Human Events Blog

Los Angeles Tries “Land For Peace” With Occupiers

 

Democrat-controlled Los Angeles hasn’t quite slipped to the level of Democrat-controlled Oakland and handed over the city to the Occupy mob, but they are trying a little of the “land for peace” magic that has worked so well in the Middle East.  As reported by KTLA News of Los Angeles:

In an effort to get protesters to close the Occupy L.A. camp in Downtown L.A., the city has offered office space and even farmland to the demonstrators.

A lawyer who is working on behalf of the protesters says they have been offered a $1 per year lease on 10,000-square feet of office space near City Hall.

He says the city has also promised land to protesters who want to farm.

L.A. authorities apparently think this is their best chance to clear the septic and violent Occupy swamp off City Hall steps, since enforcing the rule of law is beyond them.

Police say serious crimes have more than doubled near the encampment since it started about 45 days ago.

Twenty-four arrests were reported between Oct. 1 and Monday for crimes including robbery, theft and aggravated assault.

Including arrests for offenses like disorderly conduct, lewd conduct, public drunkenness and drug violations brings the total to 102, compared to just 60 during the same period last year.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck says authorities are trying to negotiate a timeline to end the protest.

Last Thursday, police in riot gear squared off with Occupy L.A. demonstrators, who staged two loud, but mostly peaceful, protests.

Seventy-two people were arrested on charges including trespassing, remaining at an unlawful assembly and interfering with a peace officer, according to police.

That’s just like the “mostly peaceful” Tea Party demonstrations, isn’t it?  Remember all the Tea Party activists who got arrested for “interfering with a peace officer?”

So, can any other group score a sweet taxpayer-subsidized $1-per-year lease by camping out in front of City Hall for a while?  Or is this an offer limited strictly to the Big Labor-supported, Democrat Party-endorsed Occupiers?  You don’t mind having your pockets picked to supply a headquarters building and farmland for a mob brimming with “disorderly conduct, lewd conduct, public drunkenness and drug violations,” do you, L.A. taxpayers?

That very question has occurred to a few members of the City Council, as reported by the L.A. Times:

Big labor, which can make or break politicians’ careers in largely Democratic L.A., flexed its muscle again last week, pouring hundreds of demonstrators into downtown streets in a joint street-blocking action with Occupy protesters. County labor federation chief Maria Elena Durazo pointedly reiterated support for Occupy L.A. and upped the ante by backing demonstrators’ effort to expand their camp to the Bank of America Plaza on Bunker Hill.

City Councilman Ed Reyes acknowledged that unions hold considerable sway. “We do listen to the unions, because unions make up a large part of our constituency,” he said. But he said city officials also are sympathetic to the grievances of the Occupy movement because many residents here have been hit hard by the foreclosure crisis.

The council endorsed the protest early on and some members, including Councilman Richard Alarcon, have spoken out strongly in support of it.

But Councilman Bernard C. Parks said Tuesday that he is “concerned with the precedent it sets.” Other protesters in the future could employ tactics similar to the Occupy group — and expect to win similar favors from the city. “With the next group of protesters that comes in, do you up the ante?” he said.

He said he wondered whether lawmakers would be equally tolerant if anti-abortion protesters or a Neo-Nazi group set up camp outside City Hall.

Excellent question!  To be fair, pro-lifers are unlikely to generate the kind of filth and crime necessary to haul Mayor Villaraigosa to the bargaining table, but maybe the neo-Nazis should give it a try.

The City Council might also ask whether the Occupiers will be expected to pay the utility bills for their shiny new entitlement palace.  The ACLU thinks Occupy Minnesota is entitled to free electricity, so Occupy L.A. will probably expect the same.

One other question to ponder: who’s going to sign the $1-per-year lease L.A. taxpayers will be compelled by their city government and its union masters to offer?  I thought the Occupiers were a decentralized, leaderless grass-roots movement.  Who will control access to Dollar A Year Towers?  Can anyone just stroll in there and grab a piece of floor space, or will entry be restricted – and who will do the restricting?  Who’s going to sign the insurance paperwork on the building and the Occupied farmland?  Who will pay the property taxes?

The Associated Press pins the current taxpayer price tag for the national Occupy movement at $13 million and counting.  Just imagine the media hysterics that would have ensued if the Tea Party had forced America to pony up thirteen million bucks to cover its expenses, instead of paying its own way.  In fact, the Tea Party frequently paid highly inflated prices for its clean and orderly demonstrations.  In my home state of Florida, the city of Boca Raton overcharged the Tea Party with a ridiculous $6,000 bill, pumped up by politically hostile elements of the city government.  Donald Trump swooped in to save the day by paying their tab. 

But everybody gets to pay for the Occupy movement, whether they like it or not.  L.A. taxpayers may soon have the pleasure of buying them some real estate, as “occupation” turns to “conquest.”

 


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