There is no real unity.
Some members of Occupy LA hold that it is their right to do however they see fit irrespective of the will of the majority.
The best known and most important example of that is the view of certain people that they have a "right" to keep their tents on the grass even if the General Assembly decides that occupiers should move to the sidewalk.
If these people don't change their attitude on this basic question of democracy or aren't expelled, Occupy Los Angeles will fail.
As an autonomous collective we have to be able to make rules for ourselves and enforce them. If Occupy Los Angeles cannot become a self-governing body then we will get the government we have already. Those that reject all government, even democratic self-government will sacrifice Occupy Los Angeles before the altar of "individual rights" and give the government we all still a long, long way from overthrowing, every excuse it needs to take away any power we think we now hold.
Democracy is meaningless without responsibility. An absolute prerequisite for democracy is that all those involved in the decision making agree before hand to respect the decisions and carry them out even when they lose. That is why we say democracy is a system where the majority rules and the General Assembly must be able to make rules for Occupy Los Angeles, decisions that all occupiers will respect and be bound by, or the GA is an elaborate waste of time.
If the decisions of the GA, whether arrived at by consensus or some sort of vote, are to be seen as merely advisory, then they can be dispensed with all together IMHO, I don't need to go to 5 hours of meeting everyday, facilitator, GA, then facilitators review, if the net result is not considered binding on those participating in the process. If everyone is still free to "do it their way" after the meeting, what's the point of the GA? I can issue advisories and cautions on my own, or though meetings of some informal groups, I need the GA to lay down the law for Occupy Los Angeles.
Now to return to the question of moving the tents to the sidewalk at 10:30 every night. In the beginning I argued strongly for compliance with this law. I felt that city park laws weren't our main focus nor should they become that and that we had a lot more to lose that gain by making that law and police order the issue of Occupy Los Angeles, but mainly I felt that we weren't yet strong enough to enforce our own law on hours for tents in the park.
In the first two weeks of Occupy Los Angeles we have accomplished a lot. Although we had permits for nothing at first, we have avoided any major conflict with the police while suffering very little inconvenience on our part. We have got nothing but good publicity from the media. We have created a peaceful place that an increasing number of the 99% have an affinity for and feel safe in visiting and even camping with their families. Last week we even won official support of the city council. These are incredible victories for a movement this young.
Please understand that I am not saying that we should sheepishly move our tents to the sidewalk every night just because the police say that is the law. I, for one, am very happy that we have "gotten away" without moving most of them lately. But I am not happy that this has not been the result of a GA decision or that the GA shrink away from making a decision last night that we would modify our behavior so that the farmers market that has been coming here for a great many years can continue to do so. I also think that we should being doing what we can to preserve our city hall lawn, like vacating a different quadrant every night and asking that those sprinklers be turned on. My suggestion may not make good decisions. My point is that we don't appear to be capable of making any decisions and enforcing them and if that continues to be the case, then decisions will be made for us. Count on it.
So I still don't feel we are strong enough to enforce our own law on hours for tents in the park and now that feeling comes with a fatal second meaning. We can't enforce our own law on our own membership on anything because some among us don't recognize any law except their own. The same logic that allows some people to exercise their "individual right" to stay on the lawn without regards to the decisions of the group or the impact their individual or fractional decision will have on Occupy Los Angeles can easily be extended to the "right" to throw a water bottle at the cops from a peaceful protest. The logic is the same, exactly.
This means that we will not fight as an army but as a mob. It means we are not in a position to negotiate a compromise with the police or the city because we are never in a position to say what we will or won't do. If we have no discipline, then we will fight like a mob and we will lose because the police know how to deal with mobs.
Even after the GA has made a decision not to, I am entirely in favor of those who want to sleep on the grass in defiance of city law of going ahead with their plans. Only they should pick another park. Those that want to exercise their individual right to civil disobedience should do it anywhere but Occupy Los Angeles. No one here is going to object if they setup their tents at any of the other fine parks of our city. They can have their civil disobedience without dragging in people that don't wish to be dragged into it and without impacting Occupy LA. If they insist on doing it here it should be clear that that is only because Occupy Los Angeles is here. They wish to pimp Occupy LA and the hard work of many that have built it to serve their own personal goals or fantasies. The are helping the city get rid of us and they will destroy Occupy Los Angeles.