Occupy L.A.: Protest without sleeping in a park
After initially welcoming the Occupy L.A. protesters and delivering ponchos to them when it rained, Mayor Villaraigosa has now told the group that they can’t camp out on City Hall’s lawn indefinitely. The protesters replied with a joint statement, basically saying they had no plans to leave.
Occupiers across America are bravely and against great odds and obstacles exercising the right to have their voices heard in a public forum, we stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters around this nation and around the globe.
But what is it that they want exactly? Says the editorial board…
[I]t's hard to negotiate with a headless group united only by its resentment toward bankers, corporations, Congress, the media and others in positions of power -- including the police.
…which offers this advice:
It would be best for everybody, including the demonstrators, if the impasse could be resolved without resorting to police in riot gear. Another location for the protest should be found, and if the participants are organized enough to put out a joint statement, they’re organized enough to negotiate a peaceful departure.
While it remains to be seen whether L.A.’s Occupiers will go peacefully, there are alternatives to protesting in a park. New Yorker Lauren Leonardi has compiled a list of tips on her blog. Some of the ideas revolve around supporting those doing the dirty work -- sending food, opening your bathroom to those who need to shower -- but she also offers other suggestions for showing solidarity.
--Alexandra Le Tellier
LAPD officers walk among the tents parked outside City Hall as night falls. Credit: Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times