(Alan Stock) – Why did it take so long to clear out the hordes who occupied the 1.6 acre park adjacent to Los Angeles City Hall? Could it be because the liberals who run the city and the county wanted to curry favor with those on the left as we approach a landmark election cycle?
Los Angeles Mayor Anthony Villaraigosa initially approached the motley gathering to hand out sweaters and blankets so they could remain comfortable during what all believed to be an indefinite stay. The mayor praised the occupiers as justified exercisers of the First Amendment Rights and even sympathized with their various nebulous goals.
The Mayor eventually ordered the demonstrators removed from an occupation that prevented the general public from accessing this public park. Even as the forced evacuation was completed, the Mayor expressed a peculiar sort of remorse. He said, “The 1st Amendment is messy. It’s not always pretty. There’s sometimes a cost to it. What’s the cost if we deny the 1st Amendment to America and Americans?” He preached that the need to protect the First Amendment Right to free speech may very well come at a great cost. So he supports the occupiers, evicts them and then expresses liberal guilt in a reaffirmation of his support.
No one denies that we need to protect the First Amendment for all Americans. No one denies the Occupy Wall Street gang has every right to peacefully assemble to promote their grievances. But since when is it the “right” of protesters to be given free “room and board” at the expense of all taxpayers, including those who disagree with their complaints?
How many elected officials who are OWS sympathizers would allow the same consideration for Tea Party or other conservative activists?
In Richmond, Virginia the Mayor allowed the local Occupy chapter to utilize public lands at public expense and even provided outhouses and other facilities. The cost of policing this gathering ran into the thousands and thousands of dollars. The Mayor invited the leaders of the Occupy movement into his Mayoral chambers.
When the Tea Party gathered for an expression of their concerns and asked for a meeting with the Mayor and a reimbursement of their expenses, the reception was quite different than from the Occupy folks. They were told no meeting with the Mayor – that was out of the question – and regarding a reimbursement of their expenses, they were told the local government would audit their organization.
Let’s go back to Los Angeles. As a result of Mayor Villaraigosa’s lack of any real leadership and as a result of his support of these unwashed masses, the weekly farmers’ market had to relocate. The movie industry stopped filming in the downtown area. A lot of issues were affected by the occupation.
The city will now have a much harder time enforcing its ordinance barring overnight camping in its parks. Councilman Bernard C. Parks believes if other groups request the city’s permission to stage their own protest, they will have Occupy L.A. as a precedent and “it will be difficult, almost impossible, to invoke that law.” He went on to say, “We should have never gotten” to the point where an encampment was allowed overnight. “And I think every major American city has come to that same conclusion.”
In Las Vegas, the Occupy movement was given land au gratis for 30 days by the Clark County Commission. An extension of three months was allowed by Clark County management. This extension was granted without public input and after the Occupy Las Vegas bedraggled few blocked a downtown public street “in protest.”
How many small mom-and-pop stores – ostensibly part of the “99%” – were negatively affected nationwide by these self-proclaimed saviors? From Oakland to Boston and many points in between, various smalltime businesses reported that they were either nearly ready to shut down or were actually being forced to shut down because potential customers were staying away due to threats of being confronted by the Occupy encampments.
What Took So Long To Clear Out the Occupy Encampments?
It was a desire by liberal officials to curry favor among the political leftwing. They did this under the guise of supporting the constitution while subverting the very intent of that document. Using public dollars and public land to support one political point of view while denying it to other political points of view will not be found anywhere in the Constitution nor will this violation be found in the laws of any city the Occupiers intimidated.
To the leftwing officials who sought to curry that favor, it will come back to haunt them. The chickens will come home to roost.