In a move that dramatizes the political differences between Los Angeles and New York, several members of the LA City Council today declared their support for Occupy LA and introduced a resolution that will put the city officially on record as endorsing the demostrators camped at City Hall. City Council president Eric Garcetti, who is running for mayor, visited the encampment yesterday and said, “Stay as long as you need, we’re here to support you.” And Council member Bill Rosendahl said Occupy LA demonstrators were "making democracy work."
Seven of fifteen Council members signed the resolution, which declares, among other things, that “today corporations hold undue power and influence in our country,” and notes that the LA County Federation of Labor has officially endorsed its “sisters and brothers” in Occupy LA.
While New York Mayor Bloomberg has been describing the demonstrations there as a problem, the LA city council is appealing to voters by endorsing the protesters’ critique of big banks and big money. And while the NYPD has arrested Wall Street marchers by the hundreds, and maced and pepper sprayed many, the LAPD has been complimented by Occupy LA for acting fairly and appropriately.
The full LA city council won’t vote on the resolution of support until next Tuesday, but one reporter at today’s council meeting, Simone Wilson of the L.A. Weekly, wrote that, “judging by their dramatic, heart-wrenched personal responses to occupiers during the meeting’s public comment period, no black-sheep councilmember is going to make the dick move of voting ‘No’ on such a popular cause.”
Meanwhile, elsewhere in LA, more than a hundred demonstrators marched on the Bel Air home of bank CEO Steven Mnuchin of Pasadena-based OneWest, protesting evictions and foreclosures. The LAPD arrived, according to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, and pushed protesters away from the gate of the $26 million estate and into the street, but didn’t arrest anyone.
And yesterday 40 activists disrupted a conference of bankers at a Newport Beach yacht club. Members of ReFund California got past security guards at the elite Balboa Bay Club, chanting "Make banks pay!" The L.A. Times ran a photo of the protest on page one of their Business section.