Antonio Castelan and Kevin Dahlgren
Another Occupy LA protest drew a big crowd on Wednesday
Numbers swelled Wednesday at the ongoing Occupy LA protests, as Los Angeles City Council members backed the protesters’ right to gather.
Councilmembers were scheduled to vote on the Occupy L.A. resolution Wednesday amid the ongoing protests, including an encampment near City Hall. After almost three hours of public commentary, the council voted in support of the movement.
The resolution was introduced last week by councilmembers Richard Alarcon and Bill Rosendahl. It seeks to address "the City’s position to support the First Amendment Rights carried out by ‘Occupy Los Angeles,'" according to the L.A. City Council Agenda.
The recommendation supports the continuation of peaceful protests and advises the city departments to bring the already-approved Responsible Banking measure up for a final vote before the council by the end of October.
The council members saidthe Responsible Banking measure will alleviate some of the concerns of the downtown demonstrators. The measure demands accountability and results from banks supported by taxpayer dollars.
The responsible banking ordinance will score banks based on the number of home loan modifications accommodated, the number and location of its branches and how they contribute to affordable housing.
Facing objections toward the responsible banking plan from the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and the Central City Association, the council agreed to hear the banking ordinance at the Budget and Finance Committee's meeting on Nov. 21. It will be discussed before the full City Council before mid-December.
The official Occupy L.A. Twitter account provided a live stream link to the City Council meeting on their feed.
Downtown at the Occupy L.A. camp, New York Times best-selling author Marianne Williamson was a speaker Wednesday and led a meditation.
Williamson was invited as part of the movement’s new lunchtime speaker series that kicked off Monday.