[UPDATED: Occupy Irvine to End Encampment] Occupy Santa Ana Backs off Occupation

Categories: Occupy OC
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UPDATE, DEC. 20, 5:07 P.M.:  And then there were none. A week after Occupy Santa Ana ended its formal occupation of the Civic Center, Occupy Irvine has decided to do the same. 

According to activist D'Marie Mulattieri, who was responsible for setting up the original Occupy Orange County Facebook page almost four months ago, the last day of the encampment at Alton and Harvard will be January 11. 


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Brandon Ferguson
"The city has been very generous with the allowance of us being there and not interrupting us," said Mulattieri. "However, they do have other things coming up that they need that space for. Somebody has to say, 'When is this going to end?'"

With the raid on Occupy Los Angeles November 30th, Irvine was believed to be the last formal occupation of a public space utilizing camping equipment to protest corporate greed and government corruption.

Irvine activists won permission to camp on City Hall's lawn from the council on October 25. Until then, protesters had spent weeks sleeping on the sidewalk. 

At its height, the camp boasted 30 tents (as you can see above), a large pantry, PA equipment and weekend rallies attended by as many as a thousand people

But with the end of this experiment in social action on the horizon, it's clear the movement is changing. 

However, Mulattieri is quick to add that the movement will continue, explaining the group still has the option to assemble in the park between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Plans have been announced by Irvine and Santa Ana activists that include a protest of corporate personhood January 20th in front of Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana. 

Still, Mulattieri says there are those who are sad to see the camp coming to an end: "There are a few die-ard Occupiers that want to stay in tents and there are others who want to focus on other things. We feel it's time to go onto action initiatives to create change in this country."

Asked what she feels is he legacy of the Irvine Occupation, Mulattieri points to a shift in political discourse. "We created a lot of awareness," she says. "A lot of the conversation has changed from 'What coffee are you drinking at Starbucks' to 'What's going on in America?'"


ORIGINAL POST DEC. 19, 1:24 P.M.: After a bitter two-month protest which included cold nights spent in the Santa Ana Civic Center, fruitless appearances in front of the city council and multiple arrests, Occupy Santa Ana has given up its attempts at a long-term occupation of the county seat. 

According to activist Charles Cha, police told the group last week to take down their signs, which had been set up along the sidewalk near Broadway and Civic Center Drive since October 22. That night saw four protesters arrested for violating the city's no-camping ordinance

From the start, the group's goal was to undertake a long-term occupation of Santa Ana's Walk of Honor in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street in an attempt to focus public attention on corporate greed and government corruption. 

Santa Ana activists spent the next two months attending city council meetings arguing they had a First Amendment right to occupy the public space, while holding nightly general assemblies near the A-4 Skyhawk, which serves as a monument to the Marine Corps. After hours, a few brave souls teamed up with area homeless to spend the night in the concrete jungle, sans tents and therefore exposed to the elements. 

The city council denied the group permission to camp while offering up some patronizing advice on how they might change the world. Most chuckle-inducing was Council Member Michele Martinez, who said, "This global movement isn't just about your right to assembly; it's about your duty to vote." The council eventually signed a resolution offering symbolic support of Occupy's mission.

Since the November 30th raid on Occupy Los Angeles, Irvine is now the only city with a long-term action in Southern California--it would seem the movement has entered a new phase. But Cha says the recent developments in Santa Ana aren't a signal of the movement's death throes. "We're probably more active than ever," he says. 

Cha, who is currently camping with the Irvine group, explains the demands of fighting for an occupation while planning other community actions divided focus.  

"We didn't have the tents and critical mass to hold down that spot as well as organize our actions," says Cha. "It was becoming impractical." 

Despite the dissolution of the Occupation, the  group has continued to hold protests and work with other Occupations, most notably during last week's attempt to shut down the Port of Long Beach. The group also continues to hold daily general assemblies near the Skyhawk at 7:30 p.m.

It still remains unclear what prompted Santa Ana police to shut the Occupation down; a call to department spokesman Anthony Bertagna has yet to be returned. 

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23 comments
20ftJesus
20ftJesus

Hey OccuBrandon -- How much money was raised by D'Marie?  (Come on buddy; ask the tough questions like where did the cash go?)

Greg Diamond
Greg Diamond

Brandon, like the country song about closing time says, we don't have to go home but we can't stay there.  We won't be overnight in Irvine, but there are other places we may go, other cages to rattle.  All of that is under consideration.  (Hey, where does 20ftJesus live?  That might be a nice option.)  Our group is humming with ideas right now; we're all part of Occupy Orange County and don't be surprised if the 24/7 Occupation of Orange County does continues in physical as well as spiritualspace.

cook
cook

The cold weather may have frozen them out. I wondered where they when, everything was gone and the area was clean.

Gilberto Torres
Gilberto Torres

Sure the movement will pick up after the holidays, or at least till winter is over. There is so much public support for this movement.

