Occupy LA: “Let’s OK Property Damage!”



Factions within Occupy LA are calling for the removal of “property” from the Occupy Statement of Principles of Non-Violence or to have the statement non-violence be modified to precisely define and codify what property damage is allowable. The matter is due to be voted on tonight, 12/23 in the General Assembly, the Friday night before a major holiday when many people are unable to attend.

Ruth Fowler who wrote the current revision is a member of the facilitation committee, the group which allows for the (ideally) smooth running of General Assemblies. Here is her logic about the removal of property damage from the Statement of Purpose:

I think my argument will be that mentioning violence and property damage in the same document obfuscates the issue, and that a separate document against property damage should be drafted separately to the non-violence statement and brought to GA.

Others would like “property” removed from the SoP entirely, like Anthony Cristofani who posted December 20 on the OLA listerve regarding property damage (pd):

You know I support getting rid of pd for all the reasons that have been correctly and eloquently argued. I myself don’t believe on it or do it. But guess what Scott and cronies listen hard: this proposal gets blocked and I will gonto every one of your permitted pansy events and fuck property up to punish you and the 1% you serve. Then I’ll frame your ass for for it.

Wow. So basically if the clause to remove property damage from the statement of non-violence is not passed, Anthony Cristofani, a PhD candidate at UC Riverside with a very interesting background (use teh Googles) will commit property damage and frame OLA members. And says so, which is is just so brilliant. Wow. Just wow.

The debate about non-violence and property damage has been raging in recent weeks on listserv and on the OLA website, though it was pointed out that the inclusion of property damage had been in place since September 23, and that it had passed the GA three times since then. There is hair splitting (graffiti and tearing down fences is okay, for example), and calls for no property damage or property damage to make a point:

A proper statement of nonviolence assumes that should we commit property damage (and we inevitably will), and the police react with violence, that we will remain true to our principle.

Seriously, Occupy LA, WTF?

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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.