We, OccupyLA, agree that the legal state of affairs at many occupation sites is unacceptable. Mass arrests are numbering in the thousands across NYC, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Denver, San Diego, Long Beach and many more cities. The charges include, but are not limited to resisting arrest, illegal encampment, loitering, violation of health codes, violation of safety regulations, violation of city codes of conduct in public parks, trespassing, and the list goes on. However one thing is clear, these laws are being used to suppress our first amendment rights to assemble for the purpose of peaceful public demonstration. These constitutional rights are guaranteed federally and must be respected above any local city code.
What we have in common is that occupations all over the world have been prohibited from peacefully gathering to carry out general assemblies. Be sure, it is not our conduct that has led to these mass arrests and dismantling of encampments, but rather it is the loss of public space that has caused this situation. This fact alone should be alarming to all governments that claim to represent the people. The foreclosure of public squares and their sell off to developers of shopping malls has greatly limited the space of public speech. The public square should never be closed to the public like it was one of these shopping malls. Free speech has no clock.
Therefore, we have made the determination that we support the public use of public space. For too long no public has existed because we have lost our voices to governments who have sold our public interests to private business. We are reclaiming that voice. We assert that the public use of public space is the right of the people. We will retain this right until such time that occupations are no longer necessary. At such an hour, the whole world will resemble an occupation.
As agreed upon at the General Assembly,