LA faces millions in costs for Occupy damage

posted at 1:40 pm on December 23, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

The city of Los Angeles offered the Occupy movement one of its most comfortable venues. Not only did Occupiers get to bask in warm weather, unlike camps in New York City and Washington DC, they got a nice lawn on which to pitch their tents and a city administration that offered plenty of sympathy.  Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa even offered them some farmland and 10,000 square feet of office space in trade for the City Hall lawn space, an offer that the Occupiers might regret not taking, in retrospect.

The city will also have its regrets as well.  The local CBS affiliate reported on Wednesday that the bill has come due for the costs associated with the Occupy protests, and taxpayers may be on the hook for millions of dollars:

The City of Los Angeles reportedly faces millions of dollars in expenses brought about by the Occupy LA movement. …

Repairs to City Hall’s lawn where the Occupy group set up camp on Oct. 1 will require an estimated $400,000. The police action to clear out the encampment on Nov. 30 cost more than $700,000.

Additional expenses are attributed to hauling away debris from the camp, and cleaning up graffiti that defaced City Hall marble walls and trees.

In the ultimate irony, Villaraigosa told the media that the only way LA can pay for the damage is to cut spending elsewhere, presumably since they can’t afford to hike taxes on businesses any more than they have already. The net result will probably be reduced services to Angelenos, which is of course the opposite of what the Occupiers claimed to demand in their incoherent protests.

Meanwhile, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the Occupy demonstration has come to an embarrassing end. By the time their permit expired, the three-month protest had dwindled down to two tents, which police demanded removed from the public park. One of the few Occupiers left claimed that he had a First Amendment right to remain encamped regardless of the permit, which is not true, and so a half-dozen or so police officers moved in to dismantle the “camp.” That’s when both tents grew legs and sprinted:

Back on the West Coast, the “mostly peaceful” Occupy Berkeley movement also ended with a whimper … a few of them, in fact:

Berkeley police cleared the Bay Area’s last major Occupy encampment peacefully this afternoon, following an overnight skirmish with protesters that resulted in two arrests.

The clearance followed an uptick in violence at the camp that included two sexual assaults and numerous drug and alcohol related incidents, police said.

On Wednesday, city officials warned the protesters, who had been camped at Civic Center Park since early October, that police would start enforcing the city’s ban on overnight lodging within 24 hours. Most of the 150 or so protesters left voluntarily, but a few dozen remained early Thursday morning when police and public works crews arrived to begin clearing the park.

Just how “mostly peaceful” was the Berkeley protest?

Around 12:30 a.m., two people were arrested when they approached the nearby police station with gas masks, crowbars and cannisters, Berkeley police Sgt. Mary Kusmiss said. One was arrested for public drunkenness and posession of drugs, and the other for resisting arrest, she said.

This entire exercise has been an exercise in facepalms, hasn’t it?


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Is it wrong that I first read this as “LA feces millions in costs for Occupy damage?”

Red Cloud on December 23, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Occupy San Antonio is a farce too. We saw 2-3 people doing the “duffle bag drag” down the street yesterday. One with one of those Guy Fawkes masks on and a sign dragging behind him, chin on his chest. Ah well, it was a great movement while it lasted and really stood for something,…er..maybe not.

ted c on December 23, 2011 at 1:44 PM

LMAO!
What a bunch of losers.
I wonder how long this guy’s been on the public dole?

Badger40 on December 23, 2011 at 1:47 PM

Bless their spontaneity!

a capella on December 23, 2011 at 1:48 PM

One was arrested for public drunkenness and posession of drugs, and the other for resisting arrest, she said.

How do you arrest someone for resisting arrest? I mean, don’t you have to have something to arrest them for before they can resist it?

Socratease on December 23, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa even offered them some farmland

Farm Aid? What would Willie Nelson say?

Del Dolemonte on December 23, 2011 at 1:50 PM

All I can say is…

Thank You, Occupy Wall Streeters! Thank you so very much for the bigtime overtime bucks that came rolling in just in time for Christmas! WooHoo!

