In LA, there are no adults in charge.
Occupy L.A. protesters said Los Angeles officials have offered them office space and farmland to end their encampment at City Hall.
The proposals received with a mix of excitement, anger and disbelief among protesters, many of whom did not know that members of the camp were in negotiations with city officials.
“I don’t appreciate people appointing themselves to represent me, to represent us,” one woman called out during the assembly. “Who was in those meetings?”
“It’s divide and conquer,” another protester said.
The details of the proposal were revealed Monday during the demonstration’s nightly general assembly meeting by Jim Lafferty, an attorney with the National Lawyers Guild who has been advocating on behalf of the protest since it began seven weeks ago.
Lafferty said city officials have offered protesters a $1-a-year lease on a 10,000-square-foot office space near City Hall. He said officials also promised land elsewhere for protesters who wish to farm, as well as additional housing for the contingent of homeless people who joined the camp.
Let’s see these clowns get their hands dirty farming.
Meanwhile, an LA Times columnist thinks Occupy LA may set trends.
With Wall Street’s Zuccotti Park dismantled, and Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland cleared, Occupy L.A. may be the last major U.S. outpost of the 99% movement left standing. Who would have thought it? From the beginning, critics have derided the City Hall protest as the lamest in the worldwide Occupy movement.
The camp had no demands or agenda. Its muddled message wasn’t clear to the public, or even to some of those huddled beneath its grimy tarps.
Aw, say it ain’t so.
But the mockery is misplaced. What may appear ridiculous about Occupy L.A. is what makes it important. Occupy L.A. is not a policy forum or a political party. It’s an experience — and an experiment in shaping a new political culture. And time and again, social experimentation in California has wrought more change than direct political action.
Raise your hand if you know a single word of the Port Huron statement, Tom Hayden’s manifesto for Students for a Democratic Society, the serious radical thinkers of their day. Why was the Weather Underground building bombs in that Greenwich Village town house again?
But everybody knows slow food, yoga and sustainable buildings. They trace their roots to the sometimes wacky communes, collectives and affinity groups of the California-centric counter-culture of the 1960s and ’70s that the serious radical thinkers made fun of.
…The basic occupation of Occupy L.A. is group discussion, hours and hours of it. Committees meet through the day, culminating each evening in the General Assembly, which sets grand policy. Decisions are made by consensus or not at all.
The flaw in this premise is that today’s rabble has no cutting edge ideas, or any ideas at all besides incipient anti-capitalism.
They will set no trends. They are kids enacting scenes they’ve seen on TV, egged on by Boomers who never grew up (or as they’d say, are still “keeping it real.”)
They are as deep as those 20-somethings a couple years back who adopted the style of the Rat Pack and thought themselves cool.