A Tale of Two Occupations: Los Angeles and Albany

In Los Angeles, the occupation has the support of city and local officials:

(Los Angeles) passed a resolution voicing support for the (Occupy L.A.) movement. (Organizer Matt) Rolufs was thrilled when city officials said that Occupy Los Angeles had inspired them to move forward on a policy initiative to demand accountability from big banks.

While protesters in other cities have battled with the police, Los Angeles is letting around 700 people spend the night on city hall’s lawn even though it’s against the law. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa even handed out ponchos to campers during a rainstorm. But the city council went even further in its resolution by urging implementation of a proposal known as the Responsible Banking program because it would address some of the protesters’ concerns.

And in Albany, they don’t… but they get help from unexpected places:

In a tense battle of wills, state troopers and Albany police held off making arrests of dozens of protesters near the Capitol over the weekend even as Albany’s mayor, under pressure from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration, had urged his police chief to enforce a city curfew.

The situation intensified late Friday evening when Jennings, who has cultivated a strong relationship with Cuomo, directed his department to arrest protesters who refused to leave the city-owned portion of a large park that’s across Washington Avenue from the Capitol and City Hall…

"We don’t have those resources, and these people were not causing trouble," the official said. "The bottom line is the police know policing, not the governor and not the mayor."

A city police source said his department also was reluctant to damage what he considers to be good community relations that have taken years to rebuild. In addition, the crowd included elderly people and many others who brought their children with them.

We’re making progress.