Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Our City Council Morning

Anne woke up this morning to a commondreams.org announcement that the Oakland police had just violently attempted to close down the 'occupy' protest in that city.

Learning that our local 'occupiers' would be marching to City Hall to talk to the City Council about a resolution to support their right to protest rather than seek ways and rationales for suppressing it-- Anne & I jumped on a bus, went through a long metal-detector line, got into the meeting soon after the Council passed a resolution congratulating women for having gotten the vote (by some highly stressful protests, violently opposed by the authorites, as one young speaker pointed out) awhile ago.

We were happy to meet our Friend Wayne there. (Rocky Neptun was also there covering the event for the 'Ocean Beach Rag' but we didn't see him until later.)

The San Diego City Council has many times tried measures to restrict their public comment period, which has been the venue for a great many issues they really didn't want to hear about or deal with. They've reduced it by 1/2 since our day...

Anyway, before Public Comment there were items on the "Consent Agenda". Things which would be automatically passed unless someone spoke up in opposition. There were about 1/2 dozen speakers against a proposal for a new district benefiting hotel owners near the Convention Center. They received their 3 minutes each; then the Council voted unanimously for it.

The "President of the Council" announced that the Occupy people had a great many requests to speak... and that he had decided they fit into five topics, which he designated... and that each topic could have 3 minutes total devoted to it.

The first topic was the resolution the group had asked the Council to approve. A young reader got most of the way through reading that resolution, whereupon she was told her three minutes were up. She kept reading.

Anne says this went on for some time; my own impression was that it wasn't long at all... her reading, others in support echoing her words... until the City Council walked out, adjourning about 1/2 hour early so they wouldn't have to waste over three minutes listening to anything other than the needs of developers & real estate hoarders.

Wayne left about then (I gather he was frustrated & indignant about the Council's attitude. (?) We saw him later, picketing by the plaza entrance.

About this time, someone got word that police were moving in a threatening way towards people's belongings downstairs in the City Hall plaza, whereupon most of the young 'occupiers' left to see to that. (This was a threat; this was only a threat; all was calm by the time we made it downstairs.)


Rocky had a notion that Friends might want to hold an ad hoc Meeting for Worship in the plaza some time this week... any individual Friends who might feel so led. [I have no idea whether it will happen, but hope it does!]

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