#MillionMaskMarch: Epic, Global — But Where Were the News Networks?

On November 5, 2013 tens of thousands of protestors marched in 477 locations around the globe. There were masks, chants, goofy signs, sincere view points, arrests, beatings, police opening up with non-lethal projectiles on protestors, flag burnings. There was lots of print/online coverage, but where were CNN, MSNBC and Fox News? And why weren’t they giving this global event any play as of November 6 at 9:54pm?

NBC News Worldwide did online coverage, ABC News posted a photo from Brazil and mentioned in the caption a global march, while CBS News had nothing. Al Jazeera America ran eight photos on their website.  RT.com gave the Million Mask March a big spread on their website (Oh hai, Mr. Putin and your pals in the Kremlin!) plus posted videos on YouTube; the BBC posted three stories.  CNET posted a story.

But considering the airtime the (failed) truckers’ protest got on Fox, and the amount coverage given by cable news programs–which can provide up-to-the minute, breaking news stories via affiliates–to a crack smoking Canadian mayor, Justin Bieber’s alleged brothel visit, and Google’s mystery barges, you’d think that the telegenic sight of a global protest–one set against landmarks like the White House and Buckingham Palace with cute masks and catchy slogans–would have merited 30 seconds of cable network news time. The Million Man March was happening in Europe, in Australia, in Asia, Africa, South America. It was happening here. In the US. Did you see anything on your local news channel, in your local paper?

A November 6 search of CNN, MSNBC and Fox News’ websites showed no stories about a worldwide Million Mask March protest, nor of the ones in Washington DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, or Atlanta (Though in Denver both the local  ABC station and the Denver Post ran a story after the fact, focusing on arrests, and Portland, Oregon’s KATU posted a YouTube video of police beating protestors). The map of Million Mask Marchers (below) is covered in dots indicating marches and participation.

But wait: There is no live footage by the major networks. No wrapped-with-a-bow “look at what happened” video story. Oh wait, there were two CNN ireports, but those are viewer created, and Fox Latino had two stories. En español.

There were protests across America, around the globe, all themed, organized via social media and websites, and they were ignored, overlooked, avoided–pick a verb–by the major broadcast news organizations.

Twitter #MillionMaskMarch has a running thread of press coverage, and the written word and dead tree media—the Guardian, the Independent, even the gutted and limping  Los Angeles Times all ran stories (though the LA Times’ sister TV station KTLA did not cover the Million Mask March in downtown Los Angeles)—came through where  television stations didn’t. The Washington Post covered the protests, as did the Wall Street Journal and  International Business Times, but a November 6, 2013 search of the New York Times for the terms “million mask march,” “protest” “anonymous” and “Guy Fawkes” turned up nothing about the November 5, 2013 Million Mask March, though this item from earlier this year is pretty interesting:

A decision by authorities in Bahrain to outlaw Guy Fawkes masks looks like a pretty desperate and ineffective way of crushing dissent.

And a decision by network and cable news to ignore Anonymous and its global protests is equally as desperate and ineffective.


Photos: Twitter feed #MillionMaskMarch

Remember, Remember the 5th of November: Anonymous Gets Things Done

When Anonymous erupted on the streets some five and half years ago to protest Scientology, their branding is what caught everyone’s eyes: The majority of protestors wore the Guy Fawkes mask from the movie V for Vendetta, in part because of the movie’s message and in part from EFG, Epic Fail Guy, a meme on 4Chan, the board where members can post images anonymously.

Anonymous is real a cool guy and doesn’t afraid of nothing.

As thousands of people who had never met joined in the protests and on the online discussion board WhyWeProtest.net,  Anonymous grew and developed . The concept was that anyone is anonymous (though tracing ISPs eventually proved otherwise in arrests for DDOS attacks), and anyone could protest anonymously.

