Irvine City Council to Allow Occupy Orange County to Camp

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Brandon Ferguson
"I don't understand a lot of what your message is," said Councilman Jeffery Lalloway at tonight's meeting of the Irvine City Council. "But by all means, if you want to sleep on our lawn. Sleep on our lawn." 

It was a surprising turn of events coming from a planned city known more for its shimmering corporate towers than its commitment to free speech. But the council voted unanimously to meet immediately with members of Occupy Orange County to hammer out a deal allowing protesters to camp 24/7 on the lawn in front of city hall.

 


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Brandon Ferguson
​The announcement was met with applause and joyful yelps at the end of a nearly six-hour session of the council which included more than 70 public comments. While a few comments were voiced by people with non-occupy aspirations, and included a guy in a Santa Clause suit, most came from articulate Occupy Orange County activists, many who have been assembled in front of Irvine City Hall for 11 days

Referencing the police's approach to protesters, which has witnessed officers corralling people to the sidewalks every night after 10 p.m. and asking them to keep moving until 6a.m., Councilman Larry Argran, explained, "They don't always get it 100 percent right. And we don't always get it 100 percent right. This is a new kind of demonstration." 

Mayor Sukhee Kang added, "We want to put all of that behind us."

Agran, who is also a lawyer, then read a series of passages from the city code that he said will allow a prolonged assembly with city approval. He added the council had ample room legally to facilitate protesters wishes. 

The governing body also apologized for the recent dousing of protesters early Saturday morning, which they attributed to an independent contractor who accidentally activated the system.

In his statement following public comments, Councilmember Steven Choi said in his seven years on the council, he had never seen a group get special consideration based on public comments. "You should be proud," he added.

Although council members voiced concerns about fires, semi-permanent structures and litter cleanup, Mayor Sukhee Kang and Agran were set to meet with representatives of Occupy Orange County tonight to discuss the specifics. 

Group organizer D'Marie Mulattieri was  beaming as she hugged members of the group while others shouted "this is what democracy looks like." When asked if she expected the council's support going into tonight's meeting, she replied, " I didn't know what to expect. I was hoping."

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Joe
Joe

We whoheartedly support Occupy for their courages and integrity. Keep up great work to protect our Great America and future from further destructions by politicans and WallStreet.Vote your heart out and get rid of these politicans.

Dragunov
Dragunov

i am writing from australia and have been following developments with some interest. i am moved to say congradulations to the soldier and marine commenting on,nay discussing, the subject in this section. as an outsider who held little belief in american democracy, my hope has been restored. thankyou gentlemen.

PatrickR
PatrickR

As they say about Irvine, "It's just another day in paradise."  Personally, I have no ax to grind on this one with the Council waiving the insurance policy and giving the protesters a conditional use permit to camp on the lawn.  From what I have seen the people at the City Hall site, are higher class wantabeee protesters.  Unlike the hard core violent troublemakers in New York, Oakland and other major cities, these people are well behaved. 

Not sure what they are protesting since most have jobs, but I support their right to express themselves as long as it is done in a peaceful and legal manner.  I am confident that Mayor Kang will be spending a lot of time among the crowd, shaking hands, kissing babies and trying to hustle a few votes.  Running in a Republican Congressional District, Kang needs every vote he can get and has about as much chance of getting elected as Larry Agran did when he ran for President, in his younger years.  Hey, Larry you should be out there kissing babies too.  With Obama sinking like the Titanic, the Democrats may be looking for a replacement in 2012.  Go for it!!!!!     

.
.

Homeless, KKK, God hates US folks, check in!!!  You can't grant to one group and not others.

Elizabeth Martin
Elizabeth Martin

You can't refuse the rights of one group out of fear that other groups will step forward and exercise their civil liberties.  We've spent far too long reacting and making decisions based on fear. So put on your big boy panties and get ready for one wild ride into social justice. You live in the land of the FREE and the home of the BRAVE. God Bless America and Peace be with you:)

The Minuteman Project
The Minuteman Project

This is wonderful news. 

Now I can call up 3500 Minuteman Project volunteers to camp out on the Irvine City Council lawn until our grievances are resolved, too.Can we bring RVs?Jim Gilchrist, Founder and President, The Minuteman Project

gj
gj

Good for the Irvine city council. Other councils should follow suit!

