Brief summary Nov. 1 Occupy LA

Published online 2 November 2011.

3:45 Another mellow day.  I came to the Occupy LA encampment late that day, and it did not appear as if I missed a whole lot.  A good deal of normal camp business is happening: conversations, media outreach, food somehow reaching the campers, donations being taken.  I brought some soup to the encampment and served it at the Kids’ Tent.  The press is there giving interviews; high-powered cameras are being pointed in people’s faces with groups standing around.

This was of course Fox News; there was also a massive presence that day of Univision reporters, their cameras, and their media vehicles.

In this photo a lawyer from the National Lawyer’s Guild is talking to an assembled crowd about civil disobedience.  At some point in my absence the City put a wooden enclosure around the fountain, which was quickly thereafter covered in graffiti.  Eventually the box on the fountain will be granted an artistic mural.

Several proposals were under discussion at the Action Committee.  One participant was promoting the “No more drug war rally & concert” Thursday, which will be at MacArthur Park.  Further in the future, UC & CSU campuses will be planning a series of events between November 9th and November 16th, culminating in a rally at a Trustees of CSU meeting at Long Beach for divestment from the banks.  Saturday is, of course, a “divest from the banks” day.

There was a long discussion about an idea of getting the Occupy to endorse the small-scale alteration of stop signs: changing “Stop All Way” to “Stop All War.”  Generally I thought this was a bad idea, because the Occupy shouldn’t be associated with something so risky and with so little perceptible benefit.  The motion did not pass.  There was a proposal to try to get onto talk radio to discuss Occupy, which seemed worthy and which did pass.  A woman at the meeting suggested that we form an affinity group to plan protests (and perhaps occupations) for Thursday Dec. 1 in vacant bank-owned properties, reclaiming properties symbolically for community or perhaps to squat on the properties themselves.  There was a proposal for a counter-rally on November 5th against a Nazi rally in Pomona at the immigrant center in the early afternoon.  This, it was suggested, might lead to an Occupy Pomona.

The resources committee meeting was preoccupied on this evening with the fact that the General Assembly on Monday (Halloween, that’s right) directed $1200 to be spent sending a group of people up to Oakland.  This expenditure had been accounted for, $800 for an RV, $400 for gasoline and other expenses, and the money was given to the Media Committee, so it was aboveboard, yet regular participants in the Resources Committee were concerned that such a huge chunk of money was going to what appeared to them to be a rather dubious cause.  Thus it was proposed by the committee that any expenditures over $50 which were approved by the General Assembly should be submitted 24 hours in advance, and that these expenditures be submitted in writing and placed on a whiteboard outside of the Welcome Tent for public review.  If there was a dispute about the expenditures, then said expenditures would be marked for resubmission and brought up again at the next day’s General Assembly.

As we concluded the Resources Committee meeting and headed over to the General Assembly for that day we were greeted by a troupe of dancers celebrating All Saints’ Day:

Concluding remarks: Things are a’ poppin’ — but it appears as if the real activity is spread out all over the place now.  There are, for instance, Occupies now in South Gate, Torrance, Van Nuys, Long Beach, Irvine, Riverside, and so on.  There was also an All Saints’ Day celebration at Olvera Street, just across the 101 Freeway.  I will now return you to your generally scheduled coverage of the general strike in Oakland.

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