Occupy L.A. campers angry about N.Y. evictions but stay 'mellow'
The morning after authorities cleared protesters out of the New York City park that was home to Occupy Wall Street, all was quiet on the lawn of Los Angeles City Hall, where demonstrators have been camping for weeks.
A few had gathered on steps, sharing a cigarette and sipping energy drinks. One man, who said he was a shaman, used a rake to scrape up what grass was left around the shrine he had constructed.
Most everyone else, it appeared, was still in their tents a couple of hours after dawn, resting after a long night that included marching through the streets of downtown in a show of solidarity with their evicted brethren.
Adam Alder, 33, said the group was stirred after seeing the footage from New York, which organizers had projected onto a big screen.
"It was brutal what they did in New York," he said. "Really brutal."
As they recounted Monday night, a man wearing a sleeveless woman's blouse bounded over to them.
"Did you hear about the victory?" he bellowed. "Everything there was legal, and they're going to get sued!"
He was referring to a temporary restraining order the N.Y. protesters' lawyers obtained, which they hoped would keep the city from kicking out the protesters. The small group cheered.
They may have been upset about what they saw happening in New York, as well as in Oakland a day earlier. But they didn't see it as a harbinger of what could happen here. It's different in Los Angeles, many said.
"L.A.'s a lot tougher than them -- we're really hard to scare," offered Teri Adaju, 47, of Leimert Park. "You know L.A. It would take a lot to create panic."
Although, she added: "There's a lot of anger. There's a lot of deep-seated anger from the first day, and it hasn't abated. They're angry at the government, angry at themselves."
On Tuesday, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said his department and Occupy L.A. organizers were working to develop a plan to end the City Hall encampment.
Sipaque said it seemed the environment in L.A. was more placid than at other encampments.
"Maybe it's the weed calming everyone down," he said, "but the mood is mellow."
"We get the business done, and we have fun," said Ivan Adamsel, 18, of Moreno Valley. "That's why the movement is the movement."
-- Rick Rojas
Photo: Queen Ra, an Occupy L.A. demonstrator, rests last month on the south lawn of City Hall. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times