Since that fateful day in February 2008, Anons have gone on to kick some pretty serious butt, and occasionally get theirs handed to them by law enforcement (careful with that Low Orbit Ionizing Cannon, kids!). Anonymous provided tech aid in the Arab Spring, reported on uprisings in Iran, took on San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), supported rape victims and made their accused rapists pretty uncomfortable, supported Bradly Manning and Julian Assange, and have ordered a lot of pizzas delivered. EFG masks could be seen at Occupy, are  at rallies and protests, and at just about any public semi-political gathering. Since anyone can be anonymous, and there is no central organizing committee, sometimes groups of Anons act in apparent cross-purposes. Don’t try to figure out exactly what they stand for except freedom on the intertubes and beyond–that’s the cornerstone of their ideology.

Anonymous’ original goal when we, they crept out of  notoriously Cheeto scented basements was to expose Scientology and have some lulz. It worked. In 2008 a group of Anons marched in the San Diego Pride Parade. A member of Scientology then signed the Church of Scientology on as a supporter of Prop 8. Screenwriter Paul Haggis, a Scientologist and a supporter of LGBT rights saw this and spoke up to the Scientology powers that be. He then very publicly left the organization, Lawrence Wright published an article in the New Yorker about Haggis’ defection, and well, now books have been written, more than ever people are leaving Scientology, the cult is facing court battles, and no one is afraid of them anymore. Well played. >9000 FTW.

Today, November 5th was the Million Mask March where Anons participated in

mass demonstrations in 477 locations around the world this Tuesday. The Million Mask March’s Facebook page states that followers should “remember who your enemies are: billionaires who own banks and corporations who corrupt politicians who enslave the people in injustice.”

Remember, remember this 5th of November:

We are Anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive, we do not forget. Expect us.

 

What Leon Rosby’s Murdered Dog Means: The NSA, Free Speech, Citizen Reporters and More

Over the last week and a half the interwebs have been engulfed by a state of righteous raaaaage over the shooting of a family pet by a Hawthorne, California police officer. And the response shows why the NSA’s surveillance plans could go horribly wrong and victimize the wrong people.

When the video of Hawthorne Police shooting and killing the dog appeared on YouTube–it now has over 4.5 million hits–Internet denizens went to work compiling information on the police officer involved in order to “dox” him–get his name, address, phone number etc. Except they kinda made some errors. They targeted an officer named Swain. Except Swain was not the  officer who did the shooting, but rather the Hawthorne Police Dept spokesperson.

Armed with incorrect information, the cyber sleuths then found a business in the greater Southern California area called Swain’s. In Glendale. Twenty-four miles away and in a whole other city. Putting two and two together, and getting far <9,000, the self-styled superheroes posted Swain’s Art Supply info and the non-stop hostile phone calls to the business began. It got so bad the business had to go to the media and plead for it to stop.

So how does this fit into PRISM, Echelon, Raptor etc? Well, granted those are computer programs. But computers are programmed by humans. And ultimately the decisions to follow through are made by humans. Humans who can and do make mistakes. And  humans work for the NSA and their contractors, so simple math would say at some point one of them is going to make a mistake.

http://nsa.motherboard.tv/

Meanwhile, Anonymous, who claim to  support free speech, effectively squelched  it by DDOSing the  City of Hawthorne’s website. The city claims because it can’t post the city council agenda, they can’t have a meeting. According to NBC-LA:

The city clerk’s office told NBC4 that the regularly scheduled meeting would be canceled because it is required by the state open meeting law — known as the Brown Act — to publicly post the agenda prior to meeting.

“As you are aware, due to the public maelstrom of emotion caused by the police incident involving the Rottweiler, the city website crashed. The website has been down for nearly one week,” said Mayor Daniel Juarez in an email to NBC4. “The Brown Act requires that city council agendas shall be posted on the ‘local agency’s Internet Web site, if the local agency has one.’”

Of course one could argue that right now, the city doesn’t have a website, so the Brown Act does not apply (and the downed website/we can’t have a meeting thing is pretty convenient for the beleaguered politicians of Hawthorne who would like this to all go away).

And why did this family pet get shot? Because Leon Rosby, who has repeatedly sued the Hawthorn Police Department, was video taping an incident on his street. The police arrested him for obstruction of justice.

