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Orange County Accepts Occupy Tents As Free Speech

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.

Related Reading:

City Spends Millions To Occupy Oakland [Photos]

Police Arrest Nurse Volunteers At Occupy Chicago

Mark Ruffalo Connects Keystone XL, Fracking, And #OWS

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44 comments

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4:52AM PDT on Nov 3, 2011

Thanks for the article.

9:00AM PDT on Oct 31, 2011

I am so proud of the Irvine City Council. I never expected a unanimous vote - the council is typically split 3 - 2 progressive - conservative. They showed last week that the Constitution is more important to all of them than a left-right divide. They deserve recognition, as does Occupy OC (I don't know if it would have turned out that had we not filled the council chambers.)

But you should know that Irvine is unique in Orange County. Occupiers in Santa Ana were met with brutality. Please continue your support and solidarity for all Occupy sites. Peace to all!

4:03AM PDT on Oct 31, 2011

Great job Orange County
Showing you have allowed people their right.
Now OWS keep it peaceful. Your voice is being heard
Close your bank accounts and go to a CU

1:27PM PDT on Oct 30, 2011

Finally a city goverment that is doing the right thing. Not like Denver (the mayor) the state of Colorado (the governor) who can't seem to act fast enough to stop OCCUPY DENVER. I wish they would look to Orange County for knowledge and guidance.

1:25PM PDT on Oct 30, 2011

Finally a city goverment that is doing the right thing. Not like Denver (the mayor) the state of Colorado (the governor) who can't seem to act fast enough to stop OCCUPY DENVER. I wish they would look to Orange County knowledge and guidance.

12:25PM PDT on Oct 30, 2011

Good for them!!!!

10:38AM PDT on Oct 30, 2011

This is amazing for the OC, I am truly grateful that there has been a change of consciousness with those in charge.

7:36AM PDT on Oct 30, 2011

The 1% has stated that they have been wrongfully targeted and they have announced that they will begin a campaign against those traitors to capitalism, those greedy 99% activists.

The 1% have vowed to occupy a Hilton Hotel in every major city in the US, they have further vowed that they will not be removed, no matter how much it cost YOU, the American people.

1:32AM PDT on Oct 30, 2011

Occupy Orange County CA = AWESOME

A lot of cities could afford to learn from Orange County.

I'm looking at you Oakland.

6:54PM PDT on Oct 29, 2011

This community knows how to accept legal protest. It makes me proud to be a United States citizen, unlike the harsh, and as far as I am concern, illegal response in Oakland.

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