Let’s do it again next year!

FlatFoot on December 23, 2011 at 1:52 PM

Whereas a Tea Party rally actually adds value to the area by picking up extraneous litter and attracting well-behaved people with jobs who will spend money in the area. A net plus. As long as you can stomach the fact they’re all racist to the core. /sarc

Paul-Cincy on December 23, 2011 at 1:53 PM

LA?
The city of Large Angry Azzes?

KOOLAID2 on December 23, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Heh. Running tents….

ladyingray on December 23, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Nancy Pelosi loves them gawd bless their souls.

KOOLAID2 on December 23, 2011 at 1:56 PM

You’ve sent a clear message that you are all idiots.

Clearly.

hawkdriver on December 23, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Elections have consequences.

unclesmrgol on December 23, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Just raise the taxes and it’ll all be OK!

vietvet68 on December 23, 2011 at 1:58 PM

I blame Dunder-Mifflin’s recent budget cuts.

Hostile Gospel on December 23, 2011 at 1:58 PM

Not a water cannon in sight when you really need them.

RickB on December 23, 2011 at 1:59 PM

The last tent I saw was in my bedroom.
But this is funny.

Badger40 on December 23, 2011 at 1:59 PM

Thank you Mayor Villaraigosa, ya weak kneed playah!

racquetballer on December 23, 2011 at 1:59 PM

Not a water cannon in sight when you really need them.

RickB on December 23, 2011 at 1:59 PM

Oh ho! That would be hilarious.

Badger40 on December 23, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Elections have consequences.

unclesmrgol on December 23, 2011 at 1:57 PM

And actions have consequences too ;)

ProfShadow on December 23, 2011 at 2:01 PM

what is even more funny about the costs… I bet a majority that were at these movements will not have to pay because they dont pay in taxes anyways.

watertown on December 23, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa – AKA: Tony Valar, is a farce. He’s done more to make LA a Third World nation than any previous mayor.

GarandFan on December 23, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Yep….should play on “America’s Funniest Home Videos”

Definitely shows the yellow streak that typifies the OWS crowd.

ProfShadow on December 23, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Am I the only one who imagined hearing the Benny Hill closing theme song when the tents started running across the park?

Ed Morrissey on December 23, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Regrets? Are you kidding?

It was an INVESTMENT.

Amphipolis on December 23, 2011 at 2:12 PM

How do you arrest someone for resisting arrest? I mean, don’t you have to have something to arrest them for before they can resist it?

Socratease on December 23, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Surely we’ll never know all the details that led up to his arrest.

NapaConservative on December 23, 2011 at 2:14 PM

The Occupiers are always so serious, and self-important, and convinced they’re saving the world, but when it comes right down to it, they’re just flimsy tents with legs.

RebeccaH on December 23, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Run Away! Run Away!

Flange on December 23, 2011 at 2:16 PM

Every time I see those losers gathered around I can’t help but thinking that my racist existence probably supports most of them.

NapaConservative on December 23, 2011 at 2:18 PM

That first guy sort of looked like a hermit crab.

NeoKong on December 23, 2011 at 2:19 PM

LA faces millions in costs for Occupy damage
-
The question remains… Will they be invited back to help with next years re-election campaign?
-

Ed Morrissey on December 23, 2011 at 2:08 PM

-
Now that you mention it… lol
-

RalphyBoy on December 23, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Am I the only one who imagined hearing the Benny Hill closing theme song when the tents started running across the park?

Ed Morrissey on December 23, 2011 at 2:08 PM

I didn’t see the obligatory women without blouses wearing bras too tight for their ample bosoms. Let me look again … nope. Or Benny Hill chasing after them with a lecherous look.

Paul-Cincy on December 23, 2011 at 2:20 PM

“Not a water cannon in sight when you really need them.