 

Maledictum Supra Westboro Baptisa: WBC Getting Bitchslapped on the Astral

 

 

So many millions are disgusted by Westboro Baptist Church, and even more disgusted than normal this week by the psychotic nutbags’ attempts to protest the funerals of those slain in the Sandy Hook massacre. Anonymous has been busy DDOSing the WBC website and otherwise messing with WBC in their own inimitable style; and a petition has been sent to the White House calling for the recognition of WBC as a hate group and to be stripped of their tax exempt status. Even the Ku Klux Klan loathes WBC:

 

 

And now, on the Winter Solstice, a day held holy in the vast underground river of religious practitioners in the United States and abroad who worship in the Old Ways through magick, witchcraft, and other occult means, an ecumenical malediction on Westboro Baptist Church has been called down. Posted by The Sensei on Facebook:

Brothers and Sisters of ALL TRADITIONS: for too long, we have sat back and done nothing, while Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist “Church” have hidden behind the Constitution to spread their message of hate. These attention whore hatemongers have disrupted and desecrated the funerals of our fallen war heroes, and innocent people whose only “crime” was being Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender. Now they plan to set up their “protests” at the funerals of the victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy. Join me, as we take action as only we, as Magick users, can.Starting at sundown, on Friday, December 21st, the longest night of the year, LET US RAIN DOWN NIGHT AND HELL UPON WESTBORO BAPTIST!!! Curse them, bind them, crush them utterly, as one group mind throughout that long night, so that with the rebirth of the Sun, a Golden Dawn shall, indeed, arise.You, your friends, your covens, can make a difference. Even if you only offer up prayers to stop Westboro from further perpetrating their evil, you can be part of an event that can make a difference.

So far over 60 participants and groups in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada have acknowledged that they will be praying, lighting candles, and casting spelling within their traditions to being an end to the Phelps’ reign of hatred (and that’s not counting those who are practicing anonymously). Not all occult traditions advocate destroying enemies (some go for binding bad folks to prevent further harm, while  others work to dissolve their negativity), the results should be impressive. Some effects may be immediate, while others will take place over a period of time.

Astaru, Chaos magicians, Druids, Setians, Thelemites, Voudons, Wiccans and members of other traditions are all involved. I’m a practicing witch and doing my own thing for this project.

The bottom line: WBC are a huge embarrassment to all religions everywhere, and most certainly to Christians who hopefully will be praying as well for WBC to see the errors of their ways and STFU.

Love is Law, Love under will. Do what Thou Wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

“Julian Assange, Superstar” aka “WikiLeaks, The Musical”

If Hollywood has its way and the check clears, Julian Assange, the international man of mystery currently enjoying Ecuadorian hospitality whilst planning his birthday party inside that country’s embassy, will be the subject of a biopic fraught with cyber espionage and condomless sex. According to the Wall Street Journal, HBO Films, DreamWorks Studios, Universal Pictures and Annapurna Pictures are all frothing and panting to bring Assange’s story to a megaplex or cable box near you.

There are a lot of loose ends though–not the least of which being who would play the pale and lanky leader of WikiLeaks; Tim Robbins, even though he’s a bit older than Assange, possesses plenty of boyish charm and height–dangling plots points like Bradley Manning who is in prison and on trial; what happens with the Syrians cables; Assange’s potential extradition to Sweden…

Here’s a solution: A musical! As Spiderman Turn Off the Dark proves, stage plays are constantly evolving. As the Assange/WikiLeaks story unfolds, the libretto could be adjusted; and it’s a sure Tony Award winner, and once things are resolved in real life, the film would be ready to go. Along with Assange’s all singing, all dancing  grandstanding and honeypot sampling, Bradley Manning’s character would be onstage throughout as the tragic counterpoint and moral compass, first at a computer screen, then behind bars, always present, a contrast to Assange’s hubris.