909Jeff
909Jeff

Good to see the Mayor has his priorities straight... Admonish firefighters for taking a fire truck 7 miles away from its home station and reward the degenerates who are blighting the city.  

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

Some of those degenerates have nice boobies; not exactly "blighting" in my eyes. 

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

If they want to camp out on the lawn, let them camp out on the lawn. I don't get what they want—they're notably long on rhetoric and short on specifics—but let them sleep outside if they want. Where I come from, we call that poverty, though, not camping.

Irvine in general is far too concerned with what might "blight" the city. Colorful doors? A blight on the city. Cars parked on the street? A blight on the city. A lawn that represents the reality of the desert we live in, rather than a lush green pelt of grass? A blight on the city.

Phooey.

909Jeff
909Jeff

I don't totally disagree... 

My issue is with what this city council, namely the mayor, deems to be a priority. There was a letter from the mayor to the Chief of the OCFA published in the register a couple days ago regarding the incident with the Hazmat team from station 4 

Scout Occupywallstreet Underwo
Scout Occupywallstreet Underwo

Democracy takes time. Consensus-building takes time. Heck, we almost went past curfew in the chambers last night and that was only one trivial topic. Messaging takes time.

See, the symptoms felt by the 99% are as broad as our citizen diversity is, though they know feel a common source...so we need time to hone in on it. These feeling need to turn into specifics. Without the time after a long day's work to come together and unite visions, a common set of specifics and messaging won't evolve. It's common knowledge that the voices seem disjointed for now, of course they would be. This is historically consistent.

The national/global situation is too complex for an answer to come out of thin air. We need time to exersize grassroots democracy and agree on courses of action. We converse, we promote, we vote...but we run out of time. With the 10pm curfew aside in Irvine, step back (or join in) and watch thing become clearer and clearer. Committees will form faster. Education will escalade. Messaging will chrystalize. The designs of the Founding Fathers will unroll as planned.

It's not really "camping" as much as a military platoon in the field "camps". There is a patriotic mission at hand. This is not blight, it's a mark of honor. We can set the model for all the other occupations nationwide as we gracefully work WITH our local government.

Anyway, hooray for the 1st Amendment. I am very, VERY impressed and proud of the Irvine city council. They are very clear on the U.S. Constitution.

Elizabeth Martin
Elizabeth Martin

Dave,You are not the 99%. No one person is the 99% and that is the problem with your analysis of this movement. It isn't a single issue problem, things seldom are, this is a call for change in the way we address problems, change in the way we resolve issues. This requires discussions, no one person has all the answers. To be successful the Occupy movement will open a discussion of the problems and possible solutions. Forcing politicians to THINK for a change.

Think big picture because this is a GLOBAL movement against greed and puppet politicians it's about a Supreme Court that's been bought by big businesses that have now been given the same status as you and I Dave, they are now people and they have lots of money to corrupt our already corrupt political system.

For those who don't know whether or not to help it's OK - all we ask is that you stay out of the way because we are fighting for your rights whether you are with us or not. We are our brother's keeper, we love our neighbors, we want the best for us all as individuals, neighbors, communities, Cities, States, the US and the world. We are the 99% and we will prevail. 

909Jeff
909Jeff

I really dont have it in me to argue with you guys right now... Thank you for the response and I really hope you narroe down your mission statement to something attainable

Scout Occupywallstreet Underwo
Scout Occupywallstreet Underwo

Why would I want Craigslist? I never looked for a job since college. I'm glad it worked for you. Ah, the power of Web 2.0. Anyway, I've always been head-hunted (still do), never been layed off and I have jobs lined up. I work a lot, and with intensity...including for goals bigger than my income. My whole life my vacations are short and few, but I love my current job and plan to stay.

Therefore, I want my growing company to prosper more. Well, the Fortune 500 clients I have are finding that consumers have no money - it got sucked up, out and overseas or vaporized with "creative" financial products. Woops. Now there's no middle class to consume their products. Occupy Wall Street folks are the brave ones who are calling the scandalous tyrants out.

