Occupy San Fernando Valley Protesters Could Get Booted Out On Their First Night
But the movement will face its first big challenge tonight when it tries to camp out at the Van Nuys Civic Center Complex. The Los Angeles Police Department sent out a press saying that they have every intent to enforce all the usual rules in Van Nuys, which means campers and police could be headed for a showdown.
The rules at the civic center include no trespassing during the hours of closure (which is 7pm until 6am). And there are all sorts of other rules that will make it impossible to create a 24/7 movement. Here's a list of no-nos from the LAPD release:
There shall be no stages, generators or other equipment, no tents, no camping, no open flames, no cooking, no blocking pathways, no blocking fire lanes, no blocking ingress or egress to buildings, no sunshades affixed to or into the ground or stakes. Also no canopies/ umbrellas used for shade purposes must be open on all sides. No events may extend into tree or landscaped areas including lawn, no dumping and violate no law.
The Occupy San Fernando Valley group said in their meeting minutes that they have been trying to work with local politicians to establish their own presence — but that hasn't worked for them. Politicians in Los Angeles have cooled considerably at the thought of a protest movement without an end in sight. The minutes from Occupy San Fernando Valley's meeting last night explains that they will attempt to camp out tonight, despite the lack of support from City Hall:
The General Assembly unanimously decided that we will stand firm and exercise our Constitutional rights to assemble and to speak in protest of the corruption of our government. The General Assembly unanimously decided that our tents are an expression of speech in that they represent and symbolize the fact that the financial oligarchy are illegally taking homes away from average Americans and wrecked the economy causing widespread unemployment and poverty, etc. The General Assembly unanimously decided that our tents also symbolize the Hoovervilles that were the result of a similar economic crash in 1929. We have a right to peaceably assemble and to protest whatever we want. These are our rights as Americans and we claim them.
About 20 protesters showed up to the beginning of the Valley Occupy Movement today, according to Sherman Oaks Patch. The protesters the website spoke with didn't have any plans to camp out. The police officer Patch spoke with hinted that the rules might not be enforced too strictly. When asked if the police would be strictly enforcing these rules, LAPD Captain Paul Snell told Patch, "We're going to handle this on a case by case basis."
The protesters did get the OK to host their general assembly after-hours, but it remains to be seen how LAPD will deal with tonight's Valley protest.