Occupy LAUSD Makes It Through the Night, Police Back Down and Let Protesters Stay
The Occupy LAUSD movement kicked off their occupation of the Los Angeles Unified School District's headquarters in Downtown last night following a march to the building from the Occupy L.A. site at City Hall. Though they were confronted by police officers outside the building, the group managed to set up a small occupation site and spent the night on the sidewalk in protest.
"Over 15 police officers arrive at #OccupyLAUSD camp telling teachers to leave," Tweeted Occupy LAUSD participant Jose Lara last night. "LAUSD police trying to remove #OccupyLAUSD camp," noted the @OccupyLAUSD feed, with a photo of the police at the site.
Ultimately the police relented and left the scene, permitting the protesters to stay, many of whom got up this morning to prepare for work as teachers in the district.
As the day got underway at the LAUSD HQ, employees, including the head of the district, passed by the encampment. "'We support you guys' say office workers as they walk into LAUSD HQ," reports Lara, after noting earlier that Superintendent John Deasy was not pleased: "LAUSD Supt. Walk by #OccupyLAUSD. This morning and wouldn't stop to talk with teachers. Had angry look on face."
The Occupy LAUSD group believes that the district has set itself up to fail in order to justify a call for increased privatization. The movement is linking the efforts of wealthy local businesses and individuals with current problems, not solutions, in the district. Their list of wants include hiring back pink-slipped teachers and employees, and keeping wealthy businesspeople, like Eli Broad, out of the LAUSD.