The following open letter will hopefully be announced via the People’s Mic this Wednesday evening at 7:30pm at the OccupyLA General Assembly.
** UPDATE 2 **
mp3 – Kim Calder reading our letter and discussing the occupy movement on KPFK 90.7FM, on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 1:59 pm – (Kim begins around 8:00)
** UPDATE 1 **
We read our letter at the OccupyLA General Assembly on 12/7/2011!!
. . .
An Open Letter to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa & Chief Charlie Beck
Wednesday, 7 December 2011
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa – Shame on you.
Chief Charlie Beck – Shame on you.
We four AAAAAArtists,
arrested during your eviction of occupyLA
along with 288 others,
and then abused during our imprisonment,
seek your immediate resignations.
You and your departments have proven to us
that you are unfit to uphold your oath
and to represent
the peaceful peoples of this great city of Los Angeles.
After taking part last Tuesday
in perhaps the most uplifting,
the most beautiful,
and the most peaceful assembly outside City Hall
we became the targets of the unreasonable force of the LAPD.
Though you have portrayed your sweep of the park as a peaceful police action
we are here to insist that there is nothing peaceful about what you have done.
We, who were peaceful,
we endured sleep deprivation under 24-hour lights
and via endless booking and processing delays;
some of us endured up to 7 hours straight of tight handcuffs
resulting in bruised wrists and aching shoulders;
we endured up to 7 hours straight of no access to water, food or restrooms;
some of us were denied access to necessary medications;
we endured deliberate confusion of the senses
as we had no access to clocks or to information about our detainment;
we endured unsanitary and overcrowded cells
built for 8 but filled with over 20 arrestees,
and forced to lie on concrete floors near toilets and trash;
we endured verbal abuse from detention officers
without the benefit of innocence until proven guilty,
who blamed us for their slowdown
and for their inability to serve our most basic human needs.
The treatment we experienced
at the hands of your “hardened” detention officers
were unfit for even the most violent of criminals,
and for that you should be ashamed.
Contrary to your officers’ assertions
we did not bring this upon ourselves,
nor did our actions create this slowdown.
Rather, your PR Blitzkrieg during the eviction of the people’s park
noticeably ended as soon as the cameras disappeared.
While you patted each other on the backs in interviews and photo ops
we bore witness with our bodies.
We suffered at the hands of your arrogance
as you tried to teach us a lesson.
Perhaps it worked. Perhaps we learned some lessons–
Indeed, we learned
that it is now more important than ever to speak truth to power.
Indeed, we learned
that our faith in the right to
and the necessity of
peaceful public assembly
must remain unswayed.
Indeed, we learned
that the people united will never be defeated.
Let it be clear
that following last week’s attack and abuses
Our movement is unmoved.
Our movement is undeterred.
Our determination to change the world for the better has been emboldened.
It is time for you and others to start doing what’s right,
rather than “just doing your jobs.”
We as artists and activists
believe that there are other, better ways
to address these common issues that divide us.
We refuse to accept state intimidation and force.
We speak the language of peace and dialogue.
Your unilateral decision to raid our peaceful movement
demonstrates that you have forgotten the true power
and of the commons.
Mayor Villaraigosa – you are not our mayor.
Chief Beck – your police do not serve or protect us.
We four AAAAAArtists remind you that
You can’t arrest an Idea.
You can’t arrest a Movement.
Die Gedanken sind frei – Our thoughts are free!
members of AAAAAA, a loose affiliation of artists in Los Angeles