Occupy Wall Street is one year old — where does it need to go to remain relevant?
Javier Hernandez is out doing a bit of housework — a concept that's changed considerably since 30-50 people started camping out on his lawn on any given day.
Hernandez's Van Nuys home is the site of an Occupy action. The house, which is home for about a dozen members of the Hernandez family, was foreclosed on.
Late last month, in the middle of his third attempt to renegotiate his mortgage, Hernandez received a notice to vacate the property. Instead, his brother Ulises called in the troops from Occupy San Fernando Valley, who set up camp, hoping to deter any sheriff's deputy sent to clear the family out.
Hernandez said it's been interesting. "I never know what life is going to bring. I just try to make the best of it," he said.
The Los Angeles City Council's decision to allow Occupy LA to remain on the lawn of City Hall ultimately cost $4.7 million.
The City of Los Angeles continues to wrestle with the financial implications of its decision to allow Occupy L.A. protesters to camp out on the City Hall lawn for two months last fall.
Today it was the City Council Budget and Finance Committee's turn to examine the $4.7 million it cost to accommodate and then evict the protesters. The cost estimate was recently revealed in a a report from the City Administrative Officer.
“It’s expensive to have a protest,” the CAO’s Tyler Munhall told members of the Budget and Finance Committee.
Occupy L.A. remained on the lawn around City Hall until the LAPD cleared out the encampment last November. Insurance and donations covered about $400,000 of the tab. Councilman Mitch Englander urged his colleagues to remember the report when similar costly situations come up.
As of about 11pm, at least, ArtWalk was a drama-free event Thursday evening, despite predictions of clashes between police and visiting Occupy Oakland activists. The crowd was also smaller than usual for an August night.
At July's event, members of Occupy L.A., protesting an LAPD crackdown on chalking, migrated into ArtWalk, spurring a melee that involved 17 arrests, bottles being thrown at police, and the LAPD's use of rubber bullets and other less lethal crowd control weapons.
August's event was a sharp contrast.
At an event last week, ChalkWalk organizer Richard Florence told Downtown community members that future events would steer clear of ArtWalk, to the best of their ability. Thursday's ChalkWalk was planned for Pershing Square, and largely stayed there.
Police stood by Thursday morning, as Oakland's Fresh Juice Party chalked a large mural in the northeast corner of Pershing Square. When security guards called police, they detained three people who were drawing and released two. A third, Dexter Williams of Oakland, was arrested on outstanding misdemeanor vandalism warrants and remained in custody as of press time. Later in the day, an Occupy L.A. member, Deandre Washington, allegedly punched a member of Occupy Oakland in the face and was arrested.
Rina Palta / KPCC
Occupiers from Oakland drew a chalk mural Thursday morning, which remains on the Northeast corner of Pershing Square.
Police have already made several arrests even as attention focuses on Pershing Square and the rumored busload of Occupy Oakland members who have arrived in town for ChalkWalk, which will take place during Thursday night's Downtown ArtWalk despite warnings from LA police.
Arrests were made Thursday in Pershing Square, though none have to do with chalk.
A group of three Occupiers from Oakland was detained after police were called to the area because security reported chalking.
Two were released and one was arrested on an outstanding warrant.
Later in the day, another Occupier was arrested, this time from the L.A. contingent. The L.A. man allegedly punched an Occupy member from Oakland in the face during an argument. The L.A. man was arrested and taken into custody.
It's not clear what the argument was about, but there appeared to be friction between the two groups all day.
The city of Los Angeles' decision to allow Occupy LA protesters to remain on the lawn of City Hall cost $4.3 million, according to the final report on the matter.
The Los Angeles City Council’s decision to allow Occupy LA protesters to camp out on the lawn of City Hall cost the city $4.3 million, according to the final financial report on the matter.
The Budget and Finance Committee is expected to discuss the report next week. The estimate is about the same as the one given in May, though the City Attorney’s Office spent $61,000 more than originally estimated. Insurance and donations covered about $400,000 of the cleanup.
The bulk of the tab came from the Los Angeles Police Department, which spent $2.5 million on officers and supplies, such as restraint cuffs and light towers, when it disassembled the Occupy LA camp in November. Recreation and Parks, which took eight months to restore the lawn around City Hall, spent another $1 million.
Occupy LA participants camped on the lawn around City Hall for about two months, beginning in October of last year, before the LAPD cleared the park in the middle of the night.