THE PLAN TO OCCUPY MAY 1st
Temecula, CA – Spring is in the air and so is the Occupy Movement. On November 15, 2011, Occupy LA’s General Assembly consented to planning for a May 1st People’s General Strike. For the effective mobilization of Los Angeles communities, the General Strike Preparation Committee broke into four separate winds of ‘caravans’ – North, South, East, and West - each with their own distinct and mixed cultures and economics, converging at Pershing Square, downtown Los Angeles.
For May 1st, 2012 Occupy Los Angeles is organizing around a “4 Winds” People’s Power Car and Bike Caravan through the urban sprawl of Los Angeles that will culminate in direct action in and around the Financial District of downtown LA. People from all sectors of the city will have a chance to plug in to the routes from any corner of the city, helping to shut down the flow of capital while addressing the 99%’s major grievances or issues, which are: HOUSING & EDUCATION as HUMAN RIGHTS, LGBTQ RIGHTS, END THE POLICE STATE, ECONOMIC JUSTICE, and IM/MIGRANT RIGHTS.
These 4 caravans, beginning in the morning, coming from the North, South, East & West, will be an amalgam of cars and bikes, Occupiers and unions, community organizations and organic communities — taking over our streets on routes designed to bring to light to society’s ills, past and present, engaging with residents and workers as we connect the disparate voices, races, classes and nationalities that make up Los Angeles. The caravans will stop at flashpoints along the way. Flash occupations, food giveaways, and other direct actions targeting the foreclosure crisis and police brutality will be undertaken at these flashpoints on our slow, city-paralyzing, carnival-esque descent into the center of the city.
The convergence point at 6th & Main streets, at 2:30 PM, will have the People’s Print Lab, the Welcome Tent, the Wellness Tent, and will be focused on shining light on LA’s homeless issues, feeding the people of Skid Row and raising awareness of social and economic inequality, including the brutally ineffective Safer Cities Initiative that criminalizes the homeless population while doing absolutely nothing to change the systemic problems that make LA the homeless capital of the country. At 3 PM, we will mobilize direct actions in the financial district of downtown LA. Now let’s look at the four Winds and where they will be blowing in from, and remember to BRING AN EXTRA CASE OF WATER TO THE STRIKE:.
The West Wind is a caravan from the Pacific Ocean to the center of downtown LA, highlighting the lack of effective public transportation between downtown and the coast, making travel times for the working poor who commute between the two unfathomable. The 1st flashpoint will be targeting the VAs misguided use of the land surrounding the center, land that was initially set aside for use as residences for homeless veterans, while allowing students at UCLA to join the caravan in protest of tuition hikes and other cutbacks to education. Continuing west on Wilshire into Beverly Hills, the 2nd flashpoint, on Rodeo Drive, highlights the obliviousness of the 1% regarding the struggles of the 99% with a “Let them eat cupcakes!” direct action right in the 1%’s backyard. Occupy LA’s Queer Affinity Group and Occupy Fights Foreclosures will join the caravan from the Bank of America action at the 3rd flashpoint at Wilshire and LaBrea — after highlighting the current foreclosure crisis and busting the myth of the “affluent gay,” before continuing on to MacArthur Park, the scene of the infamous May Day Melee in 2007, where the LAPD fired less-lethal ammunition indiscriminately into crowds, injuring children, mothers and journalists during the annual May 1st march for immigrant rights. Then we take to our streets on foot, marching to the convergence.
[Let Them Eat Cupcakes Flash Mob meets at 9:30 AM to plan]
Rally: 10 AM — Wilshire & Ocean
Caravan begins: 10:30 AM
1st Flashpoint: 11:30 AM — Wilshire and Federal (Veterans Affairs, Federal Building, UCLA)
[11:30 AM start by OLA Queer Affinity Group & Occupy Fights Foreclosures]
2nd Flashpoint: 12 PM — Rodeo Dr & Santa Monica Blvd (Beverly Hills)
3rd Flashpoint: 12:30 PM — Wilshire & Labrea (Bank of America)
4th Flashpoint: 1:30 PM — 6th St & Alvarado (MacArthur Park)
March to Convergence: 2 – 2:30 PM 6th St & Main St (border of Skid Row)
Join the West Wind Caravan here.
The South Wind travels though pockets of middle class neighborhoods, surrounded by vast, impoverished areas which have sometimes been compared to Soweto: a racially segregated township which has seen decades of brutal and violent state repression and economic neglect.
On May 1st, 2012, by declaring a People’s General Strike, all the communities of South LA in conjunction with Occupy LA, will peacefully and proudly reclaim their community from the oppressive, and exploitative rule of the 1%. To achieve this goal, the South Wind is reaching out to immigrants, The Black Riders Liberation Party, Black and White clergy, the Interfaith community, The Black Panthers, The Black Employees Association, the black lesbian group, Here to Stay Coalition, the South Central Neighborhood Council, the South Central farmers, South East Workers Alliance, The Youth Justice Coalition, The Nation of Islam and other organizations in the neighborhood.
