In both Philadelphia and Los Angeles, the city mandated deadlines for the squatters in the OWS encampments passed yesterday without the sites being cleared. In each case, the local government seemed to take a decidedly more “peaceful” approach to dismantling the camps than were observed in other sites such as New York and Oakland. And for at least some of the occupiers, this apparently became a “festive” occasion.
Deadlines for Wall Street protesters to leave their encampments came and went in two cities with no arrests in Philadelphia and a festive, party-like atmosphere as protesters in Los Angeles defied the order clear out early Monday.
Protesters defied the mayor’s deadline to vacate their encampment near City Hall in Los Angeles, with about 1,000 flooding into the area as hundreds of tents remained standing as they have for nearly two months.
A celebratory atmosphere filled the night with protesters milling about the park and streets by City Hall in seeming good spirits. A group on bicycles circled the block, one of them in a cow suit. Organizers led chants with a bull horn.
“The best way to keep a non-violent movement non-violent is to throw a party, and keep it festive and atmospheric,” said Brian Masterson.
I suppose you’ve got reason to feel “festive” if you’re able to defy a lawful order from the authorities and suffer no consequences for your actions.It’s likely not a coincidence that the mayors of Philadelphia and L.A (Michael Nutter and Antonio Villaraigosa respectively) are both individuals who made a point of expressing support for the occupiers in the early days, seeking to draw on their expected populist appeal to bolster their own standing with progressives. (In the case of Villaraigosa, he’s gone so far as to try to buy them off with prime business real estate and farmland.) After that, I suppose you look even worse when you send in the cops with confrontational riot control techniques.
Meanwhile, the dysfunctional tactics of the OWS movement continue to expand and confound reason. According to a press release from organizers, a West Coast Port Shutdown – similar to what was already seen in Oakland, only larger – is being planned for Dec. 12.
As of November 27, 2011, the Occupy movement in every major West Coast port city: Occupy LA, Occupy San Diego, Occupy Portland, Occupy Tacoma, Occupy Seattle have joined Occupy Oakland in calling for and organizing a coordinated West Coast Port Blockade and Shutdown on December 12, 2011. Other West Coast Occupies, including Occupy Anchorage and Vancouver, Canada are planning to join the economic blockade and disruption of the 1% on that date, according to organizers.
“We’re shutting down these ports because of the union busting and attacks on the working class by the 1%: the firing of Port truckers organizing at SSA terminals in LA; the attempt to rupture ILWU union jurisdiction in Longview, WA by EGT. EGT includes Bunge LTD, a company which reported 2.5 billion dollars in profit last year and has economically devasted poor people in Argentina and Brazil. SSA is responsible for inhumane working conditions and gross exploitation of port truckers and is owned by Goldman Sachs. EGT and Goldman Sachs is Wallstreet on the Waterfront” stated Barucha Peller of the West Coast Port Blockade Assembly of Occupy Oakland.
“We are also striking back against the nationally’ coordinated attack on the Occupy movement. In response to the police violence and camp evictions against the Occupy movement- This is our coordinated response against the 1%. On December 12th we will show are collective power through pinpointed economic blockade of the 1%.”
Yet another brilliant strategic ploy, I must say. If you want to stick it to the fat cat 1%ers and their elitist buddies, obviously the first thing you would do is shut down the work opportunities of … people who unload ships at the docks? Oh, and the date is also pure genius in terms of generating even more public support for their cause. I mean, how many of those container ships are carrying supplies of toys, clothes and other items typically found under Christmas trees? Yes, sir! If I wanted to garner support from soccer moms across the nation, I’d shut off the gift supply with only a dozen shopping days left before Santa arrives.
Let’s prepare a big bowl of popcorn, sit back, and see how that works out for them, shall we?