Irvine City Council: ‘Occupy tents are a form of speech’


Late last night after a 5 and-a-half hour marathon city council meeting, in which 72 speakers took the floor to express the need for the Occupy OC Tent Village to be accepted as a form of free speech, the city council passed an emergency motion to add the needs of “The 99%” to their official agenda. This was a feat which, according to one more conservative Councilman, he had never seen in 7 years of service.

The council members each spoke in turn to the civility, articulateness and peaceful process represented by the Irvine Occupation at contrast with the several other Occupational Villages in California, which were, at that very moment being tear-gassed. The general sentiment being: “This is quite clearly the model. And the occupation most in tune with city needs.”

One councilman stated clearly, “I disagree with most of what you’’re saying. But you’’ve clearly shown that this is an issue of free speech. So if you need to sleep on our lawn… by all means… sleep on our lawn.”

Shortly after, a motion was brought to the council to grant license to the occupiers to occupy the public space overnight citing the unusual form of the movement. (Another first in council history.)

It was then passed unanimously to the sound of thunderous applause.

Shortly thereafter, the City Council was invited to attend the General Assembly of the People. (Which takes place each night in the Occupation Village at 7:00 PM.)

On a personal note… I myself was stopped by the Mayor on my way up the hall, when he said, “You know what concerns me?” “What’’s that”, I asked. Expecting him to cite a civil code. – “Do you have enough blankets, or
should I get you some?” He asked.

And that… my friends… is a reason for hope.

2 thoughts on “Irvine City Council: ‘Occupy tents are a form of speech’

  1. I am an Irvine resident, and I was really surprised by the unanimous decision and quick action on the part of the City Council. There is usually a pretty hard 3 – 2 divide for most things (although the three would probably be leaning towards supporting us). The council proved that there are some things that are more important to them than left vs. right. Kudos to all of them.

    (BTW, Mayor Kang is just an all-around good guy.)

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