It is disheartening to learn that LA officials are considering buying their way out of having to remove the “Occupy” protesters and enforce the law. Incentives such as a $1 per year lease on 10,000 square feet of office space and free farm land and housing are seriously being discussed as a means of “persuading” the protesters to leave. It seems that breaking the law pays in LA.
Discussions are occurring with “organizers” of this supposedly grassroots, spontaneous movement. One of the negotiators is an attorney with the National Lawyers Guild which has been an advocate of the Occupy LA protest since it began. This assumes that none of the Guild’s lawyers are members of the evil 1% and that the Guild speaks for all the protesters including the homeless, disenfranchised students, the media, and the shameless celebrities.
Considering the reports of rape, robbery, assault, and even murder that are occurring in some of the Occupy camps, one could make the claim that LA officials are negotiating with terrorists. At the very least, this type of negotiating (bribery?) could set a precedent that prolongs the protests and incites further violence. Why leave peacefully when you can be paid to do so? Why not up the ante with more violence to increase the bribe?
It is not clear where the money for the $1 office space or the farmland would come from or who would benefit from it. Some protesters displayed anger upon hearing that someone has appointed themselves as their representative. That’s just what the protests need, more confusion and anger. One can only hope that taxpayers would not be forced to foot the bribery bill since they have already been paying for the clean-up and policing already.
LA has been the most lenient city in dealing with the protesters, a sharp contrast to other cities which have been forcibly removing protesters. This latest idea takes that leniency to an entirely new level – and a dangerous one.
David J. Hentosh