Orange County Accepts Occupy Tents As Free Speech
On Tuesday, the city of Irvine voted unanimously to grant Occupy Orange County participants the right to permanently “occupy” the northeast corner of Harvard Avenue and Alton Parkway in Irvine.
More than 40 passionate Occupy Orange County CA participants spoke their minds at the city council meeting, according to the OOC website. Afterwards, Mayor Pro Tem Beth Krom requested a motion to vote on granting Occupy Orange County CA the right to sleep in tents at night and to allow The Peoples’ Village to become a permanent fixture at the intersection. All five city council members voted in favor of allowing the 24/7 encampment. In his seven years on Irvine’s city council, Councilmember Steven Choi said he had never witnessed a group given special consideration after public comments. “You should be proud,” said Choi.
The OOC community won its right to occupy in peace on the same night that police violently raided the Occupy Oakland encampment, using tear gas and night sticks against the protesters.
OOC says that their legal victory is a result of their adherence to local ordinances from the beginning of their occupation 11 days ago. During this time, OOC “night watch” participants moved to the sidewalk all night long in compliance with the city’s no camping stance. During this time, The Peoples’ Village was packed up every night at 10 p.m. and rebuilt every morning at 6 a.m. Despite these obstacles, Occupy Orange County CA participants were committed to creating a permanent encampment for doing “the peoples’ work.”
“This is a different kind of demonstration,” said Irvine City Council Member Larry Agran at the meeting. Irvine’s City Council members were impressed with how Occupy Orange County CA participants were respectful to city officials, police officials, neighbors, the city’s facilities, the general public and between the organization’s members themselves. “We are extremely grateful to the city of Irvine and its city council members for their unprecedented vision to sanction a true occupation in their fine city,” reads the website.
OOC organizers hope that being receiving approval as a permanent encampment will encourage other residents of the city to come out and join the revolution.
In solidarity with Occupy DC’s Robin Hood March and in celebration of their peaceful occupation being authorized by the city of Irvine, Occupy Orange County has organized a massive WE ARE ON THE GRASS free speech assembly and march to take place on Saturday, Oct. 29.
Citizens are urged to gather at The Peoples’ Village at 11 a.m. for a protest march in Irvine. Upon returning to The Peoples’ Village, the celebration continues with notable speakers, music and a teach-in at 6 p.m. New visitor orientation starts at 6:30 p.m. with the group’s nightly General Assembly starting at 7 p.m.