The South Wind recalls the words of the prominent pastor and theologian, Reverend Dr. Lewis E Logan II, at the General Assembly of Occupy LA, who said the clergy have “a moral obligation not only to speak on the pulpit, but to be actively engaged in the campaign for the empowerment of the less privileged in the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King.”
The intention is to travel in solidarity along Los Angeles’ Central Avenue, with its historic and inspiring milestones in the struggle for civil and human rights in America. Gathering at 10 AM at Cal State University Dominguez Hills (you’ll spot us circling the campus caravan style), a purportedly public university which, like every college in the United States in 2012, imposes punitive fees on students which deprive the working poor of their human right to an education. The South Wind People’s Power Bike & Car Caravan will set off at 10:30 AM to make its way through Compton & Watts.
The first flashpoint will be at 112th Street, The Maxine Waters Employment Preparation Center — one of the adult education facilities threatened with being shut down by the LAUSD school board and superintendent. As the rich in this country continue to grow richer, one of the most impoverished neighborhoods in California is being told that adult education will be taken away from the community, because it is not ‘profitable’. Continuing on just a few blocks we’ll be making another stop, our second flashpoint, at Ted Watkins Park on 103rd and Central — a community gathering spot and adjacent to public housing which is scheduled for privatization.
Our caravan of vehicles will continue to move along Central Avenue through Compton and Watts, the community in which The Black Riders Liberation Party have been organizing and forging truces between gangs of warring factions for nearly twenty years. A slow-driving and biking 5 miles later we’ll pull off at 41st and Central to honor some of the survivors from the original LA chapter of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. We will honor our sisters and brothers who were ambushed by the LAPD in December 1969, and had to defend themselves from a brutal and unprovoked attack. Since 2007 alone, over 200 people, the majority of which are people of color, have been killed by the LAPD and LA County Sheriffs. We will also honor some of those who have passed, such as Geronimo Ji-Jaga and Sister Somayah (who was also subsequently a leader of the medical marijuana movement as part of her natural herbal healing for the effects of sickle-cell anemia).
Our last flashpoint will be in vicinity of LA Trade Technical College (community college district) and Abram Friedman Occupational Center — to defend community colleges against cutbacks, fee increases and tendencies towards privatization, and defend adult schools and regional occupational centers for adults — again visiting the lack of educational opportunities available today. We park our cars here and march past the Staples Center to the convergence.
RISE-UP LA, an action oriented group of youth fighting the Prison Industrial Complex, is holding a march that meets up with the South Wind Caravan at 41st & Central. They will be mobilizing between 9-10 AM at the corner of Florence & Normandie, commemorating the beginning of the LA Rebellion, 20 years and 2 days after it broke out after Rodney King’s attackers were acquitted. The march will begin at 10 AM, traveling down Florence to Central, where it will join the South Wind and continue on into downtown.
The South Wind makes several stops along the route, all with an emphasis on the need for economic emancipation and racial justice in this oft neglected and ignored majority black and brown community. Our brothers and sisters there that day have tirelessly served despite the penalties this has brought upon them from the system.
Our unprecedented show of solidarity on this May 1st General Strike – as people of color, activists, clergy, youth, community organizers, community members, become brothers and sisters united in struggle – we accept that our unity will be perceived as threatening to the state apparatus who wish to silence us. Knowing this, in addition to being accompanied and monitored by journalists from different parts of the world, the South Wind has assembled a team of local and international legal/human rights observers. For one day, May 1st 2012, we disparate groups – black, brown, red, and oppressed whites – will stand up to commence a citywide, nonviolent campaign for living-wage jobs, good public education, economic opportunities, justice for immigrants, with human and civil rights for all.
Begin: 10 AM — CSU Dominguez Hills
Caravan begins: 10:30 AM
1st Flashpoint: 11:15 AM — 112th & Central (near Maxine Waters Employment Prep Center)
2nd Flashpoint: 11:45 AM — 103rd & Central (Ted Watkins Park)
3rd Flashpoint: 12:30 PM — 41st & Central (historic BPP shootout w/ LAPD)
4th Flashpoint: 1:30 PM — Figueroa & Washington Bl (LA Trade Tech)
Park & March to Convergence: 1:45-2:30 PM 6th St & Main St (border of Skid Row)
Sign up for the South Wind Caravan here.
