Occupy L.A.

Official L.A.'s Double Standard: One for Occupy Protesters, Another for Those Who Don't Damage Public Property


L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti, in his native habitat

Non-righty Los Angeles observer Joseph Mailander wants the money for L.A.'s post-Occupy cleanup to come from the staff budgets of its leading politicians. His argument:

[T]he damage the Occupiers did to City Hall's lawns and park space will [reportedly] cost the City between $300-$400,000.  The extra police hours will cost the City at least that much again, and perhaps up to three times that much.

What rankles here is that the City welcomed the Occupiers with such open arms–while making other groups with long histories of showing far more respect towards civic property– pay for use of civic services.

The Mayor originally welcomed the Occupiers and even bought them ponchos when it rained.  

Councilmember and Mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti, then Council president, told the Occupiers to "stay as long as you need to."  

But when there are private vendors who solicit the use of civic property, these same civic figures increasingly ask the vendors themselves to pay for policing.  Garcetti did so with the promoters of Sunset Junction Street Fair, ultimately killing the 31-year-old festival because he couldn't shake the promoters down this year for an extra $240,000.  

Councilmember Jan Perry and the Mayor also shook down the food vendors of Downtown Art Walk for $8,000 an evening when extra policing became an issue there.  

[Public Works Commission President] Andrea Alarcon has become the City's point person for such capricious and often unexpected billing, even as her [City Councilman] father [Richard] mollycoddled the protesters along with Garcetti, Bill Rosendahl and many others.

But City Council and the Mayor didn't bill the Occupiers.

Whole thing here. Mailander reviewed Ralph Nader's Ayn Rand-inspired novel (!) for Reason in January 2010. Re-watch Reason.tv's classic (and prescient) video "Occupy L.A.: The Pro-Government Protesters?" below.

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  1. What rankles here is that the City welcomed the Occupiers with such open arms–while making other groups with long histories of showing far more respect towards civic property– pay for use of civic services.

    Apparently those other groups’ causes seemed less sympathetic to City Council, and the members seemingly less likely to generate votes for continued Democratic dominance of city government.

    1. I would like to remind the City Council that sympathy can be found in the dictionary between shit and syphilis.

      1. I thought it could be found between “Their Satanic Majesties Request” and “Let It Bleed”

      2. You think you crocodile tears will stop a reality check from taking its economic bayonet and sticking it in your little occupiers heart?

    2. Some animals are more equal than other animals.

  2. One has cash & assets, the other only has their parents’ money, and no legal obligation to pay

    1. Then the city should have booted them out after the first night sleeping under the smog.

    2. Good point. It says something about the Flea Party when they’re so broke and disreputable they can’t even be billed for services. Let that be a lesson to civilization: if you have a treasure, a treasury or a treasurer, your assets may be forfeited.

      1. But it’s a flat power structure; there are no leaders.

        1. What separates the Tea Party and the Flea Party?



          1. …soap and depends

            1. It’s still way more socially acceptable to shit your pants than to shit all over a public park in plain view of CNN!

        2. But it’s a flat power structure; there are no leaders.

          Right. Just like the Paris Commune.

      2. What do you think would have happened if Downtown Art Walk claimed poverty, refused to pay for permits, and set up in the park anyway?

        1. I don’t know…
          Dogs shot, grannies terrorized, third-rate artists pepper-sprayed?

        2. Whatever would of happened I’m sure you’d be here defending the authorities.

    3. No cash and assets? The Wall Street Occupiers have raised well north of $1 million. I can’t imagine that the LA representatives are very far behind.

      1. yes, and they have as much transparency with their funds as MF Global
        -maybe more

  3. [T]he damage the Occupiers did to City Hall’s lawns and park space will [reportedly] cost the City between $300-$400,000.

    Wow, it must have taken some serious number crunching to narrow it down to a $399,700 range there.

