Occupy Orange County Morale Still High and Gaining Supporters

P1010530.jpg
Brandon Ferguson
This morning marked Occupy Orange County's first big event since Tuesday when the Irvine city council unanimously granted the group permission to camp 24/7 on the civic center lawn.

The atmosphere was jubilant as nearly 100 activists, hoisting signs decrying corporate injustice, gathered in front of city hall with Councilman Larry Agran, a 1992 presidential candidate for the Democratic Party nomination, as media photographers snapped away. 


Agran.jpg
Brandon Ferguson
Irvine City Councilmember Larry Agran (center, gray sports coat) shows Occupy support
Protesters loudly thanked the council for their support before starting the procession, which snaked from the intersection of Harvard Avenue and Alton Parkway, several blocks to the intersection of Jamboree and Barranca.

Along the way, marchers shouted thanks to police officers as they zipped by on motorcycles or sat parked in cruisers along the route. 

After 45 minutes, the group returned to what the protesters are calling People's Village -- now abloom day and night with 30 tents.

One activist, who gave his name as Jai, made the trip from the Occupy Long Beach location where camping isn't allowed. As he surveyed the rows of tents with approval, he commended Irvine on it's success in garnering council support. 

"I'm proud of what you guys have done here," he said.

Though morale was high, the group's future at the civic center is far from assured. Aside from seeing a smaller turnout than previous marches, the recent meeting with city officials only secured a temporary, two week permit to camp.

A big question remains: Will Irvine officials renew the permit?

Regardless of the uncertainty, everybody who was asked today said they'll continue with weekly marches and nightly general assembly meetings. 

"My dream is to continue to occupy as long as we're allowed to," said 55-year-old Garden Grove resident Donna Haney. "I'm not a lawbreaker. I may not always be polite or easily silenced, but my vision is to Occupy Irvine as the symbolic financial district of Orange County." 

While it remains to be seen if the honeymoon will continue, up to this point, Irvine police have been exceedingly respectful of protesters, even when asking them to keep moving on the sidewalk in the wee hours of the night so as to avoid violating the city's no camping law. Several speakers stood before the council on Tuesday and expressed thanks for the department's handling of the group's occupation. 

Meanwhile in Santa Ana, a smaller group--say, 20 people--continues to protest around the clock near Orange County's Board of Supervisor's building. Cops there have threatened those who attempt to camp using tents with arrest.

They made good on this position last Saturday with four arrests following an inaugural march.

On Nov. 7, Occupy Santa Ana protesters plan to ask the city council for permission to begin camping.
My Voice Nation Help
10 comments
D'Marie Mulattieri
D'Marie Mulattieri

This is what democracy looks like!!! Thanks for the greatarticle. The two week Letter of Understanding between the City of Irvine andthe Occupy Orange County CA movement is to work out the actual logistics sothat we can cohabitate successfully. We fully expect that there will be an extension!Thank you to the City of Irvine and its officials for standing up for freedomof speech and assembly. We are not using the park to camp; we are using thepark as an expression of our speech . . . to help draw awareness to the plightof the average American that is being foreclosed on . . . approximately 40million citizens will be affected by foreclosure before this crisis ends.

Born to be Me
Born to be Me

If the Faculty at both Harvard, Yale and Berkeley support this campaigning, I am all for it!

Aearthling
Aearthling

I understand the country is messed up, but I really don't see what these "occupations" will do...

Guest
Guest

Did anyone ever think that Irvine let's this go on so that they can get more sales tax dollars from people who don't live in Irvine and get some good press out of it? It costs them almost nothing to let the protesters do what they are doing and they make bank from people who are against making money. And the best part is that it gives the Irvine residents some great entertainment. Brilliant.

Sunshine
Sunshine

I think you need a new adding machine.  There were SEVERAL HUNDRED at the protest today and SEVENTY people spoke at the city council meeting on Tuesday.  We are all still very energized and coming out in numbers that is unbelievable for conservative Orange County.

909Jeff
909Jeff

The "Average American" that is being foreclosed on is because they bit off more than they could chew... I knew what Caveat Emptor meant since Jr High. the percentage of people getting fraudulently or as your Occupy movement calls it "illegally" foreclosed on that are true victims of fraud is nominal... Not to mean they deserve it because no one deserves to be the victim of fraud but the vast majority of foreclosures are people who deserve to be foreclosed on 

S.A. Artist
S.A. Artist

 Most of these protesters are not against making money, and they are not allowing the city to make "bank"  in any way.  The Occupy group is looking for alternative economic structuring because the current system is polluted with corruption.  People of conscience do not want to collaborate with the current system any more than they have to, and yet they still have to do so outside of the camps.   It is not an all in or all out situation.  Occupiers are reformists not society destroyers.   

909Jeff
909Jeff

the only current theme that comes out of this group is the redistribution of wealth which for the layperson means... Tax the shit out of the wealthy and give it to the "less fortunate" for  not doing a damn thing. 

Now Trending

Anaheim Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...