Less than 24 hours after Oakland police forcibly cleared the encampments of Occupy Oakland with tear gas and rubber bullets, Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl is telling Occupy protestors in Los Angeles it's "time to move on."
"They've made their statement. I agree with their statement, but it is time to move on. The trees are in the process of being impacted. The grass is being impacted. Other activities that we need to do on the lawns are being put on the back burner," said Councilman Bill Rosendahl.
In Oakland, where nearly 200 Occupy protesters had taken up residence, police moved in, claiming the encampment had become a health hazard. Police in riot gear arrested 85 protesters on Tuesday....
Some Los Angeles protesters said despite concerns about damaged grass and run-ins with police at similar encampments across the country, they plan to stand their ground on the lawn of City Hall.....
"I frankly think if we can be civil about it, they should get the message that it's time to move on from our lawn at City Hall. It is everybody's lawn, not just those with their tents right now," said Rosendahl.
Only three weeks ago, Rosendahl and other City Council members were described as "giddy" in their support of Occupy Los Angeles.
|Councilman Bill Rosendahl, when he still cared more about people than lawns.|
“It’s an entourage of peace makers!” Walsh said giddily as he walked toward the protest with Councilmen Bill Rosendahl, Eric Garcetti, Ed Reyes and Dennis Zine.
“It’s the right thing to do,” said Zine, who until recently was a registered Republican. “We could just drive by them, or we could go talk to them.”
The lawmakers, dressed in dark suits and surrounded by aides, caused a stir when they approached the rag-tag collection of tents, tarps and sleeping bags just off of Temple Street. News media and protesters armed with video cameras swarmed as the officials shook hands and introduced themselves.
Rosendahl told one woman that he empathized with the demonstrators, especially with their complaints about the role of banks in the foreclosure crisis.
“We are not enemies with the people here,” Rosendahl said. “Many of us totally agree with you that the situation we’re in is truly intolerable.”
Rosendahl and Garcetti, the two council members who remained, called for equality in fiery speeches. When Garcetti shouted, “This is your City Hall!” the crowd repeated, "This is our City Hall!"
“Stay as long as you need," Garcetti told them. "We’re here to support you.”
Or, if Councilmen Rosendahl gets his way, until the lawn gets ratty enough to embarrass the neighbors.
Feel free to give my councilman a call if you think people are more important than lawns. His number is 213-473-7011
Occupy LA is reporting the following on their Facebook page:
"News from inside Rm 340 at City Hall. Bill Rosendahl just stated to an occupier that he was misquoted by ABC news, comments were taken out of context. He supports the occupation, and won't be doing any more interviews with news outlets."
Rosendahl emailed me, essentially saying the same thing. I asked him how he was specifically misquoted, and if he would like to make another statement for the record. On Rosendahl's own Facebook page wall, he had this to say in reaction to the original KABC story:
They've made their statement. I agree with their statement, but it is time to move on.
I haven't heard back from Bill. I'll let you know if I do.