    1. Nobody likes a smartass….except reason commenters.

      1. The word is “commentator.”
        Learn it. Know it. Live it.

        1. They call me “commentator” salad!

        2. David Brooks, Thomas Friedman those are commentators. Don’t lump us in with that disreputable gaggle.

          capitol l: commenter, and proud.

        3. No. John Madden was a “commentator”. The idiots that post comments here on the H&R boards are simply “commenters”. Their comments are about as “real” as the word “commenter”.

    2. I have to admit thinking along the same lines when I read that.

  4. Of course the occupiers will be given a pass. They’re parasites. Government loves parasites. Probably because government is a parasite.

    1. That’s dumb even for you.

      1. That’s dumb even for you.

        ^ That is smart as you will ever get.

  5. “Vendors” make profits, which are evil, and must be confiscated and redistributed to the deserving poor, such as unionized policemen.

  6. At least in the screen cap, one girl has an “Obama Lied” poster. The wholesale dismissal of free will with regard to the US’s current C-in-C is the most disturbing cognitive dissonance I heard recently.

    1. Under normal circumstances the Left would do what it always does when things go poorly; blame the person in charge for being a wrecker and not true to the liberal cause and move on. It is never the ideology that is wrong. It is always the wreckers and sellouts who keep their programs from succeeding.

      But they can’t do that here because doing so would mean turning on a liberal black President. So they need a new line of thinking.

      1. In the 1960’s, at least, the left had no problem going after LBJ about Vietnam. They had the decency not to say “But, but… Eisenhower started it”.

        1. Well it certainly couldn’t be JFK’s fault.

          1. I was thinking of the TEAM! divide.

            Also, Eisenhower did actually start it, not that it matters. It’s just too bad that no one in the federal government has ever heard of the term “sunk costs”.

  7. In Richmond, VA the Flea Party got free use of a public park for weeks, whereas the Tea Party had to rent the same park for a one-day, non-sleepover rally and pay police overtime for “protection”.

    Hope that RTP sues the city for unequal treatment and recovers their money plus their legal expenses.

    1. Actually, they did sue for a reimbursement of the $10k they had to pay the city for their rally. (They used Brown or Belle Island, IIRC)

      Anyway, the city promptly responded in a way that should shock nobody here.

      1. Dude, they haven’t sued yet. They invoiced the city for their money back, and the city audited them. RTP website says they’re contemplating further action against the city.

        1. Then people need to stop calling it that.

          You are right, of course. It’s just that everybody and their brother is saying they are suing the city.

          And according to MW’s definition, they are suing:

          intransitive verb
          1: to make a request or application : plead ?usually used with for or to


          1. I love how you truncated it right at the part that proves you wrong

            /pointing out youre a disingenuous asshole

  8. You know, I think that’s illegal. It’s viewpoint discrimination.

    1. I believe you are right. If you let one person use the park, you have to let everyone use the park. Tea Party Groups need to be suing the shit out of these cities.

      1. They have an answer for that too.

        The Richmond Tea Party said it has received a response from the city of Richmond after demanding reimbursement for rally expenses in light of accommodations made for the Occupy Richmond protesters.

        But the response isn’t exactly what the group had in mind.

        An auditor with the Department of Finance sent a letter to the Richmond Tea Party on Nov. 14 advising that the group was being audited for nonpayment of taxes in 2010 and 2011. The political organization was told to provide tax records related to its meals, admissions and personal property and was warned to take the notice seriously.

        1. hivemind

          1. Resistance is futile.

            1. This is so fucking disgiusting, my teeth itch.

              How is that even possible?

              This is govt thuggery

              1. Now you know how you make everyone else feel

                1. yawn. troll-o-meter: .01

                  as numerous polls show, this is not the way we make “EVERYONE” feel. the vast majority of people support and respect the police

                  it’s the way we make bigots, thugs, criminals, and those divorced from reality feel

                  thanks for yet again proving my point

                  polling data proves you wrong

        2. Yeah, I knew about that, too. RTP’s website says:

          Not to worry, though. We are the Tea Party and, therefore, have followed every applicable tax law to this point, including filing all the proper forms. We will file them again, though, to satisfy the audit requirements.