All I want is the American dream back so my fellow Americans can prosper, including you (so you never get laid off again), me, my coworkers and my employer. This is how I proactively pursue a better life. Life isn't just about me. Therefore, I challenge the inner circle of crooks in Wall Street, the big banks and in Washington that are ruining this country I wore a uniform for. It took only 3% of the colonial population to organize and create America, and we're closing in on that number just to repair it back to what we had before.

All I know is that history proves that progressives always win in the end, otherwise we'd be in the dark ages. And brother, it's not even trying to change the world into the unknown for so many...it's just going back to what we had. Onward!

Scout Occupywallstreet Underwo
Scout Occupywallstreet Underwo

Anyways, we're on the same side not only as veterans who have concern for our nation, but I 100% agree that the Occupy movement needs a driving point. As a professional in the field of branding/marketing/pr/rep-mgt, it hurt to see the lack key principles. That's why I got involved. When I dropped in, I discovered it isn't so easy. There are a lot of people trying to pull the movement this way and that, including some crazy conspiracy theorists, leftists, Ron Paul folks, Tea Partiers, and so forth. It's frustrating building the consensus to get everyone to agree. However, discipline and organization is evolving and progress is totally being made. There is a solid structure forming. In fact, we set a goal for being allowed to stay past 10pm in the park and we met it with the help of city council. Now we can proceed. There is a big goal that the mainstream media didn't do a great job of covering...

Nationally, well...things are moving toward July 4th 2012 National General Assembly in Philedelphia where 2 people per 435 Congressional Districts will converge and discuss a charter of goals:

https://sites.google.com/site/...

Again, it's big and complicated so it will take time to refine.

ericOC
ericOC

Hi Jeff,

I'm not one of the protesters, but, frankly, your claim that you can represent what I, as one of the 32 million other Californians, might think about the Occupy Wall Street movement, is quite offensive.  You may not know your world as well as you think.  I have a steady job since 7 years ago, earn comfortably enough to live, own my house, and am saving for retirement.  I have only driven by the Occupy Wall Street protests in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and haven't even had the time to get out of the car.  Nonetheless, every person living in the United States who has even a vague grasp of the statistics about wealth distribution and political weight in this country should recognize that our democratic and egalitarian ideals correspond less and less well to the realities of our country.  This is what Occupy Wall Street is about, and it's a problem that concerns all of us who don't make over 500k a year (I certainly don't) and can't hire a lobbyist to represent our interests in congress.  It has nothing to do with adolescent discontent – it has to do with real facts and statistics about a country that is becoming even more polarized.

I'm glad you got a new job by September, and I hope your work is agreeable to you.  But you should recognize that Occupy Wall Street, just like "getting a job" (of course, many protesters do in fact have jobs), is also designed to "pursuing a better life" – for us all (or at least for 99% of us).  Including you, probably!  So you should thank these brave people who are actually standing up for us – you and me – rather than attacking them and assuming that they're unemployed and just complaining.  Hopefully more people will become involved with time, and economic groups which are now quite disenfranchised by comparison to 100 years ago will get more say in what our country does and how its wealth is disbursed.

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

If you wait to set your goals until you can accomplish all of them, you won't get anything done.

I never said it was a one-day protest. Set a goal and meet it, then set another goal and meet it. This is how those fat cats and cold hearts got where they are.

909Jeff
909Jeff

So everything you wrote boils down to this... 

A bunch of adults finally figured out that the world is cold, harsh place and they're throwing a tantrum because they're part of the have-nots...I lost my Job in July... I had a new one by September... All I have is a 4 year CSU degree and my resume! You can either be a victim or you can be proactive and pursue a better life. There are 32 million people in CA. There are probably 500 protestors between the two OC protests... the other 33.99 million people are laughing at your little fit and and wondering ho long it will be before you take your toys and go home.  The Hippies in the 60's thought they would change the world too, All they did was give future generations an easy Halloween costume and caused a short run in the patchouli market. I added the link to the craigslist jobs site above, USE IT! 