The East Wind Caravan from East LA to Downtown will be focused on building community empowerment to get people moving into the center of Los Angeles for a strong and powerful May Day 2012. Starting at Cesar Chavez and Atlantic with a speak-out at the Steven Rodriguez Peoples’ Memorial to highlight the issue of Police Brutality, Special Order 1, and the rise of the Police State in this country, we will then march in procession to vehicles where we will mount our Caravan.
One of our points of unity for calling this General Strike and Day of Action has been a call for an ending of the Police state in this country. After this, we will then move on to Obregon Park, set in a residential neighborhood in close proximity to a high school and elementary school, and a short way south from CSU Los Angeles and east of ELAC, to hold a rally and discussion on Education as a human right. We bring this issue to the front because of the absurdity of this world in reverse when it spends more on funding prisons than on funding schools. Education, at all levels, is a human right, and should be treated as such.
The caravan will continue on to Mariachi Plaza—set behind White Memorial Hospital—a large non-unionized hospital suffering cut-backs in Boyle Heights. Here we will discuss the need to prioritize Healthcare as a human right—in this land of wealth, it is astronomically immoral that thousands die for lack of care they have a right to. Next we park our cars, occupy the Metro Gold Line and head to Union Station and the Historic Placita Olvera to begin our final march to the convergence on Main Street.
10:00am: Gather at Chavez/Atlantic, Hold speak out and discussion on police brutality in the community
10:50–Walking Procession Past ELAC to Belvedere Park where we Mount Vehicles
11:30am: Depart from Belvedere Park in Cars/Bikes/Trucks and proceed along Chavez to Obregon Park (Making a loop past Esteban Torres High School)
12:00 – 12:30pm: Education Speak-Out/Discussion at Obregon Park
12:30pm: Depart along 1st street to the West heading to Mariachi Plaza
1pm – 1:30pm: Mariachi Plaza–Drop off People, parks cars on street–Rally/discussion on Healthcare–
1:30pm: Load onto Metro (Bikers probably will head via streets) to Union Station
1:50: Gather at Park across from Union Station/Placita Olvera, March to 6th and Main Convergence point by 2:30pm
Join the East Wind Caravan here.
The North Wind gets an early start! 7 AM Panorama High School students and Occupy San Fernando Valley members will be marching to Hermandad Mexicana at 8 AM, where a vegan breakfast will be served to replenish the early marchers, and get the main force ready for a 9 AM start. The march will proceed up Van Nuys Blvd. to the Van Nuys Civic Center, where a General Assembly will be held outside of Congressman Berman’s office. Part of the discussion at the GA will be focused around what the participants want to take as their next step on the way to the convergence downtown.
Some participants may want to head over the County Federation of Labor/Teamsters “American Reclamation” (starts at 11 AM) action in Glendale before continuing on in a caravan into Chinatown. The majority will likely march through Van Nuys, targeting the Worker’s Compensation building before occupying the Metro by 12:30 PM (Orange Line) at Van Nuys & Oxnard – and changing to the Red Line at the North Hollywood Station to meet the East Wind at 1:45 PM at the historic Placita Olvera, where they will march to the convergence at 6th & Main.
7AM – Panorama High School
8AM-9AM – Hermandad Mexicana (7915 Van Nuys Blvd.)
11AM – Van Nuys Civic Center
12:30PM – Orange Line (Van Nuys & Oxnard)
1:45PM – Placita Olvera
2:30PM – 6th & Main
After a day of actions and outreach that cripples capitalism in the city, Occupy Los Angeles will be hosting a special General Assembly at 7PM at Pershing Square. We will show those who ‘claim’ power, where the true power lies — in our dedication to talking with each other and empowering ourselves to solve our own problems, the problems of the 99%.
Everyone is welcome! Everyone will be heard.
Occupations, individuals, groups, organizations and trade unions across the nation, seething with righteous outrage at the oppression of the people as they express their discontent with the deliberate silencing of all those who oppose the concentration of wealth and power into the hands of the 1%, have taken this call up in droves. 60 cities across the nation have called for a People’s General Strike, and pledged to walk out of schools, call in sick to work, and disrupt the financial system by refusing to participate in it for one day – May 1st, 2012. Despite this, the mainstream media has restated its allegiance with the 1% by its silence and deliberate negligence in covering what promises to be a day of solidarity and unity between all those who have had enough of suffering injustice and inequality at the hands of the rich.
Of course, just because this is historic, and because no living human being has seen an anti-Capitalist mass mobilization of this magnitude in the United States in their lives, doesn’t mean it’s news. Much like the fact of having hundreds of occupations in public squares going on at the same time wasn’t news last fall, this national Occupy event seems a bit ho-hum to the Mainstream Media just 3 days before May 1.
Without further ado, the list of participating cities as of 4/27 is
115 cities 125 cities and
rising, can be found here.
(All emphasis – Ed)