Around 8 p.m. on Wednesday night, the 300 people who have been occupying the lawn of Los Angeles City Hall for the past three weeks split themselves into two hostile camps.Read the rest for a case study in a dysfunctional society. And how are these cities going to justify charging fees for protest permits - or even family reunion gatherings - when they've done nothing to rein in the anarchists and societal misfits that make up these #Occupy gatherings? Every group that has paid a permit fee to the City of Los Angeles should sue to recover those fees.
Occupy LA’s decision-making body, the General Assembly, has been responsible for conducting the encampment’s business. As in most other cities, the participating members handle everything from ensuring the nightly meeting take place to doing financial research on Los Angeles-based bankers to cleaning up the trash. But on Wednesday, a large group of dissenters decided to occupy the General Assembly’s usual outdoor meeting space and assert themselves as the new regime. One man, standing at the center of the swirling and increasingly unruly crowd, yelled into a megaphone, “You don’t represent us anymore! We’re taking over! We’re the People’s Forum!” Rumblings of dissent and palpable animosity had been mounting in the camp throughout the afternoon. Informal meetings were held around the clock to hotly debate an issue that had factionalized the camp: weed.
There are two things that strike you when you come upon the Occupy LA encampment. The first is the sheer density of the tents: not a single thatch of grass pokes through; the lawn is bursting with tents and spray painted signs that carry slogans about everything from 99 percent to Wall Street criminals to 9/11 conspiracy theories. The place is packed. The second thing you’re likely to notice is the undeniable thick scent of weed smoke in the air. This is a curious aroma, given that the encampment is lodged between the California state courthouse, the offices of the City Council and LAPD headquarters.
Our political and law enforcement leadership in Los Angeles, not to mention Oakland, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Denver, New York and Washington D.C. ... just to name a few...are complete wimps.