#OccupyLA: Something's Happening Here...And It's Civics

Los Angeles is different than the other Occupations thus far in that the entire City Council - with not one dissenting vote - passed a resolution in support of Occupy LA on Wednesday. They've been able to organize and lobby their law makers. It's an interesting story.

I wrote about it for The Atlantic:

I had just taken the hour-long tour for those new to Occupy LA, a solidarity demonstration sparked by Occupy Wall Street in New York. My husband had been visiting the encampment, centered on the lawns around Los Angeles City Hall, in solidarity with me, snooping around the mini-gatherings that pepper the building's grounds.

"You have no idea what's going on here!" he declared after finding me on the corner of Spring and Temple Streets listening to an elderly Hispanic man standing on a box telling a captive audience how the bank took his home.

"Civics," I answered.

"Then you do know what's going on here," he said.

Well first off: there's a tour. There's nothing more inviting and informative than that. It's given primarily by Cheryl Aichele, a medical cannabis advocate who looks like the person you'd seek out at any event for answers; she's non-threatening, sincere and most importantly knowledgeable. When I first meet her she's in a large tent with a production company logo on it (this is how we roll in LA). It's like a reception area for a community center. There's a whiteboard with the schedule of a dozen or so committee meetings that day. They use words like "outreach" and "liaison" and combinations thereof for their committees (and sub-committees). There's an "objective and demands" box that a middle-aged man stuffs a letter into. A woman next to me is inquiring about the AA meetings. She's immediately paired up with a fellow 12-stepper within earshot. There are flyers and maps and notices. It's Day Seven of the encampment -- they have AA meetings.

"All of the problems we are facing are legal. They're laws. We need to pass the right laws," says my tour guide Aichele.

These are terrible anarchists.

Read the whole piece here.


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