Occupy Los Angeles: Totally Awesome!


Los Angeles knows how to throw a demonstration: Prop 8′s demos were great, Chanology was epic, and May Day 2007 made world news and changed the LAPD riot repsonse. So I was expecting some goodness re: OccupyLA, even though, from their Facebook page, things seemed a little disorganized –like camping at City Hall despite sprinklers going off at 8pm, no porta-potties, fear mongering that we’d all get pepper-sprayed, questions about access for the disabled, and worries about what to wear (sunblock goes with everything!).

Well, kudos to the General Assembly for pulling it off. We gathered at 10am at Pershing Square, and the National Lawyers Guild was there to let us know our rights to have a legal march and rally. Then the General Assembly convened to explain the march route. One person spoke and the crowd repeated it back. Works wonderfully. There were about 1,000 people at Pershing Square with great signage, plus a few of the usual fringe-types expressing their complaints that the United Nations was on U.S. soil taking away our sovereignty. Um, okay…Plus there was an Oath Keeper. The Green Party, ILGWU, AnswerLA, RCP, Dems, prison reformers, moms, dads, straights, gays, young, old, families, single people, anti-war vets, Anonymous–and so many more that make up the City of Angels.

As we marched the 7 blocks to City Hall, I noticed no one in my clot of protesters (except me) gave change to panhandlers, which I thought was weird. We got lots of horn honks as we walked, and the Los Angeles police were out in force stopping traffic. Many people thanked them and the cops smiled.

At City Hall we were pleasantly surprised to see porta-potties, plus a first aid tent and a welcome booth with a printed schedule of events. By now our numbers had doubled. No food trucks, but the bacon wrapped hot dog vendor was doing big business. Yes there was a drum circle, but also a group of girls pogoing to punk rock on a boom box.


Recycling trash cans are needed, and really, people should not litter, nor simply drop the fliers they don’t want on to the ground!

Lots of honking from cars driving by the City Hall lawn, which had hours of operation posted clearly on copier paper stapled to trees. The park closes at 10:30pm, but sprinklers go off at 8pm. The big announcement: OccupyLA had secured a contract with Transit TV — which is broadcast on all the city buses– to provide a daily news minute! Huge.

A G4 wireless set-up is being arranged and a video team is getting set up, plus there are plenty of cameras from bloggers, as well as a Channel 9 (CBS local) van and Channel 34 (Spanish language). I did not see any signers for the deaf, but that may change. Please get those!

One sign that caused chuckles (and for some, confusion):

John Galt Can Go to Hell!

So far so good. Food Not Bombs is serving dinner at 5:30, Billionaires perform at 7:30. I am cruising by tonight to see the sleepers, and then tomorrow I am spending more time there, and will continue to do so.

30 Responses to "Occupy Los Angeles: Totally Awesome!"
Elliott | Saturday October 1, 2011 05:20 pm 1

Great pics Lisa, happy report. Looking forward to more.

mzchief | Saturday October 1, 2011 05:38 pm 2

Awesome report and photos, sister Lisa. Thank you! Love the snappy satire from the banksta-ettes with their “Greed Kills” briefcases. I look forward to your follow-up.

Scarecrow | Saturday October 1, 2011 05:39 pm 3

Yeah, wonderful pics, Lisa. Thanks.

stevetalbert | Saturday October 1, 2011 05:39 pm 4

Great reporting.

Hate to scold, but it’s better to give your money to charities that help the homeless rather than give them the money directly. Pooled resources can address the problems better if you actually want to help the person instead of just keeping them as they are.

>>>As we marched the 7 blocks to City Hall, I noticed no one in my clot of protesters (except me) gave change to panhandlers, which I thought was weird.

theresakohlhoff | Saturday October 1, 2011 05:47 pm 5

It is coming to PDX on Thursday. http://occupyportland.org/

Suzanne | Saturday October 1, 2011 05:50 pm 6

awesome — thanks lisa!

karenb | Saturday October 1, 2011 05:52 pm 7

As a Californian, I say Wow!!! How wonderful. It sounds like the police in LA are so much more humane than in the Big Apple.

I agree that giving to charities to help the homeless is better than giving them money directly. However, sometimes I go into a store and buy a cooked chicken or something good and give that to a homeless person. Also, bottled water and during the winter I have given out scarves to help keep them warm.

Thanks Lisa.

RevBev | Saturday October 1, 2011 05:55 pm 8
In response to mzchief @ 2

Thanks for pointing it out…such a good piece. Thanks, Lisa. Nice pictures and commentary. Good luck tomorrow.

Lisa Derrick | Saturday October 1, 2011 06:09 pm 9

It was wonderful to see so many people coming together. As far as giving coins to the homeless, when there’s a legless, toothless guy with a cup out, and I have change, no way can I ignore that.

sfmikey | Saturday October 1, 2011 06:13 pm 10

I don’t give out money (don’t have much), but if I’m eating a slice of pizza and someone asks for food, I give it. Even if that was my breakfast, lunch and dinner, it goes to someone who asked without reservation.

eCAHNomics | Saturday October 1, 2011 06:16 pm 11

Is it 50 degrees and raining in LA?

CTuttle | Saturday October 1, 2011 06:18 pm 12

Rawk On L.A. and Lisa…! *g*

bluewombat | Saturday October 1, 2011 06:19 pm 13

I drove by about 5 p.m. First went by the north side of City Hall, just a few people, I figured oh, well.

