Occupy LA: Urgent Call For Help

by James Greer

I received this note recently from a friend, and I’m re-posting it here in the hope of spreading the message as quickly and effectively as possible.

From the Public Art Defense League, operating in conjunction with Occupy LA:

Greetings. This is Travis Wilkerson writing to you on behalf of the Public Art Defense League–a newly-formed collective of progressive artist/activists. 

Occupy LA has been given notice by the city leaders that it will be evicted from city hall lawn next week. The mayor said the encampment becomes “unlawful” on Monday morning.

Despite the contradictions of Occupy LA, the pending eviction is part of nationally coordinated state repression against the Occupy movement as a whole. The blossoming of a new, growing movement of young people, students, workers and unemployed against the wealthiest 1% has the potential to develop into an ideological force capable of challenging the oppressive nature of the system—which is why the state is in the process of smashing it nationwide. Big business and its politicians want the Occupy movement gone completely, so any occupation that still stands is keeping that movement alive. Los Angeles is the last untouched major city.

 Because of the profound political and social significance of the potential eviction, the Public Art Defense League regards articulate documentation of state action and the organized political response as an urgent necessity. 

 Please help us accomplish this desperately important task. We intend to arm activists with as many small, sturdy sports cameras as we can purchase in the next 48 hours. Because of the extreme urgency of the request, we can’t turn to Kickstarter or other crowdfunding sites. We have to turn to friends, fellow activists, and colleagues directly. 

 I’m personally spearheading and organizing the efforts to produce a powerful, useful, honest account of the eviction and its aftermath. 

 We welcome any and all donations, however small. Donations will be collected via paypal. The paypal address is publicartdefense@gmail.com. Please follow donations with a brief email to the same address regarding instructions for acknowledgment or anonymity. Those who can donate $300 or more will effectively purchase a camera and will have the camera returned to them at the end of the action (assuming it isn’t seized or destroyed by the police). They can even name the camera (after themselves, a comrade, a friend, a hero), returned with the footage captured during the eviction. Smaller donations can help us buy batteries, cards, and so on. Every penny will be used to help document.  And every donator, no matter how small, will be thanked and acknowledged as a contributor. 

 Up until the last moment of the eviction, I’ll gather as many cameras as I can and distribute them as broadly as possible. Participatory media at its best while it happens. Please help us! We can all sense that this is a historic moment…

 Please write me with any questions or concerns. And thanks in advance for forwarding to appropriate folks who might be interested. 

Solidarity,

Travis Wilkerson

(on behalf of) Public Art Defense League