For the past several months, Occupy groups have protested in many cities across the US and Europe. They staged their protests on public and private property. In the process, they managed to trash every one of their encampments along with destroying and vandalizing the property and neighboring businesses.
The Occupy protesters wanted to be taken seriously, but failed to realize that their causes were largely disregarded due to their lack of respect they displayed in their actions. The worse they acted and treated the property that wasn’t their own, the less serious their cause was taken.
In many locations, they cost the city or state millions of dollars in sanitation and maintenance costs as well in law enforcement needs. Many police had to work extra hours because of the protesters and the many problems they created. And most of the cities and states affected by them are already facing budget deficits and could ill afford the additional financial load created by the Occupiers.
However, that may be about to change.
Carmen Trutanich, City Attorney for Los Angeles is looking into the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the Occupy LA protesters to recover the more than $2.35 million the city spent as a direct result of the Occupy movement. The LA police department alone spent around $1.2 million in overtime pay and costs of rounding up and arresting over 300 protesters.
One representative for the Occupy LA group deemed the figures to be outrageous. Carlos Marroquin said that the city should have been prepared for just this sort of thing by setting aside funds to cover events and protests. He also accused the city’s use of extra police to be unnecessary as they were a peaceful protest.
Evidently Marroquin forgets the many assault and theft charges that occurred within the Occupy LA camp that warranted police intervention. He also forgets the garbage left behind that the city workers had to clean up. He also forgets the damage that was done to the area by the protesters that had to be repaired at city expense.
Ironically, one of the demands of the Occupy movement is that government (city, state and federal), be fiscally responsible and not waste millions of dollars on unnecessary programs and special interests and so on. So how fiscally responsible would the city be if they didn’t try to recover the costs they incurred by the illegal actions of the Occupy movement which included trespassing and defacing public property?
And how fiscally responsible would the city be if they had budgeted and set aside funds for protests that never took place? With a budget deficit of over $70 million, LA can ill afford to set money aside for protests that may or may not happen. Or do the protesters want the city to cancel other programs or perhaps have to lay off employees that desperately need their jobs, in order to put back money for something that may or may not happen?
I for one would love to see the city of Los Angeles go after the Occupiers in their town and hold them financially accountable for their actions. I think every other city that felt the same financial burden of this movement needs to follow suit as well.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the right to protest, but the expression of that right needs to be carried out in a legal fashion and those involved need to be responsible for their actions. That’s holding to the constitutional right to peaceably protest.