Occupy LA evicted by LAPD – 11/30/11 Photo: newsone.com

Occupy Philly raided a few hours later - with more brutal force

In Los Angeles, the tensions began rising at around 8:30 PM, as word spread throughout the encampment that a raid was imminent. Luckily, some intrepid tweeters and bloggers were on the job… Brad Friedman was tweeting and updating BradBlog.com throughout the night – so much so that he was still awake on the west coast when I awoke on the east coast.

Brad’s updates on his blog ended at 3:30 am PDT (6:30 EDT!) with this entry:

3:31am PT: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck give a verybrief statement to media. Villaraigosa lauds Beck, saying that he’s never seen such a well handled resolution. “This is a man who understands that Constitutional policing is the only way to go,” said the Mayor.

For his part, Beck explained that “60 days ago we started a relationship with Occupy LA demonstrators,” which allowed some 1400 officers tonight to use “an absolute minimal use of force” to clear the park.

Commander Andy Smith answers questions after the Mayor and the Chief leave, says that while dogs are still going through things, he is aware of no weapons or drugs found in the park. He lauds the demonstrators for “A fantastic job as far as the folks in there being non-violent.” He said no pepper spray, tear gas or batons had to be used as hundreds of demonstrators were cleared from the park.

And yes, there are reportedly still four more demonstrators — and one dog — up in the trees…holding the Occupation… :-)

That’s not to say the whole thing couldn’t have devolved into a huge riot.  As you can see from this video, at least some of the cops were ready to kick some protester ass:

There were also some first amendment issues as the city limited the media access, as my friend Lisa Derrick reported at her La Figa blog:

Monday night at 7:15 PT, the Los Angeles Police Department held a lottery to decide which media could be credentialed for the LAPD Occupy LA media pool, in anticipation of the next raid. According to a mainstream media source who was there, the LAPD only wanted to allow one media outlet per medium (print, radio, television), but was persuaded to allow three of each:

the only media eligible for pool were those who were on the LAPD press release list and able to get to headquarters with an hour’s notice. So very few were represented at the meeting. I asked about independent radio/blogs and they said that only media with LAPD-issued badges would be allowed in the vicinity. I asked about those already at the camp, and they said after the unlawful assembly order everyone who doesn’t leave will be arrested, even those who are journalists. Our attorney was looking into whether there were legal challenges to be made.

No independent/citizen media was in the grab bag of media outlets selected. The LAPD Media Relations Department declined to tell me who was in the media pool, saying it was not for publication. Someone had called earlier and had been given the names and told the POI officer that they would not guarantee non-publication, so the officer was very wary. Why doesn’t the LAPD want that information released?

However a media source not in the pool relayed to me:

ABC, NBC and AP Video are the pool.

A print media source whose outlet is in the pool told me that Reuters, the LA Times (whose offices are across the street from Occupy LA, and would likely be within the LAPD’s perimeter, so they sort of have to be included) and

I think, the Daily News.

The source told me his/her employers were consulting with their attorneys and with the LAPD about the police department’s

restrictions on how we would be operating.

He/she said that each outlet is allowed one reporter who must be designated in advance. There is a separate pool for photographers.

There is concern from media that the LAPD may want to review material before publication or broadcast.

Under the LAPD’s guidelines, the OccupyLA media team–which includes photographers, videographers, livestreamers and reporters–is not credentialed.

There is no Spanish-language media in the pool in a city where 4.7 million people are Spanish speaking. As Monday morning’s midnight-plus-one deadline drew near, there were news crews from the BBC and a Tokyo station present, as well as KMEX (Spanish language). I saw KTLA which was live streaming and had a helicopter overhead, KNBC, KABC, KCBS/KCAL and stringers in unmarked vans. Reporters I ran into included ones from the LA Times and USC’s Daily Trojan, and dozens of people live streaming and taking pictures for blogs and independent media. Oh and Andrew Breitbart was there talking to some dudes with scarves over their faces.

The media presence played a huge part in keeping things nice Monday morning. When Occupy chanted

The whole world is watching

they were pretty close to the truth. The revolution is being televised. And if it weren’t being beamed into TV and computers around the globe, would the LAPD have acted with such restraint? One would like to think so, but odds are maybe not so much.

Breitbart photo: Linda Patron, used with permission

In all, there were 292 arrests made last night/this morning during the eviction of the Occupy LA encampment.

In Philly, (moving) pictures speak louder than words.  From the Occupy Philly website and Occupy Philly Media:


I think we all get the picture.

On the show this morning, I spoke with David Cobb.  Although he’s best known as the Green Party Presidential candidate in 2004, he’s a lawyer and activist dedicated his adult life to making the promise of a democratic republic a reality in the United States..  For the past year or two, he’s been speaking  on behalf of Move To Amend – a movement working towards a constitutional amendment to reverse the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling and, once and for all, declare that corporations are NOT people.

On Friday, he embarks on his second Move to Amend speaking tour of Florida, hitting these cities:

Friday, December 2, 7:00-9:00pm – SOUTH MIAMI: Evening Public Talk.

Saturday, December 3, 9:30-11:00am – WEST PALM: Free Public Talk.

Saturday, December 3, 11:00am-5:00pm – WEST PALM: Activist Training. Registration Required.

Sunday, December 4, 4:00-6:00pm – MELBOURNE: Evening Public Talk.

Monday, December 5, 7:00-9:00pm – STUART: Evening Public Talk.

Tuesday, December 6, 7:00-9:00pm – THE VILLAGES: Evening Public Talk.

Wednesday, December 7, 1:00-3:00pm – GAINESVILLE: Afternoon Public Talk.

Wednesday, December 7, 7:30-9:00pm – DE LAND: Evening Public Talk.

Thursday, December 8, 7:00-9:00pm – ORLANDO: Evening Public Talk.

Friday, December 9, 7:00-9:00pm – TAMPA: Evening Public Talk.

Saturday, December 10, 9:30am-6:00pm – TAMPA: Activist Training. Registration Required.

Sunday, December 11, 7:00-9:00pm – FORT MEYERS: Evening Public Talk.

Monday, December 12, 7:00-9:00pm – DAYTONA: Evening Public Talk.

For more information contact Carla Christianson, Move to Amend Florida Coordinator: 386-677-1176, Reclaim4all@gmail.com

Get out to one of those if you can… or check movetoamend.org to find out when he’ll be in your neck of the woods.

I also spent some time on the show today with Cliff Schecter PR maven, strategist, consultant, columnist and now, media mogul too!  Cliff and a few partners are launching a new radio station in Washington, DC.  If you’re in the area, you’ll be able to hear it live at 1480 AM.  Elsewhere, just log on to WeActRadio.com.

The station will go live on Monday, December 5 – with Bill Press, Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartmann, Ed Schultz … and some others including Sam Seder and yours truly!  Stay tuned for more details!