          But that won’t be the last the City of Richmond hears from the Richmond Tea Party and the American people.


          More will be coming out about this story in the coming days and weeks, but for now, I wanted to give you the quick update and let you know that we, like you, are done taking it from arrogant politicians. The City of Richmond gave us their response?now we have one for them.

          Stay tuned.

        3. RTP’s website says they’re planning a response to the city. Tried to post the text and link but Reason’s spam filter got all pissy…

        4. Hawley said the Richmond Tea Party was selected for an audit review after it had not filed any of the required monthly returns for admissions, meals and lodging taxes in 2010 and had filed returns for only two months ? January and February ? in 2011.

          Did I miss something? Did the Richmond Tea Party open a hotel restaurant & bar?

          1. Did the Richmond Tea Party open a hotel restaurant & bar?

            Those fucking right wing nutjob capitalist fuckers will open up a business on the drop of a hat. So, maybe.

          2. Worse – multiple Lemonade stands being run with child labor.

            THE MONSTERS!

      2. They should. In addition, any group protesting in Wisconsin now has a massive lawsuit open to it when it doesn’t get the treatment the unions did, which was absurdly biased.

        Viewpoint discrimination by government is highly unconstitutional, and it’s very dangerous to allow, even when you may like the immediate result.

        1. Could you post a linky for the WI lawsuit? TIA

          1. I don’t know whether there is one or not. I’m just saying the government’s favorable treatment of the protestors (while simultaneously not favoring them in the lawmaking sense) opens the door to one.

            1. This is a point we cant make enough. It is a violation of the first amendment, seperation of powers, and frankly… Basic rule of law, for executive branch officials to give favorable treatment (primarily via nonenforcement of laws) , to groups that they are sympathetic to

              It is a gross abuse of power

          2. I first I got hopeful that a lawsuit had been filed against Sodesky, which would explain his absence here as of late.

      3. The problem is that Tea Party groups are groups and they have leadership and money. The occupiers have no money, organization or leadership. How do you collect on that?

        1. Personally from every member. That is what they did to the KKK.

        2. I would suggest a truncheon.


          1. We call them “tactical batons” now. Its a kinder and gentler bludgeoning tool

            1. bludgeoning tool

              I thought that was called a “warty.”

        3. No money? They are raising hundreds of thousands of dollars.


  10. Here in Boise, the Flea Party occupation is “5 or 6 people who showed up” and several confused squirrels. The ratio of local journalists covering the “occupation” to actual occupiers is roughly 1:1, not counting the squirrels.

    1. Have any of the protesters wandered over to the local Red Robin off of Parkcenter?

    2. The squirrels are confused because the people occupying their park smell dead but keep moving, right?

      1. No, no, no. The squirrels actually have to work for a living, and have a basic understanding of economics.

        Hence their confusion.

    3. Here in Boise, the Flea Party occupation is “5 or 6 people who showed up”

      And remember, this counted when we heard on the news daily that the movement was spreading to hundreds of cities around the world(!).

      1. boise dude. jeesch

  11. I think i see the difference:

    Vendors are motivated by profit, which corrupts everything it touches.

    Protestors are pure of heart. They’re pooping on lawns for the love of the game.

  12. Los Angeles “government” consists entirely of scumbags with multiple special interest dicks permanently jammed into their backsides. The #1 city budget line item is “lubrication”. The mayor one of the most vacuous pieces of human shit ever to hold office.

    1. Santorum should be the mayor once Villaraigosa leaves.

      1. Fido says: “hey there handsome”

  13. Sounds like a very good plan to me dude. Wow.


    1. Tonio|12.13.11 @ 11:25AM|#

      RTP’s website says they’re planning a response to the city. Tried to post the text and link but Reason’s spam filter got all pissy…


  14. Stay as long as you want, kids!

    Um, do any of you vote?