Plus there would have to be a Greek chorus of Anonymous in EFG masks performing catchy numbers like “Low Orbit Ion Cannon,”  and “DDoS Us All” while Loooong Cat and Nyan Cat dance. It’s all a hummable, teachable-moment multi-media extravaganza! And Neil Patrick Harris would be SUPER in the starring role! Or maybe Zac Efron. Think Clay Aiken for the touring company.

If any Broadway producers are interested, you know where to find me…

The EFG Greek/geek chorus can get serious at times, while Manning’s character is the musical’s moral compass.

Anonymous Hackers Pwn Drone Company >9000

 

Anonymous hackers have defaced the home page of Alpha Unmanned Systems, a company based in Spain which claims to be:

experts in designing simple and portable Flight Control Systems. The company is based on over 25 years of combined experience in the field of aircraft control systems. UAV Navigation designs and manufactures the most advanced Flight Control Systems (FCS) for UAV and General Aviation on the market.

At the time of this writing the front page displayed the following message:

pwned
ALL THE DRONES TANGO DOWN!!!
This is just another covert corporation funded by the CIA.
And just as uavnavigation.com you have been hacked. Manual remote control of the UAVs plus the video
transmission, both without a proper encryption? Are you serious? Guess some border patrols and law
enforcement fags will soon miss some drones…LULZ, YOUR LEVEL OF FAILURE IS OVER 9000!!!

FREE BRADLEY MANNING!!!
STOP THE TORTURING AND KILLING of peaceful people in Syria and Bahrain!!!
STOP ATTACKING peaceful “occupy” protesters in USA, Canada, Germany, and all over the world!!!
CLOSE GUANTANAMO BAY!!!

And for god’s sake, stop that Orwellian INDECT bullshit NOW!!!
Guys like you are nothing but tools of the terrorists of this world.
Terrorists like Bashar al-Assad (regime of Syria), Barack Obama (regime of USA) and King Hamad (regime of Bahrain).

And once more, for god’s sake:

FREE BRADLEY MANNING, finally!!!

We are Anonymous,
we are legion,
we do not forgive,
we do not forget,
you should have expected us!

The final taunting paragraph will probably get some IT guys in trouble and cause some massive havoc:

Oh…Your password for the admin panel was not safe, so we allowed ourselves to change it.
The other files from this server were wiped, so feel free to restore the backup from the NAS,
it may or may not contain a trojan… FOR THE LULZ!!! Power to the people! Hack the planet!

The Anonymous hackers’ reason for taking over the site, as explained in the video posted on Alpha Unmanned Systems’ home page is:

Since 2009, the EU has been subsidizing the INDECT project with millions of Euros.
Even though several media outlets have already reported about this networked surveillance technology, only few EU citizens know what it is supposed to be.

The application of INDECT aims to analyze conspicuous behavior to prevent crimes, in virtual life as well as in real life, before they actually happen. Not only does this sound crazy, it is cutting deeply into our basic right to privacy, because those cameras will be able to replicate scanned personal biometrical features with existing digital files about persons in databases such as social networks. Hence, every person could be retraced and supervised, anybody who says or does anything “abnormal” or anything which the system considers to be “threatening” both on the internet and in real life, is potentially suspicious….

INDECT is a European Union project which:

aims at developing tools for enhancing the security of citizens and protecting the confidentiality of recorded and stored information as well as the privacy of involved persons. INDECT targets threat detection in both real environments (intelligent cameras) and virtual environments (computer networks, especially Internet).

The five-year project began in 2009, at which time the Telegraph UK, which deemed the project “Orwellian,” reported that the project received  £10 million in funding from the European Union and that the EU had already increased the crime fighting budgets 13.5% to £900 million. The newspaper further reported:

The European Commission is calling for a “common culture” of law enforcement to be developed across the EU and for a third of police officers – more than 50,000 in the UK alone – to be given training in European affairs within the next five years.

According to the Open Europe think tank, the increased emphasis on co-operation and sharing intelligence means that European police forces are likely to gain access to sensitive information held by UK police, including the British DNA database. It also expects the number of UK citizens extradited under the controversial European Arrest Warrant to triple.