MalikKingRN
MalikKingRN

On March 9, 2011 in Santa Ana, several Police brutally ordered a K-9 to attack an unarmed, California Registered (RN) and Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN). The California Highway Patrol in Orange County then attempted to cover up the incident.

Malik King, a reportedly "LVN since the age of nineteen" and California Registered Nurse since twenty three years of age, is said to have initially attempted to steal a car. Later it was found he was the owner of that Mercedes. What ensued next on the part of several officers goes well beyond the bounds of simply trying to subdue their suspect. 

The several police officers ordered a police K-9 to attack him while he was still fastened in his seat-belt, tasered multiple times while the K-9 attack continued for over one minute and thirty seconds, then hand cuffed, slammed to the ground, hog tied, beat and kicked in the head until unconscious. He was then taken to jail, accused of multiple felonies, and had to pay $50,000 for bail. 

Despite witnesses and the clear brutality of the beating, tasering, and ordered dog attack, California Highway patrol allowed several officers to remain active and attempted a cover-up. 

Violations of federal law occur when it can be shown that the force used was willfully "unreasonable" or "excessive". By signing this petition you agree that "unreasonable" or "excessive force" was used on Malik A. King on March 9, 2011 in California Orange County.

The beating of Mr. King is sickening and disturbing. The police involved in the beating and cover up must be brought to justice. Tell Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas to thoroughly investigate and prosecute the officers involved in the brutality of Malik A. King,LVN,RN.http://www.thepetitionsite.com...

D'Marie
D'Marie

I have had the honor of demonstrating with Charles Cha, who consistently shows up at events with a smile on his face and willingness to help. Most recently Charles helped me get the heavy audio equipment to the neighborhood church in Irvine where we show educational documentaries on Friday evenings.

Occupy Santa Ana has displayed determination, tenacity and courage to continue to pursue the right to occupy with tents to help bring attention to the plight of this country and the millions being foreclosed on.

Every Occupy in this country has every reason to be proud whether their occupation lasted one day or 88 days. This movement has sparked an open conversation about what is going on with our government's incestous alliances with greedy and corrupt mega corporations as well as the major banks that have ripped off the American taxpayers.

We are moving into the next phase of the occupation. We will continue to occupy the news as well as the hearts, minds and souls of Americans that want to work for positive change. We do not have to occupy a physical space to continue our work. In fact, we will be more focused not having to keep up with the daily chores of an encampment. Not allowing Occupy to camp may turn out to be a huge blessing for all honest hearted Americans that value their democracy and freedom.

We invite all proud and courageous Americans to join Occupy Orange County CA on Friday, January 20th as we Occupy the Courts to demonstrate the need to amend Citizens United to strip corporations of their personhood and restore the power of the vote at the polls to the American people. For more info: https://www.facebook.com/Occup...

Like the Occupy Movement, this event is trans-partisan. Everyone is invited to help reverse this disasterous Supreme Court ruling. Lift your voice to declare that two legged homo sapiens are people not corporations.

And the Occupation continues . . .

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

Awesome!  Now, get the Occudummies out of Irvine. 

Greg Diamond
Greg Diamond

OK, cowardly blasphemer, I'll handle this one to the best of my understanding.  We received some donations.  (We didn't "raise" money.)  That money was not "raised by D'Marie."  Much of the cash didn't "go" anywhere yet.  We've had expenses like the portable toilet that is not visible from the street and (I think) some transportation expenses for going to other actions (such as Occupy LA, the Port closure, etc.)  The remaining money is accounted for and has been handled properly.

If you want to make accusations, come out and do it.  Or use your own blog for it.

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

D'Marie: 

I see you guys have decided NOT to pay for the damage to the lawn.  From the OCR:

As for the lawn, protesters will not be held responsible for replacing it. The grass was slated for replacement and was in bad shape prior to the protesters' arrival, Wolf said. The lawn is maintained by the Westpark Homeowners Association.

Wolf is full of crap -- the lawn was fine before you camped on it and now the Westpark HOA has to pay for its replacement?  Why don't you do the right thing and compensate them?

Gilberto Torres
Gilberto Torres

How are they dummies? Have you participated in any discussions with them? They are in fact quite bright and talented if you ask me. I encourage you to talk to these people maybe learn a thing or two.

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

So, how much and who is holding it?

(BTW, can you deduct expenses for an invisible portable toilet?)

RudyTorrent
RudyTorrent

The banks and Wall Street parasites have done more to waste your money than a group of activists.  You should direct your hate and anger at the corporate powers that have hijacked your democracy and anally rape us without even the courtesy of a reach-around. 

Greg Diamond
Greg Diamond

It's kikuya grass and it will grow back in the spring.  We've made no decision about how to continue with the grass.  Two months of unbeautiful grasslessness on the corner will not destroy Irvine's fighting spirit, if it comes to that.

Sugarkain79
Sugarkain79

You need to stop worrying about a patch of grass and turn to more important subjects like what the message is behind it. you need to wake up and look at the state of our country and corrupt government. you no longer have basic rights and more eery day are being taken from you, so a patch of grass is the least of the important issues on the list. btw I live right next to the occupation and never heard any noise . honestly you need to concentrate on real issues.