    1. I have found I can predict the outcome of an election with near 75% accuracy by taking the inverse of my ballot.

  15. Beyond the left/right distinction, the obvious answer is that the elected officials calculated the potential political damage they might suffer from a crackdown, and calculated (quite logically) that it be less costly to soak the taxpayers, since LA will apparently vote their corrupt asses back into office no matter what they do.

    BTW, is there anyone in LA government who didn’t get their position because of who their daddy is? I lived there 20 years ago, and I’m seeing some familiar last names.

    1. LA is a collection of fiefdoms.

      1. I think that is an unfair term; under feudalism a fiefdom was shitty as hell but at least it was USEFUL!

  16. [T]he damage the Occupiers did to City Hall’s lawns and park space will [reportedly] cost the City between $300-$400,000. The extra police hours will cost the City at least that much again, and perhaps up to three times that much.

    I’m actually hoping now that the Occutards in L.A. set up for the long haul like they are doing in DC.

    The L.A. gummint should be just rewarded for their immesurable tolerance.

  17. There’s no way in hell the damage is in the $300-400K range. Unless, of course, somebody in City Hall has a relative with a landscaping business.

    1. A thousand bucks a turd adds up.

  18. Quick! Everybody click over to Drudge.

    Does that licture give the impression that the guy on the left just farted?

  19. People in general, not just Occupiers, tend to support government rules a lot more when they think it will apply to “those other people” and not themselves. (This is especially common with treatment of foreigners, and of course we can talk about Alabama’s immigrant stop-and-check ID law.)

    The Occupy kids presumably support all kinds of government zoning and other restrictions because they don’t expect the rules to apply to them. They’re special.

  20. There’s no way in hell the damage is in the $300-400K range.

    You don’t think they’re going to get a bunch of Mexicans from the Home Depot parking lot to lay sod, do you? First, the California Department of Ethnobiology will have to conduct exhaustive research, followed by a period of comment by interested parties, then a vast array of landscape architects will need to be consulted, then the winning plan will have to be presented for public review, et c, et c, et c….

    Half a million is a lowball estimate, which will at minimum triple by the time the first pass with a lawn mower is made.

    And that’s a lot of vendor fees.

    1. Don’t forget EPA-style reviews of the hazardous materials.

    2. And after all that…the shit will have decomposed entirely. Not that that will stop The Plan.

  21. Vaguely similar story out of Santa Fe, NM, for those interested: http://www.santafenewmexican.c…..f-the-law-

  22. Wait, you mean commie hipsters don’t pay for goods and services that capitalists expect to pay on a daily basis?

    Say it ain’t so.

  23. This is a point ive never seen addressed, let alone addressed by OWS supporters. How is it remotely ok for EXECUTIVE BRANCE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS to
    1) publically express support for a group that is openly and defiantly breaking the law


    2) selectively NOT enforce the law against them?

    Im speaking to YOU mayor quan.

    When you create exceptions for groups you are sympathetic to, you open the door for nonsympathetic groups to claim arbitrary enforcement of laws against them

    Iow, since it was OK for a while for OWS to illegally camp, etc. according to quan, what happens when a truly odious group (stormfront et al) decides to protest?

    And they are denied the same special dispensation to break the law with impunity?

    Do we really want anexecutive branch that decides on an ad hoc arbitrary basis which groups are worthy, based on their professed ideology , of an exception to having to obey laws, that everybody ELSE has to obey?

    I dont care HOW sympathetic the group is to you, this is findamentally odious to rule of law, to the concept of seperation of powers, and to the letter and spirit of the first amendment

    1. And yet you and your idiot lot engage in differential enforcememt with other cops all the time…

      1. waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

        troll-o-meter: .01

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