Stephen Booth, an Open Europe analyst who has helped compile a dossier on the European justice agenda, said these developments and projects such as Indect sounded “Orwellian” and raised serious questions about individual liberty.

“This is all pretty scary stuff in my book. These projects would involve a huge invasion of privacy and citizens need to ask themselves whether the EU should be spending their taxes on them,” he said.

“The EU lacks sufficient checks and balances and there is no evidence that anyone has ever asked ‘is this actually in the best interests of our citizens?’”

On May 16, UAVnavigation, another Spanish company specializing in unmanned air vehicles, was hit by Anonymous. UAV Navigation produces one of two flight control systems capable of handling unmanned helicopters.  A Google search shows that UAV Navigation’s main site is still down and Twitter has Anonymous taking credit.

From SpainTechnology.com:

The Spanish company UAV Navigation is positioned at the highest level of this competitive field, thanks to its systems for both unmanned aircraft and helicopters. In fact, because of the complexity of the latter, there are only two flight control systems in the world capable of handling them. And the system from UAV Navigation is one of them…

The company has created the unit UAV Navigation Inc in the United States and recently opened an office in Manassas, Virginia, in order to increase its penetration in the North American market.

UAV Navigation’s US website is still up.

Here’s a partial screenshot of Alpha Unmanned Systems’ home page as of this writing:

#N17 Marches, Good Jobs LA and Occupy LA: Actions and Arrests

Thursday, in two separate actions, several hundred people participated in a march organized by Good Jobs LA, with folks from Occupy LA, SEIU and citizens joining in as part of a general day of action to protest police actions in New York and elsewhere, and planned arrests went off without a hitch;  later in the afternoon, a large group from Occupy LA marched back to the Bank of America branch and some folks were arrested. There was no violence in either action.

Occupy LA at Bank of America, 11/17/2011 afternoon:

For the first march, 7am donuts, coffee, bananas and oatmeal bars were laid out for the protestors, news crews were in place and buses arrived with more people to join in. The Bureau of Street Services had closed off intersections and freeway off-ramps to accommodate the permitted march, and of course the LAPD was in place. This was a planned and permitted march which promised a banner hanging from an overpass and tents set up in an intersection, plus scheduled arrests! Wow, party!

 

The crowd warmed up for about half an hour with a drum trio and a rocking chant leader who rallied the crowd with

Tell me what democracy looks like! This is what democracy looks like!

Hola! Good job! LA!

Rebuild! LA

then the march began. As we turned a corner, Epic Fail Guy (aka Anonymous) and friends unfurled a huge banner reading

We Come In Peace

while dancing and posing. It was dramatic and goofy at the same time. EFG continued his frolicking on the other side of the building and mysteriously appeared on a flatbed truck with the chant leader at intersection of 4th and Figueroa where a huge banner guarded by sheriffs deputies hung from an overpass proclaiming

LA Needs Good Jobs

As promised, there was civil disobedience: Three tents were set up in the center of the intersection and twenty protesters with blue armbands circled holding hands. Eventually a lot of police showed up (it was kinda scary to see the really big schoolbus painted black with LAPD stenciled on it) with riot helmets and batons. But since there were no gas masks or shields, it was clear this was just crowd control.

Some, however, did have the latest fashion accessory, the “green gun” – a rifle with a green stock and strap which indicates it shoots rubber bullets. All of this was very structured. After we all got on the sidewalk, the police broadcast an order to disperse, declaring an unlawful assembly. After the second order, the cops marched in stood in front of the chanting crowds on the sidewalks, holding their batons, while a another group moved in and handcuffed the designated arrestees. First up, an 82-grandmother.

Each arrest was greeted with cheers and lots of news footage–all the local and national networks were there, plus police video teams, and it looked like at least half the crowd had cameras. When all 20 were arrested, the LAPD hopped on their riot-mobiles and sped away. We all began to disperse, though some stayed for speeches.

