Remember when the City Council told Occupy LA, “Stay as long as you want”? That was awful nice of them. But being nice can be expensive! KPCC’s Alice Walton reports that the full tab of the protestors’ residency at City Hall was just under $5 million.
Quote of the day comes from Councilman Mitch Englander:
I mean, $5 million is a lot of money.
It sure is. While City Hall spent a cool million on a snazzy new long, $2.5 million went to LAPD for the evictions – I’m assuming for overtime and whatnot, since we already pay them to, you know, fight crime.
Le Times has like every single reporter downtown today covering Occupy-ageddon (still looking for a better name), and thank God, because they captured this gem from Pershing Square, where protesters are drawing with chalk and whatnot. A local occupier was arrested for battery after getting into a fist fight with a Northern California carpetbagging Occupier:
The Oakland member criticized the man from Los Angeles about the quality of his chalking. That prompted the chalker to “assault the person from Oakland,” said LAPD spokesman Richard French.
French said the Oakland man made a “citizen’s arrest” on the L.A. member, who was arrested a short time later by police officers.
Yo, fuck those NoCal Occupiers, thinking they all that. They down here and tell us how to chalk? Oh hell no!
Some carpetbagging Northern California hippies, including that woman Cindy Sheehan and some members of Code Pink, are in town for the Art Walk protests, as teevee news producers salivate at the prospect of another full blown melee.
So with the press guaranteeing them wall to wall coverage of anything they will do, every fading, forgotten ‘activist’ is now descending upon Downtown LA – each one hoping for one more shot at the TV cameras. And once the Oakland Clown Bus arrives and the TV cameras and reporters descend upon this freak show suddenly elevated to center ring status – that will encourage every nut job in the country to come to our neighborhood for one more shot at the big time media coverage.
Tomorrow brings with it another desperately hot August night and another DowntownLA Art Walk. The last Art Walk became the site of a pitched battle between LAPD and the dregs of the Occupy LA movement. What will happen tomorrow?
Occupy LA is calling for a “Global Day of Action” to “Chalkupy the World.” This comes mere days after the OG Chalk Walk organizer, Richard Florence, apologized to DTLA business owners and community members. Florence promised Occupy would steer clear of Art Walk, but Occupy apparently has a different idea. LA Downtown News quotes Occupy representative Julie Levine:
“While we cannot guarantee the safety of participants, we hope very much that everyone remains safe. We hope the police are peaceful.”
In the wake of the great Chalk Walk massacre of 2012, many have been wondering if some dark force is behind the strangely reactionary LAPD crackdown. The dregs of the Occupy movement think they know who the grand puppetmaster is: Central City Association president Carol Schatz.
Schatz is this nice lady, gives boring quotes, shows up at press conferences, usually as a meek follow up to the great powerful Tim Leiweke (grand poobah of AEG and all that is Downtown sports). She shows up in a lot of photos with Eli Broad, Jan Perry Jose Huizar, and so on. Not many would peg her as the puppetmaster.
When Occupy LA-ers and disgruntled Art Walkers claimed that LAPD went into Rampart mode over a little bit of chalking on the sidewalk, it seemed a little bit suspicious. But statements made by three-time Tom Selleck look alike runner up Charlie Beck (also chief of police in this here town) suggest that, indeed, his troops were responding to the dreaded schoolyard writing implement. From KPCC:
Police Chief Charlie Beck said the department has been cracking down on vandalism by Occupy L.A. members who chalk sidewalks and businesses downtown — and this was a protest by members of the group angered by that policy. Beck said police approached chalkers and told them to stop, but they didn’t. Someone threw a bottle at police, prompting officers to call in backup to disperse the crowd with less lethal weapons like rubber bullets.
Vandalism? Really Becks?
When asked what makes sidewalk chalk illegal, since kids in the city often draw on sidewalks, Beck said the comparison didn’t hold.
“Well, if people complain about kids writing with chalk on the sidewalk, we’ll go over and warn them not to do that, that’s defacing public property,” Beck said. “And kids writing, playing hopscotch, will probably stop doing that, and their parents will probably come right out and clean it up. It’s not the same thing. And to draw a connection between it, it doesn’t make any sense. Any more than throwing a rock or a bottle in your back yard is the same as throwing it over a skirmish line of police officers.”
The LAPD seems practically traumatized by the Occupy LA saga, determined to treat any sort of protest against them as an effrontery and therefore against the law.
It’s not entirely clear what the what happened last night, but as far as I can tell, some hooligans / hippies from Occupy LA wanted to go and protest something about chalk last night at Art Walk, that monthly Downtown LA to-do where, you know, you walk around and look at art.
Anyway, LAPD sees this on facebook and says, “We’ll see about that!” They show up in force, the occupiers feign righteous indignation, arrests are made, bottles are thrown, rubber bullets are fired into the crowd, tweets are sent.
Police arrived at the intersection shortly before 10 p.m. to disperse crowds that had gathered on Spring Street between 4th and 5th streets. At one point, an unidentified man tossed a glass bottle over his shoulder that landed in front of a line of LAPD officers.
As the police line moved north on Spring Street, a man was shot with what appeared to be a non-lethal weapon, witnesses said.
Downtown dealmaker / gadfly Brady Westwater had this to say:
The assholes known in DTLA as “Narcissists Who Can’t Stand It if Their Faces Are Not On the 11 PM News” (aka Occupy LA) decided to totally shut down the single busiest intersection and the single most dangerously overcrowded sidewalk at the height of Art Walk. They did this because they knew it would cause the most damage to Art Walk and it would guarantee the most the chaos - and the best chance to get their faces on the 11 PM news.
Since no one cares about them anymore – they know they have to try and hijack someone else’s event to get the TV cameras back on them.
The fact their actions were also guaranteed to to endanger the safety of those of us who actually live in the neighborhood – and the fact it would cause local businesses considerable loss of income they need in these tough financial times – is just an extra added benefit to them.