They need to protest this http://www.latimes.com/news/op...
By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
But a set of demands would help the protesters focus and make group decisions, which is essential to growth.
A case in point was the debate over whether Occupy L.A. protesters would attend a union rally at the Hotel Bel-Air. On the 10th day of the movement, Unite Here Local 11 asked for support in protesting the hotel's decision not to rehire union workers who had been laid off during renovations.
If Occupy L.A. had a clear sense of where it stood on labor issues, it would have been an easy call. Instead, it became a two-hour debate over whether unions are representatives of the 99 percent, or whether they're too corrupt and coopted.
A generational divide surfaced. Some older occupiers had spent a lifetime in the labor movement, standing up for workers and fighting corporate greed. If Occupy L.A. wasn't for that, then why were they here?
But some of the younger occupiers were mindful that unions had been losing that fight for 30 years. The Occupy movement was a new thing. It was a chance for a clean slate — a chance to win. Why take on the burdens of labor's defeats?
The debate went on for two hours on the south steps of L.A. City Hall. A hotel worker told her story and drew a show of support — "twinkling." But a couple people also displayed "hard blocks."
After much negotiation, the protesters appeared to reach consensus. They would not support Unite Here — only the workers who lost their jobs.
But that wasn't good enough, and more blocks sprouted up. The moderator tried to move on, but the objectors would not quiet down and would not leave.
Brito could only shake his head. "It shouldn't be like this," he said.
He had been sleeping outside City Hall for 10 days, leaving only long enough to take the train back home to shower. If Occupy couldn't muster a straightforward statement of support for some housekeepers, then it was hard to see what the point was.
The meeting broke up at about 10:15 p.m., when the sprinklers came on. Suddenly the occupiers were running to keep their tents from getting soaked. An angry spirit lingered over the protesters who stayed.
As the crowd dribbled away, Brito cupped his hands to his mouth and screamed, "Mic check!"
A group formed around him, chanting with him, repeating his words. It was "the people's mic" — a way of being heard without a bullhorn.
"We are not listening to each other!" he shouted, and the crowd chanted every line, amplifying his words for others to hear.
"Some people are using their block to prevent something based on their ideology! Other people are not listening to the minority! Both of us need to listen to each other! I don't know what the answer is! We never agreed to 100 percent consensus! Maybe it's time to change back to 90 percent consensus! I fear we're destroying ourselves because we're using the fucking mic! Instead of using the people's mic! You're my brothers and my sisters, and I love you all!"
He hugged one of his fellow antagonists. Then came more hugging, and more debate, and more shouting, and then someone called for a drum circle.
Four days later, about 60 occupiers got on a bus and went to Bel Air to march with Unite Here. The union was happy to claim Occupy L.A.'s support, and Occupy L.A.'s extremely nuanced position on the matter was mostly lost. John Wilhelm, the union president, could barely contain his enthusiasm. For the first time in a long time, things were looking up.
"Something very, very exciting is starting to happen in America," he told the demonstrators. "I'm excited by the Occupy movement all over this country."
Brito says his own attendance was a no-brainer, noting the hotel is owned by the sultan of Brunei. "No one can argue that the sultan is not part of the 1 percent."
But who are the 99 percent? It's a harder question. Occupy L.A. is populated by Democrats, libertarians, socialists and anarchists — not to mention 9/11 Truthers, Oath Keepers, End the Fedders, sound-money guys, and a sizable contingent of homeless and mentally ill people looking for free food. What do they have in common? How can they grow into a powerful political force?
Over several nights, the general assembly continued to debate whether it would be appropriate, in some cases, to go to a 90 percent "rough consensus." No decision had been reached by press time. The debates took up a lot of time and seemed to go nowhere; meanwhile the group was not talking about the crimes of Bank of America or how to overturn the Citizens United decision.
"There's too much bullshit going on, and we're losing people," one young man said at a G.A.
The Demands and Objectives Committee continues collecting, categorizing and sorting the group's various demands.
They need to protest this http://www.latimes.com/news/op...
I have participated in occupation-like protests, that involved camping out in buildings for periods of time. I was not lazy or unemployed or crazy. I got up in the morning and went to my professional office job and worked all day. The people participating in these protests are diverse... many do work full time jobs and are participating in their free time in the protests. Some have been hopelessly unemployed or underemployed for a long time, despite all their efforts otherwise. Times are bad, and the message is partly to put a bunch of faces to the news we hear everyday about tough economic times and high unemployment. I'm one of the lucky ones-- I graduated with a master's degree 5 years ago and landed a job quickly and have been lucky to not get laid off (although there were some close calls in the past 3 years, even with my stable job.)
If you are criticizing these people for participating in a protest in which they are representing the vast majority of us, then you ought to think again. Don't judge another unless you've walked in their shoes. You may be in the same situation some day, at the rate of how things are going in this country. You can ridicule and criticize the protests, but keep in mind that nothing changes without people who step forward and start trying to figure out how to change things. If it wasn't for protesters, Black people would still be riding at the back of the bus, beaten and arrested by police with no reason, lynched without justice. Blacks and women would still not be allowed to vote, with the reason given that they (we) have no souls and therefore no rights. Protests bring visibility to dissent when things go wrong in a society, and then, if press and other mechanisms show such dissent to the public, things start to change because people start to think and realize that there's a vast public opinion that hasn't been heard... protests are the harbingers of change. Open your eyes if you think things are fine. Things are really NOT ok in this country anymore and it's getting worse. You'll end up the fool if you don't start opening your eyes, listening, considering some of the words of protesters and supportive politicians... because things are getting bad right under your nose, and dangerously quietly. Wake up before your rights have been totally undermined and twisted out from under you.
