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Ear to the Ground

LAPD Uses a Lighter Touch While Evicting Occupiers

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Posted on Nov 28, 2011
AP / Jason Redmond

Police officers stand in the street across from the Occupy L.A. camp at City Hall early Monday. A midnight deadline for dismantling the encampment came and went without a major confrontation.

Hoping to avoid the kind of bad press that other city governments and police forces (ahem, Oakland) recently earned for their ham-fisted mistreatment of Occupy outposts, the Los Angeles Police Department took a slightly different tack early on Monday morning in its attempt to oust Occupy L.A. protesters from their City Hall encampment. That’s not to say that arrests weren’t made, but the LAPD was apparently holding back on out-and-out eviction tactics, and holding off on the pepper spray, even hours after the designated decampment time had passed. The Los Angeles Times followed the course of events throughout the wee hours that morning.  —KA

Los Angeles Times:

When the LAPD announced that it wanted the campers out by midnight Sunday, officials hoped many protesters would leave voluntarily. Instead, the deadline prompted hundreds of people to converge on the area.

An estimated 1,000 protesters blocked streets around City Hall, creating a standoff with authorities.

Shortly after 5 a.m., police issued an order to disperse to demonstrators gathered at the intersection of 1st and Main streets. Most people complied, but a few refused to leave.

At one point, some protesters started throwing objects at police. Several people were then arrested; one person was carried away by officers.

Police said that there are still no plans to begin evicting people from the park around City Hall, which was officially closed at midnight. They said their main intention was to clear the streets for morning commuters.

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By gerard, November 28, 2011 at 6:11 pm Link to this comment

Consider this:  People, as observers, are learning a lot just by observing, which will help everybody find ways into the future. This is the first time millions have seen a successful protest, a protest that makes nonviolence its central method, the first time millions of people have felt identified with millions of other people—particularly young people. This is the first time protests have attempted to live their democratic ideals, in public spaces, for weeks at a time, communicating together all over the country and the world, to unify and encourage.  This is the first time large populations of protesters have had the common sense and the guts to identify with poor people living on the city streets—up to and including feeding them, clothing them and giving them medical attention.
  This is the first time all this public work has happened day after day, in rain, snow and sunshine, while ten or twelve mayors of ten or twelve huge cities have chewed their nails wondering what in the heck to do, none of whom had sense enough (Villaraigosa came closest.) to try to meet the movement halfway and work together for the good of the 99% of citizens completely shut out from politics and stocks and bonds, gated communities and a fist full of bundled mortgages.
  If it does nothing more (but it will, never doubt) it has already “succeeded” far beyond the wildest dreams of the Dems and the Repubs, the “Personified” Courts, the jails, Congress and the White(washed)house. Color me thankful!

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By Robespierre115, November 28, 2011 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment

@Joseph, another reason is that nobody is THINKING and forming coherent, powerful alternatives to the current order. As some thinkers like Slavoj Zizek have pointed out, too many protests these days seem to be carried out just for the sake of protesting. OWS is needed and everything it protests is true, but after the initial euphoria people are left wondering, “ok what now?” As I recently mentioned in another post, a good example is Spain where the indignados movement was obsessed with not getting involved at all in offering an alternative, instead depending on asking the fatcats to change and behave on their own, the government simply ignored them and now the ultra right-wing party won the general elections in a landslide.

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By Joseph Couture, November 28, 2011 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

A number of activists have expressed frustration that more people aren’t getting involved and flooding the streets.  Some argue people are generally too stupid to understand.

But there is another way to look at it- as hope declines all people have left is denial and avoidance.  All they feel they can do is drop out and turn on the television.

Read:  “Austerity Measures: Cutting Back On Hope” at http://www.josephcouture.com

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