D'Marie
D'Marie

Well 20ftJesus, it is clear that you were not in Irvine on October 15th, the first day of OOC's occupation. If you were, then you would know that Mr. Wolf has expressed one hundred percent truth about the condition of the lawn.

In fact, I personally have video proof that the grass was a yellow brown in its winter dormant stage. The grass is not ruined. Every week that the camp has been on the lawn the village was dismantled and moved off the grounds so that maintenance could water the lawn. This was a huge undertaking to do every Tues and Friday and that is still part of the Letter of Understanding which will be followed until January 11th.The only damage that may have occured is that a few times the city actually overwatered the grass, however, this particular grass is hearty and its almost impossible to kill it. It thrives so well that it is actually banned in many parts of Southern California for fear that it will take over and strangle other plants. Irvine just happens to be one place that allows for it to be grown.

OOC would actually like to see the corner be improved into something more sustainable and is talking to the City of Irvine about actually help them do it.

It really amazes me that people want to talk about grass and noise when our country is being dismantled one step at a time. I don't know how old you are 20ftJesus, however, I remember a time when my civil liberties were available to me and I wasn't being spied on by Big Brother 24/7. Perhaps that is something you have grown up with. And before you retort that you are not being spied on, I will encourage you to do your homework. Try depositing more money in your bank account than is considered normal for you and see how quickly it gets frozen for investigation. Big Brother has so many ways of tracing you and your habits you have no idea.

Grass and noise and perhaps some unsightly tents is what neighbors want to complain about while our government declares the United States a battlefield and is passing legislation to detain Americans without charge indefinetely in internment camps,  threatening to censor the Internet and taking away the rights of Americans to choose alternative health treatments or share organic food with neighbors....dear Jesus . . . wake up!!!

We are currently living in the United Corporations of America where the rights of corporations supersede the rights of humans. Where the Federal Rerserve bails out banks that were gambling with taxpayers money with 29 Trillion dollars  (Congress only approved 7 Trillion and didn't know about the rest until an audit was demanded) and then they have the nerve to turn around and foreclose on homeowners that have lost their jobs thanks to the economy crisis that THEY created! . . . dear Jesus . . . wake up!!!

Hegetarian
Hegetarian

1.  You are entirely wrong.  The lawn WAS slated for replacement and therefore not being watered. You haven't been paying attention, and YOU'RE full of crap. 

2.  Typical OC douchebag, prioritizing lawns before people.  Merry Christmas, go fuck yourself. 

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

Well, let's count their accomplishments:1)  Disturbing the neighbors next to Irvine city hall.2)  Consoling deadbeats as they squat in foreclosed homes.3)  Destroying the lawn and making Irvine look like Santa Ana.4)  Establishing a homeless encampment.5)  Showing propaganda movies on Friday night.

SkizzNott
SkizzNott

I agree with both 20ftJesus and D'Marie here.  I live across the street from where the protest was taking place and watched the area degrade rapidly.  Personally it looked more like a transient camp than a protest toward the end of things, even though it did start out as a protest with signs rallies.

The government has been viciously encroaching upon our rights in the last few months, with SOPA and NDAA.  They are both vulgar abuses of power that thankfully have not passed, yet.

D'Marie, we are however living in a society that we have created.  This is not a communist society where the wealth is distributed equally throughout the people and I feel that this is what the "Occupy" protestors are trying to fight for.  Thankfully the Federal Reserve did bail out the banks when they did avoiding plunging us into a far worse depression than the 1930s, which was exactly where we were heading.  The writing was on the walls for that to happen for a very long time and it wasn't merely corporate greed that created the mess that we are in now, but greed in general.

I watched people buying homes far above their means, taking out 80/10/5/5% loans on these homes so that they could afford the payments for the first year or two, but when those first 5% loans became due, the buyers could not afford them.  Tell me, how could a landscaper making $20,000 a year supporting a family of 5 think that they could afford a $700,000+ home?  They simply wanted it.  They went to the banks asking for it, the banks were willing to do it knowing that eventually someone else would be left carrying that debt.

And it wasn't just home buyers, it was all these people buying high priced items that the average joe would not normally be able to afford.  $2,000+ louis Vuitton purses, BMWs, Breitling watches.  The list goes on and on.  Most of these things are not items that Mary in accounting typically can afford or Bill in Customer Service drives.  So people over extended themselves by their own greed and now are blaming corporate greed and calling themselves the 99%.  It is pathetic.

We are actually fortunate that we do live where live.  We can build a successful business.  It may not be easy and we may not be one of the chosen few to become a multi-billionaire, but it is possible.  

Guest
Guest

So Basically Greg, you know you're beat and have nothing to say or add to the discussion right? douche.

Greg Diamond
Greg Diamond

Let me see: do I want to have a serious conversation with someone who calls himself "20ftJesus"?  No, I do not.

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