It was very stylized, regimented, well-orchestrated, though having police at both ends of the street was a little disconcerting, but there was street with sidewalks we could have used to bail if it had gotten weird.

I noticed some of the police officers doing crowd control didn’t look happy, they seemed uncomfortable with the idea that if things went south, they’d have to bonk folks with batons, folks of all races and colors and age, moms holding babies, senior citizens and scrawny artist types with cameras. Luckily, despite one hysterical woman who was shouting that we all needed to get in the streets and was moved away by organizers, the crowd listened to the chant leader who urged us to give the civilly disobedient their space and clear room for the officers.

Meanwhile, Occupy LA has filed a restraining order to prevent the LAPD from dismantling the camp without notice, and Police Chief Beck told the LA Times he is working to negotiate a timeline for the camp to leave. At camp factions have emerged: The rabid frothing anarchists–some of whom have come down from Oakland to radicalize Occupy LA and think, depending on who’s talking, Los Angeles Occupiers need to get off their butts and raise some havoc, get arrested, maybe smash some shit and, like you know man, start the Revolution, get tear-gassed, get their heads beat in, and generally make the eleven o’clock news, ‘cuz like Los Angeles looks like lazy sissies, we gotta represent for the Revolution, man; the more by-the-book activists who see the advantage of staying arrest-free during protests (this week there were five arrests relating to inter-camp issues including assault and lewd behavior), and believe in reformation through action and also in not repelling the average citizen with acts of violence including property damage; and the people who are just hanging out and doing nothing but living in the camp.

Later in the day, Occupy LA took over Bank of America Plaza on their own. There were numerous arrests.

 

Today I’m going to camp with FDL member Bluewombat to deliver socks, Neopsorin and other supplies from the FDL Occupy Supply Fund. The camp is still having massive food problems; the Health Department has been dropping in to inspect any kitchen Occupy LA uses for camp cooking, and donations of packaged foodstuffs are needed because the camp has lost another kitchen.

Bank Transfer Day: Remember, Remember the 5th of November

Money-movers, who advocate changing from large corporate banks to credit unions or small local banks, are calling to make November 5 a nationwide Bank Transfer Day.

Together we can ensure that these banking institutions will ALWAYS remember the 5th of November!!

• Open an account with a Credit Union
• Transfer your funds to the new account (online or in person) by 11/05
• Follow your bank’s procedures to close your account

To find a credit union near you: http://www.findacreditunion.com/

Wire transfers cost $35, can take three to five days to clear, and require an existing account in which the funds will land. A better plan may be to simply go to the bank and close your account in person, ask for cash or a bank check, trot over to a credit union and open an account. 11/5/11 is a Saturday so make sure your bank is open that day! Most credit unions are closed on Saturdays. Don’t forget to change any automatic bill pays, etc to your new account–and don’t forget where you hid the cash or bank check over the weekend!

Obviously there is an Anonymous component to this, since Bank Transfer Day is using the iconic Anonymous logo, drawn from the film V for Vendetta, based on Alan Moore’s serialized graphic novels of the same name. Side note: How peculiar was it that V for Vendetta was airing on TNT the first weekend of Occupy Wall Street? And yes, everyone appreciates the irony that TimeWarner makes a miniscule royalty on the sale of each mask. Your point?

The mask, and the stories behind it, are based on the futile hero/epic fail guy Guy Fawkes, who was captured in the basement of the House of Parliment with 36 barrels of gunpowder, which he and 12 others were planning to use to blow up the building and kill King James I on November 5, 1605. Fawkes was executed, and that night, throughout England bonfires were lit on November 5 to indicate the king’s safety. The tradition continues in the United Kingdom today, with added layers of meaning.

Anonymous pretty much considers Guy Fawkes to be an Epic Fail Guy, someone who fails brilliantly and whose fails may end up as successes anyway in spite of his own utter fail, and An Hero, s/he who strives with valor, yet futilely.

Bank Transfer Day 11/5 seems a far more enjoyable and profitable event than a proposed November 5th DDOSing of the NYSE website which could only get those who try that v&d (arrested). Just remember, remember the 5th of November is a Saturday!

