Sunday, October 9, 2011
I stopped in on the peaceful protest in downtown LA today. It is absolutely peaceful. It is laid-back, LA style. Very well organized (lots of people walking around with clip boards so they must know what they're doing). There are port-o-potties (which is something that was missing in NY, which might have caused some problems). There is a first aid station, food, water, constant talking in small groups (and more people with clip boards taking notes).
I saw mostly white people, 30-40 yrs old who are actually sleeping there (there are rows and rows of tents. Really nice tents--like Eddie Bauer and Coleman tents). They may be taking shifts staying in tents. I expect there are a few masters degrees in the crowd.
Do not confuse this tent city with the other tent city in downtown where the people who sleep on the streets are not there by choice.
At this tent city, the message is still a bit broad--but they are clearly in the process of peacefully forming a more focused mission. Short of having corporate sponsors, I did not get the idea that this was an anti-corporate or anti-wealth group. This is much more about addressing the inequities in the system and lessening the corporate stranglehold on our democratic process. A true democracy is built around the people, for the people, by the people. And these people are taking back the democracy.
I did not get the feeling that these people had no other place to go or nothing else they could be doing. I wouldn't be surprised to see a few of them slipping away for a relaxing beer or wine or something like that at the Redwood or the Biltmore. They are in this to make things change.
Police are mellow, they have road blocks up. I'm sure the FBI is up on the surrounding roof tops snapping photos, taking notes. Here are a few shots I took. I didn't think to look up at the adjacent rooftops-- I don't really care.