Originally Posted 10/16/11:
I went down to Occupy Wall Street yesterday. Occupy LA, rather, in front of City Hall. I wanted to see what it was about, what people were actually protesting, what they actually wanted. Also, I figured there would be girls there.
The talk on the internet seems to be that OK, it is understandable that people are pissed off about “the way things are right now,” but the “movement” has no concrete goals and really stands for nothing besides inchoate frustration. And so while it’s growing, while it’s spreading worldwide, while cops are cracking heads in Zuccotti Park and Carbanieri vans are on fire in Rome, until this “movement” gets its shit together and actually asks for something it’ll all be for nothing.
From what I saw at occupy LA this is entirely accurate. First, I was a little disappointed that it is in fact a peaceful, organized protest. There was a march right before I got there, which seems to have gone smoothly and in an orderly fashion. There is a tent city around City Hall that is completely confined to the grass with fastidious volunteers appearing out of nowhere every five minutes to pick up cigarette butts. Protestors happily stayed contained in the few streets that the city had conscientiously blocked off to keep shit from getting out of hand, and gathered around a stage and PA system that seems to have been set up with all the appropriate permits. There was an adequate amount of Port-o-sans. The few cops visible were the LAPD’s bike-bound squad of “courtesy officers,” or whateverthefuck they’re called. They wear purple shirts that make them look like the world’s most militant kickball team. They kept to themselves, returned eye contact and smiled when smiled at. This is different, I gather, from New York, where the NYPD is crushing people’s femurs and throwing haymakers at nancy-boy college kids. As is their wont. Continue reading