Just the other day I posted about how impressed I was with both the LAPD and #OccupyLA. Well, LA has certainly taken an ugly turn over the last couple of days. On Wednesday night the LAPD overran the Occupy encampment that had taken root in the 1.7 acre park attached to the west side of the LA City Town Hall. Over 1200 officers were used in the lighting raid and upwards of 290 people were arrested.
What is shocking to me is not the tactics LAPD used, which were brilliant by the way, but the utter brutality of the city council’s will to remove the Occupy camp from the park. All across the country, Occupy encampments have been systematically scrubbed from existence. Were many of them unsanitary and messy? Yes, but what does it say about America and our First Amendment rights?
More visibly coordinated police and city hall action has been taken to remove the Occupy encampments than has been taken to protect homeowners from false and illegal foreclosures or for prosecuting those who have committed financial fraud that led to the collapse of the economy.
It is a sad day for our country when fears about a handful of people, who are peacefully protesting against the economic injustice that they perceive is being perpetrated in this country, are systematically taken down by the very people who have been elected and empowered to protect those very same rights to peaceful assembly and to redress their government.
For pictures from the #OccupyLA encampment and LAPD raid, check out this gallery from the LA Times