On Wednesday morning at 9 AM, the Occupy OC villagers lifted up their village, folded it into their luggage, and headed up north… to Fullerton, where they raised their first sign on the corner of Commonwealth & Highland at 10:00 am.
At 4:00 pm that same day, their Civic Liaison team was invited into the City Hall conference rooms to meet with Councilman Bruce Whitaker & Police Chief Dan Hughes, among other important figures in the city super-structure, and discuss the path to come. – The city already had an almost profound understanding of not just “what” Occupy OC was… but also how it had set itself apart as an Occupation focused on working together WITH the cities in order to secure an actual, local, legislative change while raising awareness, and leaving a legacy of Council Members actively and publicly engaging activists, without getting bullied or burned. (Occupy OC agrees, that any action it takes which may result in the tear-gassing or arrest of it’s participants, will occur at action sites outside the city it is currently petitioning for redress.)
They actually had copies of our letters of understanding with Irvine. – *Kudos, Fullerton.*
At this meeting, the city, already having an understanding that there would soon be tents on the ground and that these particular Occupiers would like to avoid controversy, (since the other Occupations had already provided that along with ample media coverage) invited the Occupiers to camp along Harbor Blvd. (Fullerton’s main road) at the Brea Dam. – The was initially volunteered as an act of good faith by the city representatives at the outset, and DID NOT have to be demanded or requested.
The Occupation is not being offered special treatment above or outside the citizenry. This park has been used as a camping site in the past and so there is precedent… however, the necessary permits still must be acquired. – In the past, (before our intentions had been proven) the villagers in Irvine had to sit on the sidewalks without tents overnight for 10 days awaiting the next upcoming city council meeting where they could be heard. – Not in Fullerton. It was offered here, (on the tails of the work that Sharron Landers and the Irvine City Council had done) that Councilman Whitaker would call the other Council Members in an effort to both obtain a permit on our behalf the very next day, and prevent us from standing any more than ONE transitional night on the sidewalk as well.
Again… an impressive willingness.
It is important to note that when a person or newspaper refers to the Mayor or Council Members as “supporting” the Occupation or camping… this DOES NOT mean that that Mayor or Council Members support or agree with the IDEALS or political solutions of the Occupy movement at all. – Only that they support & uphold the clearly expressed and universally understood First Amendment right to peaceably assemble for the redress of grievances.
That said… the first General Assembly of The People in Fullerton, took place on the City Hall steps at 7:00 pm last night… and it couldn’t have felt better. – There were over 40 people in attendance, representing both excited Fullerton locals, and incoming messengers from the other surrounding Occupations. – Not bad for an unannounced transition.
We adjourned for the evening with high spirits knowing that our liaisons would be getting a call in the morning asking us to sign a new letter of understanding with the city that would bring us the permits we’d need to put our tents on the Dam lot tomorrow.
Its not the best location. – Its not magical and there IS another location at the corner of Harbor and Brea Blvd. that is more visible, higher traffic, & optimal for protesting the courts, called Lion’s Field (which would be a middle ground/compromise between the movement and the city, who does NOT want us on the City Hall steps.) – Unfortunately it isn’t zoned for, and hasn’t been used for camping in the past. All that’s necessary in order to change that of course, is an amendment. A change in policy to benefit the people etc… which we and our Council Members have obviously done before.
Last night, I and around 10 others approached the corner of Commonwealth & Highland, prepared, and dare I even say, excited, to spend just the one oncoming night outside in the freezing cold… with a brand new sign in our hands made just moments ago reading only: “JOIN US.”
The new Fullerton Occupy village is located at: 1600 N Harbor Blvd Fullerton, California 92835
General Assembly will be held tonight at 7:00 pm, one last time on the steps of City Hall at: 303 West Commonwealth Avenue Fullerton, CA 92832
After that, we’ll see you at the village.
89 Days, 15 Hours, and 4 minutes.
The Occupation Continues.