This picture was taken minutes before the protesters at Occupy LA were given a dispersal order and arrested. This is what you call nonviolent struggle; just sitting down, breaking arbitrary rules and waiting for 1,300 LAPD in riot gear to show up forcefully remove you.
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So now as he's really accomplished little in his two terms to help a city whose unemployment is 12.2 percent - whose crumbling infrastructure is highlighted in car commercials as an obstacle course - Villaraigosa's next move is to give the boot to Occupy LA.
From local NBC4:
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s office will reportedly give Los Angeles occupiers a 72-hour window to close the City Hall lawn encampment as early as Monday.
Deputy Mayor Matt Szabo told Occupy L.A. representatives during an early afternoon meeting that the city would officially declare the 1.2-acre park surrounding City Hall closed sometime next week, according to National Lawyers Guild attorney Jim Lafferty.
The LA City Council unanimously passed a resolution in favor of Occupy LA. This week, it leaked that the Mayor's office has been trying to buy off the protesters with office space and farm land. So they first went for appeasement and because the protesters are not going away - it's time to change tactics.
Here's the thing: Occupy LA and City Hall are a few blocks from Skid Row - where tens of thousands of people have been sleeping in tents for decades on the streets. And somehow the mayor - a Democrat - whose managed to do little (and little right) is going to split hairs and try to kick out protesters angry about extreme wealth inequality?
This is what you call Tony's golden touch and it's about to meet Occupy. This will go well.
Occupy LA has no food. None. I was there last night and they had a couple of apples and bottled water. They had not had one hot meal that day. They have the biggest Occupation in terms of numbers - it's four times the size of Zuccotti in terms of space and people and they have no food.
We're doing what we can and it's because of you guys. You guys have donated money - whatever you could to help feed these guys. We've raised over $30,000 in small donations and bought pizzas for 40 cities (Occupy Muncie, anyone?)
Anything you can give helps.
I'm doing the rounds! Above is my segment on David Pakman's show today.
I've been down at Occupy LA twice now and while I still grumble that all the satellite vans are pointed at the Michael Jackson's doctor trial - there are cameras down at the protest and I've managed to be in front of a couple of them. With various hats on, apparently, in extreme (for LA) weather.
Here's one with no embed from one of our local NPR stations, KPCC. The other one was a local Korean show and I'll update this post with it once they send it to me.
I'm not a photographer. I know we normally do video at C&L, but my video skills are much worse than my photography. I took these Wednesday at Occupy LA. They are still going strong. With the blessing of the LA City Council and a steady stream of pizzas from you guys they don't appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.
If you'd like to donate some cash to buy these guys and as many Occupiers around the country we can coordinate with, here's the PayPal:
Most of the press that was there (at least when I was there) were from Asian markets; one Chinese, one Korean. Oh and KPCC's web guys were doing videos. We'll post my interviews with them when they're posted. I was not in TV makeup. You've been warned.
In New York, they're on day 14 of their occupation of Wall Street. According to reports, Liberatos Pizza has been taking calls and orders from around the country to feed the protesters. Their information is here.
Occupy LA is promising to be a healthy-sized march and occupation of City Hall in Los Angeles this weekend (judging by their Facebook page). So we're buying them some pizzas! You can too. We have two ways: You can either call Rocket Pizza yourself and order some pies (as many as you want) to be delivered tomorrow (Saturday) at the demonstration. I talked to the manager at Rocket Pizza we have a deal all set up with them:
-$22.50 for a Cheese Pizza and a six pack of soda (tax and tip Included)
-$29 for Vegetarian or Pepperoni and a six pack soda (tax and tip Included)
They open at 11:30 am PST.
If that's too steep, we've set up a fund via PayPal where you can buy a slice or less...and we can all pitch it to buy a whole pizza together. It's up to you. All donations and any donations appreciated.
Amato is pitching in a few pizzas to get it going. Here's our PayPal pizza fund:
Liberatos Pizza in New York:
Rocket Pizza in LA:
If there are other solidarity demonstrations around the country that need some feed - let me know. I'll add it in an update. Also Amato is threatening to show up at City Hall but I'll definitely be there with my camera.