Occupy LA Day 4: “Stay as Long as You Need, We’re Here to Support You”

 

Watch live streaming video from owslosangeles at livestream.com

 

The Occupy LA Livestream is up and running. When the mods are sleeping, there are re-runs of the past days: General Assemblies, marches interviews. And a live chat as well.

The LAPD has been cordial and all is well. Tuesday’s rain passed over downtown, but now on Wednesday, it’s definitely coming down everywhere. Heavy duty trash bags  are ready for the rain to cover signs; tarps are needed.

Yesterday, City Council president Eric Garcetti and fellow Council members Bill Rosendahl and Ed Reyes showed up to talk to protestors, along with Dennis Zine, a former registered Republican who told the Los Angeles Times:

It’s the right thing to do. We could just drive by them, or we could go talk to them.

Garcetti, who announced his run for mayor last month, told the protesters:

Stay as long as you need, we’re here to support you.

This morning Council Member Rosendahl will introduce a City Council resolution supporting the protesters.

SEIU leadership paid a visit, as did the janitors union. Both unions expressed support. Today Mayor Anthony Villaraigosa is supposed to drop by, but no time has been set. News crews were present again yesterday, and KFI640 AM talk show hosts John & Ken aired  a positive (for them) interview with an Occupier; they teased the piece by saying

Wall Street, something needs to be done about those goons.

Conservative-ish John & Ken are under fire for giving out the  business phone numbers of an immigration reform activist on air; the phone numbers were listed on a press release. Jorge-Mario Cabrera received  over 400 calls from angry, nasty and at times violence-proposing listeners  opposed to the DREAM Act, and there are demands for advertiser boycotts and for John & Ken’s firing.

Volunteers have secured a commercial kitchen and are preparing three meals a day. Donations of food are gladly accepted. The medic tent said toothbrushes would be very welcome!    Showers are becoming a necessity, with solar showers being discussed as an option. Handicapped porta-potties are coming on site, but donations are needed maintain the porta-potties; they cost approximately $3,000 a week. Recycling has been set up.

A hairdresser has offered to come down and give haircuts. An on-site silkscreen studio has been set up and is printing up tee-shirts, kerchiefs and patches. The items are made from donated fabric and tee shirts (turned inside out to obscure logos) and are given away. The guy manning the screens was wearing a hat printed with

1/21/2010 Never Forget

the date of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.

I asked some office workers waiting for the bus at City Hall what they felt about Occupy LA. One man replied:

Freedom of speech.

Another responded:

Wall Street is a problem.

The woman in the group said:

This is good. We need something to change.

Painter Alex Schaefer was also there, completing a plein-air work featuring the buildings of Los Angeles in flames. Up in the corner on bare canvas was scrawled

Symbolism

Schaefer, whose painting of a burning bank caused some upset, sold the work for over $25,000 to an anonymous European collector via eBay. Two weeks ago Schaefer was outside the Federal Reserve building completing a painting of the building aflame, when he was questioned by the Department of Homeland Security, who like the police in the prior incident took down his information, hence the written note on his work in progress. Laughed Schaefer:

They are art fans!

My last conversation was with Michael who lives in South Central and spent 14 years in and out of jail and prison.

My mother is my guiding light. She never gave up on me . . .

he told me, as we transitioned from a discussion about the names of the four guardian angels of the elements. (Yeah, it’s LA which explains soooo much about why this is a mellow, proactive scene).

While I was locked up, I read and studied, I got my AA degree. I come here to Occupy LA every day and sit and listen. And I have been talking to people and on they want me to lead a teaching.

Occupy Santa Barbara has not experienced the same cooperation with the police that Los Angeles is enjoying. Last night two Occupiers in de la Guerra Plaza, a city park, chained themselves to a flagpole and were removed by the fire department after the police had informed the crowd earlier in the day that protesting/camping in the park at night was against city code. Eight people, including the legal observer were arrested, while others stood on the sidewalks and cheered.

