Occupy LA Day 5: It’s a Gift!

It poured most of today in Los Angeles, and unlike Day 4, the rain did not spare the nearly 300 people camped out on the north lawn of City Hall. But thanks to gifts of tarps and other waterproof gear, everyone stayed pretty dry, though clean socks would be very welcome! The skies were clear and the sun warm again by 5pm.

Today seven City Councilmembers voted to support the

peaceful and vibrant exercise in First Amendment Rights carried out by Occupy Los Angeles.

and Mayor Villaraigosa delivered 100 rain ponchos to the encampment. The council approved a resolution to vote later this month on a measure requiring the city to divest from financial institutions that have not cooperated with measures to prevent foreclosures.

Councilman Rill Rosendahl said:

There was an Arab Spring. You’re seeing an American Autumn. And it’s connecting all over America. And if Washington can appreciate that, they’ll withdraw the troops from these crazy wars. They will make the rich pay their fair share and reinvest in education, health care, infrastructure and the American people.

Every night at 10pm the camp moves all tents onto the sidewalk to comply with local laws. Earlier this week around move time, a guy and his girlfriend showed up and asked what they could do to help.

What are you good at?

asked Media Lisa (who volunteers her webcasting, media and producing skills and has been involved in planning and coordination since September 24). The guy responded

Do you need trash hauled? I could do that!

Media Lisa pressed further:

Yes, but what would you like to do? What can you do?

The guy replied:

I’m an actor.

He then helped lug tents, signs and equipment from the lawn to sidewalk. As the couple were leaving, they stopped by the finance department’s table where he wrote a check for $5,000. Until then, no one knew the helpful guy was Lucas Neff from the Emmy-nominated series Raising Hope.

Nice guy Neff

Neff is the first celebrity to stop by, but he’s not the only generous donor. Today a woman who was visiting learned that Occupy LA was paying $3,000 a week to rent porta-potties, made a couple calls, and voila! Sir Reel–privy provider to the stars–is now donating the vital resource, with an upgrade from the smaller, two-seater that OccupyLA had been renting. And Sir Reel is providing a shower trailer, too!

While I was there, Media Lisa put out on LiveChat that the camp really needed pallets. Within minutes, a stack of them arrived on a handcart, a volunteer shouted:

Hey, if you can, we could use some help!

and the pallets were offloaded, then placed to make walkways over the mud.

Visitors I saw today included noted photographer Gary Leonard snapping away; and Du Mien and some of the staff from Orange County’s VietNam-American Television (VNA-TV), who spent nearly an hour taking photos and chatting with the media department and Occupiers. Enthused by the energy, they are bringing a busload from their community on Saturday for the big 5pm rally, planning on attending the General Assembly and even camping out overnight. The promised to bring bahn mi, those awesome Vietnamese sandwiches.

General Assembly is held nightly at 7:30 and livestreamed. This lady came by at 6 to see what Occupy LA was all about, and decided to stay and watch the GA.

If you are interested in contributing to Occupy LA, reading the minutes of the GA, seeing what’s planned for the next day and more, here’s their home page.

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Lisa Derrick

Lisa Derrick

Los Angeles native, attended UC Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University before punk rock and logophilia overtook her life. Worked as nightclub columnist, pop culture journalist and was a Hollywood housewife before writing for and editing Sacred History Magazine. Then she discovered the thrill of politics. She also appears frequently on the Dave Fanning Show, one of Ireland's most popular radio broadcasts.