Sunday, December 11, 2011

Letter to my friends

-In anticipation of the raid on Los Angeles City Hall (Occupy Los Angeles: Solidarity Park)-

So one major downfall of my involvement with the Occupation of L.A city hall is that many of my friendships outside of the movement ended up suffering greatly. Most of the times this was not caused by any conflict in ideology but by the difficulty of keeping in touch.

I have done my best over the years to keep in contact with the people I hold dear; however because of busy lives, moving away, etc. etc. it has become a bit difficult. A lot of times the way I communicated with my friends/ family was over text, email, or my guilty pleasure: facebook.

Camping out in Solidarity park with little to no access to electricity and Internet obviously made this pretty damn impossible to keep regular contact especially since many times during the day my phone battery was drained by receiving group texts and fielding coordination calls with things related to the People's Collective University.
(now called Occupy Los Angeles Freedom School)

As the night of what came to be known as "fake raid" came closer, I began to feel more and more of a need to at least let my friends know what was going on. Also, it was important for me to create a space where dialogue with the people I cared about might be possible in the future. I also wanted to make clear that there are many different ways to support and that because of outside circumstances I understood that not everyone can put themselves on the front lines. I honestly believe that logically it is important that not everyone be on the front lines and it was important that the people I cared about felt equally empowered regardless of what they chose to do.

The following is a letter that I sent to all of my friends on facebook as well as many more over email.


Sunday November 27, 2011

Hello my beautiful family and friends,

For those of you who are unaware, I have become pretty heavily involved with the Los Angeles contingent of the Occupy movement that has taken up residence at Los Angeles City Hall. I have been there since the first day o
f the Occupation (October 1st) and have been focusing most of my efforts towards the development of a People's Collective University. (

This is an idea that a few people and I founded with the intention of disrupting the system through the implementation of an alternative educational model focused on providing inter-generational classes on political, social, and economic justice, sustainability, and community needs.

We believe the current public educational system to be oppressive, a place to indoctrinate and colonize (ALL races of people) and a system that is at it's core aimed to separate us and mold our thoughts so that we become tools of the state. We have based the structure of classes on Paulo Freire's idea of popular education. This style of teaching revolves around the idea of mutual respect, true critical thinking, and discussion, I hope some of you will ask me to elaborate more on this later.

During our last couple months at city hall we have had literally hundreds of people from all socio-economic backgrounds, political ideologies and ages come through our classes.

Many have told us that this is what they wish school was like.

The reason I am sending this is because our camp, which now comprises of over 400 tents and maybe twice as many people will be raided Monday morning -November 28th- at 12:01 am. We are the largest encampment left standing in the country, the one that has had the least amount of clashes with the police, and the one with the fewest instances of violence within the camp itself. I have no illusion that the L.A.P.D will take the camp once they make the decision to do so. They are one of the largest, most militarized police agencies in the country but I still believe in my heart that making a stand to protect the camp is not only possible but necessary. It is our right to peacefully assemble and petition our government to address our grievances and they have not made any attempt to do so. This about standing up for our first amendment rights.

We are peaceful, we are non-violent but we refuse to go down quietly.

I, personally have agreed to be a marked medic/ mediator during the raid.

I understand that this will place me in the direct line of danger, make me a target and also lead to my eventual arrest. This is something I strongly believe in. It is time for all of us to put aside our bullshit and make the government accountable for the corruption that corporate influence has caused.

I am not asking any of you to hold the line and protect the perimeter, I am not asking any of to volunteer to be medics or mediators (even though that would be dope and I'd love you forever).

What I am asking for is your support; which can be done from home if you can't be on site by doing things such as:
-calling the mayor and telling him not to evict us.
-calling the L.A.P.D and telling them not to tear gas us.
-telling everyone you know about tonight
-post anything related to Occupy L.A or Occupy Wall Street on your facebook and twitter
-inform people about the events for today
-BAIL FUNDS!!! Contact Karo (***) ***- ****

If you are down to leave your home and can make it down to site for a while but are not willing to be arrested you can:

-be a legal observer
-take pictures/ video of anything and everything
-come to the events taking place tonight
-join one of the actions being planned.
- bring supplies!
*water bottles with squirt tops
*apple cider vinegar
*maalox (plain! no mint or flavor)
*big buckets
*saline solution
*any and all med supplies
-BAIL FUNDS!!! Contact Karo (***) ***- ****

If you are willing/able to come and help us protect the camp; the raid committee will have various plans put into effect. We will have a variety of things you can plug yourself into. For safety reasons please have as much as your skin covered, have goggles, have shoes you can run in, do not have weapons or anything that can be counted as such.

This is a big deal- We were on the news in South Carolina. South Central Farmers have given their official statement of solidarity. Good jobs L.A will be sending a contingent down to support. ANSWER is planning a mass action to support as well.

Today, Philadelphia and Long Beach will be raided as well. Tomorrow, it might be your bank account, your pension, your access to healthy food, or your child's education and health care. Please do anything you can and join us to take a stand.

With much love, respect and solidarity,
Your friend, co-worker and sister in the struggle

P.S: please feel free to forward this to anyone and everyone


Messages of solidarity:

Our response to city bribes:


After I sent this out I got many kind messages of support from all types of friends. I even had one of my former college professors send a few encouraging words. Many more sent me messages that they had made calls to city officials and joked about how funny it was that the people fielding calls showed obvious signs of being overwhelmed/ frustrated by all the calls of support for the occupiers. Another friend brought us a tasty dinner and another brought some supplies. One friend, that I honestly did not know that well, came down during fake raid and took the role of journalist. A couple others came to the block party and many others posted news.

Two came down and joined the medical crew.

One of them a sister I had met running a youth program in Long Beach that ended up getting arrested when the police flipped a perimeter and corralled supporters outside the dispersal area. Having her there and seeing her chant through the halls of the Van Nuys jail we were transferred to (despite her original plan of not getting arrested) definitely made the physical injuries of my arrest much more bearable.

Another was a brother I had known since high school that joined me to link arms with about 100 others in the South Plaza of Solidarity park to take our final stand.

A couple other friends aided the legal committee in tracking me through the jail system that I came very close to being lost in.

I also sent this letter to my dad who ended up posting my bail, picking me up at Van Nuys, taking me to dinner and then being supportive enough to drop me off at the metro police station to aid the legal committee and wait for the release of my partner and other close comrades.

I am so privileged to have so many kind hearted, hard working people that care about me.

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