Meanwhile, this from the Washington Post:

QUESTION: Have the “Occupy Wall Street” protests reached a level of the President’s engaged awareness? Is he sympathizing with the protestors? Is he concerned about the protests at all?

CARNEY: I haven’t discussed it with him. I’m sure he’s aware of it because he follows the news. I would simply say that, to the extent that people are frustrated with the economic situation, we understand. And that’s why we’re so urgently trying to focus Congress’s attention on the need to take action on the economy and job creation.

Occupy LA Day 3: Sign Here!

 

This is the city. This is Los Angeles. Occupy LA has moved to the smaller north lawn of City Hall because a movie is shooting on the south lawn.

I don’t know the title, but I know that Ryan Gosling is hot!

exclaims an Occupy LA  volunteer at the media tent. Gosling didn’t stop over to say hi to the Occupiers, but the coordinator, multi-tasking at a computer, pack of Pall Malls and pad of paper as people ask her heaps of questions, said that she took a few extra breaks to catch a look at the Drive star.

The movie is Gangster Squad, a true tale about the Los Angeles Police Department’s efforts in the late 1940s and 50s to keep the mob out of Los Angeles. Sean Penn co-stars as the notorious Mickey Cohen.

City Councilman Richard Alarcon had dropped by earlier in the day. And Rocket Pizza delivered pizza! NBC, ABC, and both CBS stations had broadcast  trucks parked  and reporters scouring for interviews. There is no media blackout, but the media might get bored.

During General Assembly the announcer thanked the LAPD and the city council for allowing the Occupy LA to continue to assemble without permits, which are in the works. A huge round of applause went up and continued as the speaker introduced Vincent from Occupy Wall Street.  Vincent informed the crowd of almost 200 that the Occupy Movement was now in 70 cities.

Vincent said he was amazed at how organized Occupy LA was in only three days.

There are more people here tonight than we had in three days. You have a microphone, we didn’t have a microphone.

Tall, with a shaved head and full sleeve tattoos, Vincent said he is a anarchist and after he started doing Occupy WS, he saw how true leaderless government worked.  After much hand-waving and applause from the Occupiers, Vincent stepped back , Rose from La Puenta stepped up the mic with her story. A  single mom, Rose was late on a mortgage payment and the bank began foreclosure. She has decided to stay in her house and invited any Occupiers who would like to join her.

Come on down. There are fliers with my address.

La Puenta is twenty miles east of City Hall.

Next up, Brian from the International Workers of the World who began to explain how the consensus process works (basically if you like it or can live with it, don’t block it) which is designed to give everyone an equal voice and avoid power dynamics.

To keep groups from getting shut out, women of color. Queers.

Much applause and cheers from the LGBTQ in the crowd.

Then I overhead

How cute! A mom and her daughter just came with sandwiches they made!

My friends, Teresa the voter registration lady and her daughter Ava had arrived with a tin of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a huge stack of voter registration forms, which were very hard to find; there were none at three post offices, but luckily the post office at by the Grove, a celeb-studded outdoor mall had a huge stack.

I walked around with Teresa and her eight-year old as they asked people if they were registered to vote. The majority said yes, but those that weren’t happily took forms. Voting is important says Teresa because:

The three branches of the government are bought and sold, but the people can’t be. It’s not just electing officials, there are lots of propositions on ballots. And  judges.

Theresa also dropped off a stack of the forms at volunteer tables. One volunteer, who I had spoken to yesterday, asked her if she thought he should tell his boss–he works in finance and having just come from the office,  was wearing a button down shirt and tie–that he is spending his evenings and weekends at Occupy LA.

Ava and I ate bacon wrapped hotdogs–her first!–to celebrate her first time at a political event and we finished strolling around the camps.

This mornng I woke up and the rain had started. Occupy LA needs tarps, blankets, socks and toilet paper. They would also like reusable bowls, drinking glasses and flatwear which will be passed out to campers and washed to cut down on waste. There’s a PayPal donation button here, along with more info about what is needed.

 

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