where the social ailments are brought to the forefront of City Hall’s attention. These social ailments were not created by Occupy L.A. These social ailments were created by social circumstances resulting from a broken socio-economic system. They are the City’s problem. So far, Occupy L.A. has been doing the city’s job in trying to feed, clothe, and house individuals who cannot feed, clothe, or house themselves. Is this our job? Is this our mandate? Only if we are the new City Government. If the groups occupying the interior of the City Hall building are a legitimate government, then they will deal with these concerns. So far, they have not; the Occupation has.
Occupy Los Angeles is a movement for economic justice, freedom of speech, social reform, and direct democracy. Occupy Los Angeles could become part of a new sort of consititutional convention. Occupy Los Angeles is not a homeless camp. However, in our liberated space, we have been very welcoming. Many people are taking advantage of the safety in numbers that the space provides, as the police have been very hesitant to enforce minor infractions or misdemeanors on or around our liberated space. This is to be expected, as there has been a history of serious abuse of the homeless by law enforcement and other city officials. Since we have been so welcoming, we should do everything we can to maintain our liberated space as a safe-haven.
As a result, there are now two crowds in the camp: there are those who are seeking safety in numbers and the ability to live with impunity and without fear of harassment from the police. Then there are those who belong to the movement, who are seeking free speech and reform, who are nonviolently struggling against oligarchic fascism. Those who are seeking the safety in numbers are not moving. Those who are part of the movement should consider doing just that.
We are not here for safety in numbers. We are here to hunt. Our prize is systemic reform. Our prize is direct representation. Our prize is justice. Our tactic is to liberate all space; to occupy all streets. City Hall has an opportunity to fulfill their mandate to provide needed services, funded by the taxpayers. If they don’t, they will have to deal with the consequences. Meanwhile, we will continue to do all we can with our limited resources and focus on the larger poltiical and socio-economic issues for the benefit of the 99%.