Occupy LA's parting shot: "declare Los Angeles a sanctuary city".
I say "parting shot" because even though the City of Los Angeles prepares to evict Occupy LA, the '99% movement' is evolving beyond the presence of just tents occupying City Hall. It is evolving to become more focused: drafting this list of 10 demands to local authorities. One of the most notable demands in that list is this unequivocal promigrant stance:
Los Angeles [is] to be declared a sanctuary city for the undocumented, deportations to be discontinued and cooperation with immigration authorities be ended - including the turning in of arrestees' names to immigration authorities.
Having been on the ground since the occupation started, I can report that the very fact that this list of demands was so quickly drafted by its leaders and approved by Occupy LA's General Assembly represents in and of itself a showing of the movement's maturing into a more organized endeavor.
For those that are not familiar with the series of events that have unfolded in the last few days, the City of LA had originally extended an enticing deal to the occupiers to get them off of City Hall's lawn. The offer from the city was in reality only an offer to benefit those that had tents occupying the City Hall Park, if at all. Occupy LA's General Assembly swiftly rejected the city's offer and thus instead prepared to make a counter offer: the list of 10 demands referenced above that would focus on helping more than just the occupiers. Mayor Villaraigosa did not even acknowledge Occupy's list of demands. His only response was to call a press conference to announce the planned eviction of Occupy Wall Street from City Hall Park.
From the beginning, Occupy LA has set itself apart from many other Occupy Wall Street encampments. Unlike other encampments that have tended to be primarily white, the encampment in Los Angeles has been very diverse, with a sizeable Latino participation. Also, the encampment has been largely characterized by a peaceful working relationship with the LAPD, even in light of massive police reactions in response to a recent attempt to occupy a local Bank of America headquarters in Downtown Los Angeles:
Since the encampment at Zuccotti Park was dismantled by the NYPD, the Occupy encampment in Downtown Los Angeles became the largest physical standard-bearer for the national OWS movement. For this reason, what Occupy LA does in light its own impending eviction will set the tone for the larger OWS movement's next steps in its life-after-tents stage. So far, the signs point towards not an end but rather an evolution of the movement.