Monday, March 27, 2006

Bandwagon Blogging...

If this City Nerd didn't publicly recognize what's happening right now in the City regarding the massive demonstrations relating to immigration legislation, I'd be failing to present the true City. This is not a political blog, and I try to present objective assertions about the City of L.A. and the region; so, I'm not trying to spew an opinion of the recent protests and public demonstrations relating to the Federal Government's immigration policy or what it will be. I'm just trying to share some details to clarify what's happening in the City of L.A.

First, anyone can assemble in Los Angeles on a City street, but there is a permit process through the LAPD to alert them of the type of demonstration and how many people expected. This helps with deployment issues and resource management for a smaller than needed police force. The permit process does not censor or guide the demonstration, only make aware organizers (if they want to talk) of issues that might arise based on where the public assembly is to take place.

Today's demonstration destination, L.A. City Hall, for instance, was held on the South Lawn, which is the officially designated First Amendment location for the City Hall area. The same is true for the Bernardi Plaza at the Valley Municipal Building in Van Nuys (Braude Center). That's why they were not on the main steps of City Hall on Spring Street.

It's interesting to see that twice now, major demonstrations have been taken to City Hall on an issue of which the City has no jurisdiction. The Federal Building is in the Civic Center, but City hall was the destination of choice. I wonder, how many of the students today knew that? Or, do the organizers look to our City (read: Mayor Villariagosa) to use it's political clout to influence federal law-makers?

One noteworthy effect exemplified by today's student demonstration:
Los Angeles may be a large city, but it's not so big that you can't walk from all ends of the City to its center. It's too bad it takes an issue that agitates and threatens people to get to them to join together. The other unification agent is a disaster. I guess law makers and earthquakes have the same strength in some cases. I'm not sure which I'd rather have wielding their force right now.

Ok, I'm going to get off the bandwagon now on this topic... for now. I wonder if this energy will be put to use after the issue calms down. This is another test of the City and its leadership (on all levels: from parents to the highest offices in government).

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