RickB on December 23, 2011 at 1:59 PM”

Heaven’s no, this is LA! You can’t shoot those kinds of people with water – it drains to the ocean, and would have to be treated first. God only knows what’s traveling in that run-off.

MikeinPRCA on December 23, 2011 at 2:27 PM

All around the mulberry bush
The monkey chased the weasel;
The monkey thought ’twas all in fun,
Pop! goes the weasel.
A penny for a spool of thread,
A penny for a needle—
That’s the way the money goes,
Pop! goes the weasel.
Jimmy’s got the whooping cough
And Timmy’s got the measles
That’s the way the story goes
Pop! goes the weasel.

Flange on December 23, 2011 at 2:28 PM

Am I the only one who imagined hearing the Benny Hill closing theme song when the tents started running across the park?

Ed Morrissey on December 23, 2011 at 2:08 PM

I kept waiting for the tents to blow up as in the Monty Python sketch“How Not To Be Seen”.

I suppose it’s necessary to add that I do not advocate in any way the shooting or demolition of OWSers. They’re pretty much demolished.

de rigueur on December 23, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Occupy protesters take aim at Rose Parade
Pasadena police and Tournament of Roses officials have been negotiating with Occupy leaders for several weeks to prevent problems. Protesters will be allowed to march after all the floats have gone.

I can see a situation in which thousands of people who work very hard to make the Rose Parade happen take a very dim view of their labors becoming political footballs.

In other words, occupy-ers toucha the da floats, volunteers breaka you faces.

Speakup on December 23, 2011 at 2:32 PM

o/t With everyone getting ready to celebrate Kwanzaa look for the Obama Administration to dump some nast stuff this evening.

celtic warrior on December 23, 2011 at 2:33 PM

Dang. Too bad Harry Chapin is dead. The man who wrote “30,000 Pounds of Bananas” would’ve had a blast with this…

Kraken on December 23, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Iconic madness and owned by the deomocrats. Shows what society looks like when designed by the Democratic Party. Leave them in charge and we will soon advance to the level of North Korea.

Dear Leader…Dear Leader…Dear Leader…

I have tears in my eyes.

groundhunter on December 23, 2011 at 2:36 PM

I was actually down near Zuccoti part the other day. It seemed strangely empty. (it was still blockaided off, and a half dozen cops were standing there with their arms crossed looking pissed).

Oh well, I guess life goes on.

Timin203 on December 23, 2011 at 2:40 PM

I’d love to see how this filth would act in the Communist Utopia that they long for. You know, the one where the big mouth gets a jack-boot.

The very fact that they’ve been put-up with for so long, in the country that they despise, should make the very thought of entertaining any Communist ideology an embarrassment.

OhEssYouCowboys on December 23, 2011 at 2:42 PM

When this OWS nonsense started, I challenged some of its backers to max out their credit cards, and get as many loans from the bank for new cars, houses, etc., as they could. After all, OWS was destined to triumph, and one of its demands was the “forgiveness of all debt”.

So far as I know, no Flea Partier took me up on that offer. But if the breakup of the Obamavilles merely marks “the next step”, then my challenge to the Flea Party stands: run up those credit cards, Occupiers!

MidniteRambler on December 23, 2011 at 2:45 PM

Since the mayor and the city council allowed, if not encouraged, the damage to happen, let their salaries be garnished to pay for it.

Blake on December 23, 2011 at 2:53 PM

This whole ‘cost’ thing is bogus. The city/county/state pays fixed costs for law enforcement, fire, animal control, building inspectors, city/county ‘services’. The cost of law enforcement doesn’t go down if there isn’t any crime. The cost of fire departments doesn’t go down if there are no fires. Saying this occupy protest ‘costs’ the local government is not true. Then they start talking about all that ‘overtime’; law enforcement can’t move a few hundred protesters out of a park during their regular shift?

This is classic bureaucratic nonsense saying it will ‘cost’ you more to demand the city/county/state bureaucrats do their jobs.