joes
joes

All the fat cats and cold hearts like to claim that the Occupy movement is "unorganized" and lacking "goals." Some of us are jobless, others are not. We are standing in solidarity not only with ourselves in mind, but all of society. We care not only about our personal responsibilities in society, as you do, but about social responsibility as well. There are many problems we have to address: poverty, wealth and income inequality, corporate collusion with the government, environmental harm, war, etc. If you want to spin the movement one way or another, sorry, it's not very easy, is it? The people occupying Irvine and other cities, let me remind you, are occupying public spaces for political reasons: raising awareness, conversing with others, sharing information, developing strategies, goals, etc. It's a movement, not a PR stunt or one day protest so we can all go back to our sorry reality we have little ways of influencing. And to the person who said that there needs to be a single, clear goal or message so the protest will take one day or so, Are you kidding? You obviously do not know anything about social struggles. The Women's, Civil Rights, anti-war, and other movements were long struggles and succeeded only because the protestors never gave up. We're not going anywhere--it's just begun. 

The Minuteman Project
The Minuteman Project

You spelled "eloquently" incorrectly.  

Moreover, as a Marine veteran, I forgive you for joining the U.S. Army. :)jim gilchrist 

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

I didn't make a personal attack. I "attacked" the group as not having a charter of goals they hope to accomplish; in fact, I specifically called out that I was NOT tagging you in particular. I also stand by my statement and will clarify: the most effective way to protest is to have a specific demand that can be negotiated.

Nowhere in my statements have I called your group a mob, directionless, jobless, lazy or socialist; I haven't specifically called you out as unorganized, though you are, in fact, unorganized, by your own admission. I can't do anything about other people calling you those things.I certainly have not been on the ground there. I can't think the last time I needed to go anywhere near the Irvine City Hall, since I live in Anaheim and only go to Irvine for the farmers markets, the bike trails and the occasional Chinese or Persian restaurant. I'm not aware of an occupying force in Anaheim, though.As a project manager with no real need to establish my bona fides, I will tell you that organizing yourselves "in public" undermines confidence in your cause. Also, try to avoid what's happened in other "Occupy" protests, where the we-bring-the-same-signs-to-every-protest people hog the spotlight. You know what I mean—free Mumia, the Palestine people, the marijuana legalization people. Try to get the group to form a consensus and then trumpet ONLY that cause.

My name is Dave, and I'm in the 99% of people who don't understand what it is you're fighting for and so can't decide whether to help you or not.

Scout Occupywallstreet Underwo
Scout Occupywallstreet Underwo

I appreciate the personal attack. I won't return one, you needn't worry.

Occupy Wall Street has been active for 5 weeks. Irvine has been less than two. Others are less than that. I ask of you patience please, then you will see history unfold. Try to question the rhetoric coming from the mainstream echo-chambers with mantas like mob, directionless, unorganized, jobless, lazy, socialist are seeded words.

On the ground here, a place that doesn't appear you have visited, there are dozens upon dozens of ideas and theories and endless people teaching them to each other but the common agreement is that democracy is broken. Yes, corporate personhood is one so there are people focusing on Citizens United. Yes, campaign finance is another, so there are people making a case for that. Yes, lobbyists are another yet. The list goes on. We are figuring out priorities and as one, your specifics will come.

As a former 19D Forward Recon Specialist for the U.S. army who has done bivouac for extended periods of time in South Korea, and as a corporate marketing/reputation-management and branding strategist for automotive, motorcycle and energy drink entities; and as person who actually visited the occupations...the word I elequantly selected was "mobilization". We are out of our homes, mobilized, and on a mission to fix our magnificent system that we all depend on to function.

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

Occupy Wall Street and its outlying occupation movements have been protesting for five weeks. I'm definitely not the only person who's confused by what exactly you hope to accomplish.

Protests are most effective when there's a definite milestone that would end them. Is it the removal of the concept of corporate personhood? Is it a specific plan for redistribution of wealth? If you want the actual 99% to support you, you have to identify a goal or a set of goals we are willing to support. Be specific; right now, you (the group, not you particularly) just appear to be whining malcontentedly.

Also, high-flown rhetoric aside, I believe the word you're looking for is "bivouac"—a military field camp.

S.A. Artist
S.A. Artist

Yes, the Santa Ana camp was there tonight to congratulate Irvine and share notes for the Santa Ana City Council meeting this coming Monday.  We now have two official Occupations going in Orange County and growing.     

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