The coming eviction of Occupy LA an exercise in groveling
There's no other way to describe this nauseating display by LA Mayor Villaraigosa as anything but groveling before the protestors in hopes that they will leave peacefully.
Besides that, it is mind boggling that city officials actually believe that the protestors will act peacefully when they have made abundantly clear that they refuse to evacuate the park. LA Times:
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa ordered the shutdown of the Occupy L.A. encampment on City Hall grounds at 12:01 a.m. Monday, saying officials can no longer "maintain the public safety of a long-term encampment," according to a statement issued Friday.
Villaraigosa said the city's General Services Police Department, which enforces the law in city parks, will walk through the encampment handing out bilingual fliers and give verbal notice that the park will close. Social workers will also visit the encampment, according to the statement.
"Occupy LA has brought needed attention to the growing disparities in our country and I look forward to its ongoing efforts to build an economy that works for everyone," Villaraigosa said in his statement, handed to reporters at 4:30 p.m. "As we continue to respect the exercise of everyone's First Amendment rights in our civic center and throughout Los Angeles, City Hall Park is temporarily closing out of concern for the public safety implications of a long-term encampment."
What started as full support by the city council for the Occupy movement, fell off considerably when chaos began to rein:
At first, city officials welcomed the protest, which has also won backing from local labor unions. In October, the Los Angeles City Council passed a motion in support of the demonstration, and on one wet morning, Villaraigosa's office handed out rain slickers to soaked protesters.
But the political tide inside City Hall has since turned against those camped just outside. The shift was driven largely by concerns about damage to the lawn and a spike in crime at the camp.
Late last month Villaraigosa announced that the camp "cannot continue indefinitely" and said officials were working with protesters to plot the demonstration's next move. Many other cities, including New York, Portland, Ore., and Oakland, have instructed police to clear Occupy encampments.
Police in Los Angeles seem determined to avoid the clashes seen in other cities. They have held regular meetings with several Occupy protesters, including a representative from the National Lawyers Guild, since the protest began.
Good luck with that. While the city negotiates with some protestors, other say they don't speak for them:
Other protesters have complained that those representatives don't speak for everyone and have dismissed the meetings as going against the demonstration's democratic principles and "horizontal" organizing structure.
The bottom line is that coddling the protestors only makes them angrier - as the city will discover when they try to oust the protestors from City Hall Park early Monday morning.