To the posters who just resort to the old canard of assuming the protesters are just lazy or homeless or should "get a job"...that will not fix the growing wealth disparity in our nation. Making light of this protest will not correct the ever-growing corruption by those with vast wealth over our government. The truth is more and more of this nation's wealth is being concentrated into fewer and fewer hands. That equals less actual items being bought, which equals less demand, resulting in less jobs. And this cycle will get worse.You should be mad, and the protesters are helping raise awareness that we ALL should be mad.
John Kobylt nails it: The Occupy movement has set up outdoor mental institutions around the country.
Here are some of the latest photos from Occupy LA: http://www.flickr.com/photos/s...
If people wouldn't file-share, they wouldn't feel robbed by 'corporate greed'. if you steal from musicians...or anyone..by not paying your credit card bills, or anything else that constitutes stealing, directly or indirectly(though you don't think so), then you reap what you sow..or karma...or whatever terminology. but you get back what you put out. you never thought that was the case, did you? it's a universal law, that applies to everybody. it doesn't matter how long it takes to happen...the bottom line is, it happens.
the "99%" all have iphones, drink starbucks, use google and buy publicly traded merchandise. all the time you're wasting protesting you could be starting your own business or something else more productive.
Corporations wouldn't necessarily have to be so bad, if so many of them weren't all about huge salaries for a few individuals at the top. The problem is the greed aspect. Plenty of corporations and companies manage to be successful as businesses, providing goods and services to people, without exploiting cheap labor, without unfairly high salaries for top execs, without pouring money corruptly into the pockets of politicians. The problem is the corrupt crap that so many of them are participating in. Just because someone owns a cell phone, uses google, etc., and protests corporate greed and corruption, that doesn't mean they are anti-business. They are just anti-corporate greed and corruption and calling for change and increased regulation in favor of the common person.
It has been suggested that the Occupy movement should make specific demands, so that they can be duly ignored. I suggest just one demand. The demand is that the law cease to treat corporations as persons. It might require an amendment of the US Constitution. It would create widespread disorder and perhaps temporary disempowerment, effecting not just big for-profit companies but also unions, non-profits, political and social organizations. But it would demand that we stand face to face. We haven't just created a monster. We've created a monster-making factory that makes more monster-making factories. We need to stop, tear what doesn't work down, and rebuild.
I know it's a big city to cover, but is the Weekly not covering the "Grim Sleeper" case anymore? Why? Becasue Pelisek got hired by The Daily Beast? The L.A. Times are just basically quoting the LAPD and adding zero analysis or insight - could use some Weekly input on the latest developements this week. For example: the LAPD now claim that Lonnie Franklin's voice matches the 911 caller's voice in 1987.
Wake up, Weekly!
By Occupy existence it has provided what people are seeking -- shelter, medical care, food and child care. It is an example of their goals. Occupy a consensus on that. This article has proven our government does represent the citizens' inability to agree.Audrey
This is news? A bunch of professionally and economically unsuccessful people in L.A. are complaining about folks who have done better than they?
Where's the story? Folks on the left throwing fits and then having a difficult time voicing a coherent message is hardly unprecedented or even terribly newsworthy. Particularly in SoCal.
I cannot imagine anyone getting upset or excited about this article, as it is incredibly boring. So so boring. Also, Adbusters = "Glossy anarchist magazine"? Nope!
http://www.surrealla.com has covered the Occupy movement as well and included several interviews in their Occupy LA episode of the Surreal LA podcast. Check it out.
Nice way to make this seem leftist... This is isn't "anti capitalist". It is anti greed, it is anti corporate involvement in government.. It is about giving people their voice back in a government that has been bought by corporations that put profits over ethics and suffer no accountability because they bribed our government into drafting legislation to make it legal for them to rob the American people.
Some of us here at Occupy LA would like to thank the LA Weekly and others who wonder when "the movement" will find its "direction." Your insinuation that such a direction will be the answer to many American's (indeed, many people all over the world) grievances is almost as flattering as your expectation of those directions solidifying in a matter of weeks since we first unrolled our sleeping bags on Wall Street. While we wait on those one or two simple answers I'd like to report OccupyLA is actively providing shelter, food, medical treatment, information, education (from how to build your own solar powered systems to what a sustainable economy might look like, from an introduction to organic farming to a history of non-violent protests), and many other services for those who need it most, free of charge. These are not simply entitlements but every human's intrinsic right, along with the radical idea that people should have a say in the things that effect their lives. Wait a second... Perhaps there are a few answers here already? This is what democracy looks like. This is Occupy LA. ~SC
Everything can not be smooth to do this for them, especially when you are facing the gove and much more people than them.
I can't Waite untill the fighting begins , burnning buildings, looting, public flogging forget camping out we can do that at the beach, it's time to take back what's ours!and the only way to do it is with the two hands God gave us.
Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Los Angeles, and all the factions in between stand in peaceful non-violent solidarity with one another. We do not condone police OR protestor violence. In fact, a militant non-violent response is the only path forward. This is one of the few points all Occupations agree on. Eldiablolucky13's comments do not represent the opinions of Occupy Wall Street. ~SC