VAN NUYS, CA – A newly formed group calling itself “Occupy San Fernando Valley” marched with signs at the Van Nuys Civic Centeron Saturday, October 29, 2011. Approximately 30 people joined the protest, which mainly took place in front of the Superior Courts in the Erwin Street Mall. According to CBS News, the LAPD were prepared for as many as 500 protesters. Police advised the group that it is illegal to stay in the pedestrianized mall after 7:00 p.m., and asked that they leave by 7:30 p.m.
After this time, the group moved to the sidewalk of Sylvan street in front of the fire station, opposite the San Fernando Valley Municipal Building, and later dissipated. The Government Center location was presumably chosen for the group’s inaugural demonstration because of its concentration of government buildings and de facto status as the administrative capital of the San Fernando Valley. The 7:00 p.m. curfew however, makes the prospect of any longer-term presence or tent encampment similar to that of the Occupy L.A. group Downtown highly unlikely.
The LAPD station, located a stone’s throw from the courtyard, may also have dissuaded some from attending: The administrator of Occupy San Fernando Valley’s Facebook page suggested a sizable LAPD presence as a possible reason for low turn-out. While the numbers were considerably lower than expected, and the protest tiny in relation to that going on Downtown, this nascent Occupy San Fernando Valley movement may well grow into something more significant. See occupysanfernandovalley.webs.com for information.