Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mixed Meters Visits Occupy Los Angeles

I was in downtown Los Angeles several times this week and I happened to walk past the Occupy Los Angeles encampment - our local version of Occupy Wall Street, still going strong after nearly two months. 

Naturally I took a bunch of pictures.  The first one shows a few forlorn tents up against the massive north edifice of Los Angeles City Hall.  The main camp is on the south side.

The whole affair had the feel of a homeless tent city - but from the sixties.  I saw guys playing hackie-sack.  Men were drumming.  Flyers were handed out - the one I got denounced the Fed.  There was a meditation tent, an art school tent, a library.  There seemed to be some sort of communal kitchen.  I heard talk about drugs - and, once, I smelled marijuana.

But mostly I saw signs.


Some signs were organizational, like the one advertising a protest at the upcoming Rose Parade.  Others signs (e.g. "Fuck the Lakers") had uncertain relevance.


The face of Anonymous (i.e. the Guy Fawkes mask) was in evidence.  Remember people - this is a copyrighted image of Time Warner Inc.  If you buy a mask, the corporation gets royalties.  And copyrights are what big corporations use to control our culture.


There were many people, like myself, taking pictures.  These people, like myself, were obviously not protesters.  Some were newsmen.  Others, like myself, may have sympathy for the causes of the Occupy movement - if for no other reason than these protests have managed to eclipse the Tea Party from our national news.  And the Occupy movement has managed to get the message that corporations are not people into the corporate-controlled media.  That's a huge success.

I do wonder why they set up shop in front of a government building instead of a bank headquarters.  I do believe that their in-your-face protest will do more good for left wing values than anything else could do at this moment.  The one percent will make concessions only when they become afraid the situation will get out of their control otherwise.


As I walked through the encampment I heard a man with a bullhorn telling a helicopter several blocks away to leave.  He made some other cracks.  He had been corrupted by his little bit of power: control of the P.A. system.  Power had gone to his head.  I took some pictures of him.

He called to me through the bull horn saying "How you doin' cameraman?"  I responded.  He kept questioning me about my motives, asking who I was working for and whether I had sworn an oath to the Constitution.  After a while I started video recording.  His compatriots begin chanting "Who the fuck are you?" apparently to him, not to me.  A good time was had by all, I guess.  Fortunately the other protesters of Occupy L.A. were not allowing absolute power to corrupt anyone absolutely, especially this guy.

Watch for yourself:

Today the Mayor of Los Angeles announced that protesters must be gone by Monday.  Stay tuned to your local news media to find out if there will be pepper spray in the future of Occupy Los Angeles.

Here are some links:
Occupy Los Angeles
Occupy the Rose Parade

Mixed Meters covers past Rose Parades:
Burn in Hell at the Rose Parade
Left Behind after the Rose Parade
On the Beach at the Rose Parade

I don't make a habit of taking pictures of people and I post those very infrequently.  This post is apparently an exception.  Click any picture to see an enlargement.

Occupy Tags: . . . . . . . . .

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