But when I swung around the south side of City Hall — which some will remember as the Daily Planet building from the ’50′s TV series Superman — it was a completely different story. There’s a park there, and it was filled with hundreds of people, highly energized, lotsa signs. Some were crossing the street en masse (note to protestors: do NOT do this against the light)

I honked a lot as I drove past, turned out, came back and honked again, along with a thumbs-up sign. Crowd is mainly young, probably more white than not, but with a lot of ethnic diversity nonetheless. I think this is a very good start.

bluewombat | Saturday October 1, 2011 06:20 pm 14
In response to eCAHNomics @ 11

No, it was 90 and sunny today. By 5 p.m., when I went past, it was in the low ’80′s.

demi | Saturday October 1, 2011 06:21 pm 15
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 9

Sometimes people fail to consider some of the stark realities of being homeless. The Homeless and Poor have a lot of health issues , as well as No Money For Transportation and those things make it really challenging to get to a food bank or kitchen.
It’s prolly a good idea to donate to both an organization and also the person on the street you are facing.
That’s what I do, anyway.

northwestbynorth | Saturday October 1, 2011 06:23 pm 16

Occupy America on the national news tonight, including Occupy LA, can’t remember which network.

The MSM, as members & servants to the ruling class, are of course trying to minimize and mis-characterize–showing the pepper spraying event and calling it “a scuffle with police.”

They report that Occupy America is growing in strength.

northwestbynorth | Saturday October 1, 2011 06:27 pm 17
In response to northwestbynorth @ 16

Occupy Wall Street should be the brand though, as it identifies the enemy which is essential.

ou812 | Saturday October 1, 2011 06:27 pm 18

Off topic, but extremely important that Americans finally know what happened on 9/11 at the Pentagon. A new video has just been posted on YouTube of the attack. It has been analyzed, and you can find out who attacked the pentagon here:


* This is not a joke. Please view before the account is closed by YouTube or Google.

sfmikey | Saturday October 1, 2011 06:38 pm 19

#OWS is thrilling to watch. Have any Very Important People weighed in on this with anything significant yet? Obama? (Isn’t he at some rich gay dinner to help raise campaign money, prove his leftist bona fides and get his ass reelected?) Biden? He never shuts up. What’d he say? Nothing?!!!!

Nah, I guess no VIP said anything, so maybe it didn’t happen.

The old media is dying (and a lot of political detritus) but no one’s paying much attention. May be a good thing. I hope to Dawg we got ‘em where we want ‘em.

eCAHNomics | Saturday October 1, 2011 06:42 pm 20
In response to sfmikey @ 19

Perhaps one of the best aspects of the O admin is that it finally got Biden to shut up.

bigbrother | Saturday October 1, 2011 06:45 pm 21

Hope this builds into a credible movement…take back our country.
Nurses unions and many other groups have a big stake in what Wakk street has done to us.
Great day for a gathering.

sfmikey | Saturday October 1, 2011 06:48 pm 22
In response to eCAHNomics @ 20

I heard he coughed up a hairplug–but!–he’s gonna be all right. /s

sfmikey | Saturday October 1, 2011 06:57 pm 23

Yowza. #OWS is top of HuffPo. Lots going on!

northwestbynorth | Saturday October 1, 2011 07:06 pm 24
In response to bigbrother @ 21

This is all of us realizing that we belong to an Evil Empire ruled by Financial Elites that foreclosed on working class people long ago, and now are coming after the middle class.

We don’t need Susan Sarandon to tell us how the world works, and to draw up a list of complaints that will inevitably, and purposely divide us.

The enemy is Wall Street. We’re defeating an Evil Empire and Restoring Our Republic.

bgrothus | Saturday October 1, 2011 08:31 pm 25

It is bigger and getting bigger! Yea for LA! I was at Occupy Santa Fe. It was great, LOTS of support from the people passing through, horns, waves, peace signs. Really great.

99% Rise UP! Arab Spring, Wall St. Fall!!

heavyrunner | Saturday October 1, 2011 08:59 pm 26

The bottom picture of the people in front of the government building looks a lot like the vigil we had 24-7 for several months in the spring of 1970 in Kalamazoo, Michigan in front of the Federal Building there. That April the Ohio National Guard was ordered to fire live ammunition on some anti war demonstrators at Kent State University and 4 innocent young people were killed. I don’t think anyone was ever held responsible for the killings or ordering the shooting of unarmed, peaceful college kids. Many of the dead and wounded were not even part of the protest, but were just kids going to class.

PJEvans | Saturday October 1, 2011 09:15 pm 27
In response to ou812 @ 18

Belongs in your own post, please. (Also, conspiracy theories are not generally welcome.)

PJEvans | Saturday October 1, 2011 09:17 pm 28
In response to stevetalbert @ 4

I guess you’ve never seen downtown LA: lots of homeless people. Some of them are around often enough to be ‘regulars’.

northwestbynorth | Saturday October 1, 2011 09:18 pm 29
In response to heavyrunner @ 26

Kent State represented Middle America. The National Guard would never have been ordered to shoot upon demonstraters at Harvard, Yale, Princeton….

The middle class was sent a very potent message that day: “This can happen to you, buddy, stand the fuck down! We own this place & your ass.”

It worked.

DonWilliams | Tuesday October 4, 2011 08:38 pm 30
In response to bgrothus @ 25

Arab Spring? Ummmm, I guess female news reporters can expect to get sexually assaulted while covering this event.

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