A five-hour Irvine, Orange County, CA city council meeting ended with the council unanimously agreeing that the Occupy tents on the town hall's lawn were a form of free speech and vowing to "add the needs of 'The 99%' to their official agenda." Afterwards, the mayor asked the protesters if they needed any more blankets.
The council members each spoke in turn to the civility, articulateness and peaceful process represented by the Irvine Occupation at contrast with the several other Occupational Villages in California, which were, at that very moment being tear-gassed. The general sentiment being: 'This is quite clearly the model. And the occupation most in tune with city needs.'
One councilman stated clearly, 'I disagree with most of what you're saying. But you've clearly shown that this is an issue of free speech. So if you need to sleep on our lawn, by all means, sleep on our lawn.'
Shortly after, a motion was brought to the council to grant license to the occupiers to occupy the public space overnight citing the unusual form of the movement. (Another first in council history.)
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.