Skandia Recluse on December 23, 2011 at 3:23 PM

One was arrested for public drunkenness and posession of drugs, and the other for resisting arrest, she said.

How do you arrest someone for resisting arrest? I mean, don’t you have to have something to arrest them for before they can resist it?

Socratease on December 23, 2011 at 1:48 PM

What came first? The chicken or the egg?

timberline on December 23, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Can someone with video capture and edit software overlay “yakkity sax” over the “Occupy Scranton” video with the running tents?

Please?

rihar on December 23, 2011 at 3:24 PM

Since the mayor and the city council allowed, if not encouraged, the damage to happen, let their salaries be garnished to pay for it.

Blake on December 23, 2011 at 2:53 PM

Rational thinking is a sign of decadence.

timberline on December 23, 2011 at 3:26 PM

Berkeley should have left them there for another week: fifty miles north of there in Santa Rosa it was 27 F this morning.

burt on December 23, 2011 at 3:46 PM

If they want to clean it up for free, they could hold a Tea Party rally in the same space and it would be pristine when the Tea Party folks left.

esnap on December 23, 2011 at 3:52 PM

It’s about time the loony left sees reality with the mess that OWS left them to clean up. What the city Fathers should do now is send the clean up bills to the union halls that supported them. Just to add a bit of irony to the pictures of that mess, put the pictures of the Washington Mall on the Net after the Tea Party left the Washington Mall.

mixplix on December 23, 2011 at 3:56 PM

99% of the OWS Scranton are Jersey rejects. The locals are 2 busy working!

121fxdl on December 23, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Since the mayor and the city council allowed, if not encouraged, the damage to happen, let their salaries be garnished to pay for it.

Blake on December 23, 2011 at 2:53 PM

I like that idea.

Tim Zank on December 23, 2011 at 4:07 PM

This is classic bureaucratic nonsense saying it will ‘cost’ you more to demand the city/county/state bureaucrats do their jobs.

When the State Houses were taken over by the unions in Wisconsin there was damage in the millions. How pays for the damages? When OWS caused a business to close its doors in NYC who bails the business owner out that lost his business because customers were unable to get to his door? Blame it all on the bureaucratic BS not doing their jobs. I suppose it’s ok that someone defecates on a police car or spitting in the face of a police officer.

mixplix on December 23, 2011 at 4:10 PM

Lol, next year is an election year. This is why they now getting closed down, they have out lived their usefulness!

We will just have the residual loons interrupting Republican campaigns in the name of Occupy.

Africanus on December 23, 2011 at 4:20 PM

Let me get this straight, they cost the taxpayers millions and then they sue because their freedom of speech was denied? Can the taxpayers sue the OWS for damages?

odannyboy on December 23, 2011 at 5:17 PM

I go to downtown L.A. occasionally and saw Occupy before and after. Before it looked like a convention of dope heads, and after it looked like Japan after the tsunami. It was completely destroyed, lawns, trees, walls.

How about all the rich Hollywood leftists come forward and chip in to fix it?

PattyJ on December 23, 2011 at 5:52 PM

Angeleno here, also. I think the clean-up plan is to have it declared a federal disaster area. The city and state are broke.

de rigueur on December 23, 2011 at 7:50 PM

The only thing missing is the Benny Hill chase music – heh

DumboTheAvenger on December 23, 2011 at 8:38 PM

Where are the Occupooper slush funds? Ask George Soros to write a check.

Philly on December 23, 2011 at 9:24 PM

Hey, that Occupy Scranton thing I mentioned a few weeks ago was just a joke. Some dipwads took me seriously?

Coronagold on December 24, 2011 at 10:01 AM

Since the mayor and the city council allowed, if not encouraged, the damage to happen, let their salaries be garnished to pay for it.

Blake on December 23, 2011 at 2:53 PM

Absolutely.

hawkdriver on December 24, 2011 at 10:13 AM

Ha Ha!

Gwillie on December 24, 2011 at 11:14 AM