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AdLib On October - 16 - 2011

At the Occupy Los Angeles protest yesterday, the earnest and dedicated nature of those protesting and the widespread reach of the protest were affirmed.

Yes, there were the young people using music and whimsy to express themselves as there were passionate speakers and marchers with signs, along with hundreds of determined protesters living in and adding their tents to the community of protesters occupying Los Angeles.

The charming Chernynkaya attended as well, a real treat to see her and she’ll be able to “Cher” her observations as well.

As Cher did, I took the Metro subway (yes, LA does have a subway!) to the protest, the symbolism of taking “the underground” seemed appropriate. Getting on at the same stop were several young men of various races holding cameras, blank posterboards and sticks, an older white hippie-ish man and his son, an older white woman, a young Asian woman on her own, all offering smiles, nods and “hello”s. This is one thing that the MSM and GOP don’t understand about this movement, the coming together is not limited to the physical site of a rally, it is extending through society.

When the Metro stopped near City Hall, it was remarkable to see how many people on the somewhat crowded train headed in the same direction to the rally. The sounds of cheers and drums could be heard upon exiting the station, growing in volume as I neared the protest.

Arriving in the early afternoon, I was met by protesters coming the other way with signs and water bottles, those who had no doubt come there early in the morning. The pleasant and confident nature of those passing by helped build the atmosphere of “event” and “community” as one approached.

The block on which City Hall is located was indeed busy and occupied with people, tents, marchers, musicians, eccentrics and displays in either direction. Some protesters marched with signs and banners around the block but most were concentrated in the tent city and along Spring Street, the street bordering City Hall on the north.

One of the first people I saw was a TeaBagger with a NAZI Obama-with-Hitler-Moustache poster, trying to rile up and provoke protesters but instead haplessly mired in a calm discussion with some (you can see him at the start of the video below, on the far left). I debated whether to film his conversation with protesters but felt that to be “the MSM thing to do”, giving attention to the one out of a thousand there seeking conflict and spewing hatred and chose to ignore him instead.

The first video below was shot as a continuous walk through to give you a feel of walking through the protest yourself, hopefully giving you a feel of the diversity and energy that has been unleashed through the Occupy Wall Street movement.

You’ll note that all the statements from supporters and detractors about there being a variety of focuses among the people there is quite true, from Vegans protesting animal cruelty in factory farming to those protesting human trafficking, there are so many causes for citizens to decry…which stem primarily from one cause…that of corporate domination of society and politics.

And so, OWS not having a focused message is not a deficit as many in Pundit Land declare, it is instead the only way in which such a broad and popular coalition of a majority of Americans can come together. The diversity in causes has divided the energies of the majority (along with many other things), the more serious problems corporate powers cause, the better for them because they splinter the American people amongst causes and dilute their power.

The Occupy Los Angeles protest is only growing, a huge swath of the lawn around City Hall that wasn’t occupied a couple of days ago, now is occupied.

The problem with corporate oppression is too massive for there to be a single silver bullet to kill so it is wise indeed to focus first on building a movement under the umbrella of fighting back against corporate domination and economic injustice then once a majority of Americans are connected, those who move forward in one direction or another have the strength of that coalition to empower and support them.

So, to begin, here is the first video, a walk-through of Occupy Los Angeles upon my arrival there yesterday:

Here is the second video, a view of some of the tent city on the front lawn of City Hall:

There were many sights and sounds of democratic strength and protest, here are some images from the day (click on a photo to enlarge it):

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

34 Responses so far.

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  1. Chernynkaya says:

    Time Magazine: “How Occupy L.A. May Get the City to Go After Banks”

    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2097543,00.html#ixzz1bjAsszaq


  2. Chernynkaya says:

    VAn Jones at Occupy Los Angeles:

    “Politics need to adjust to this movement, not the other way around.”
    Here’s a Twitpic--they don’t upload but it’s worth a click:

    • AdLib says:

      Thanks for the heads up and the pic, Cher.

      And a late response to your rant below, I think what you’re feeling is the same as the rest of those supporting and participating in OWS, a realization that plutocracy isn’t a looming threat…it’s here.

      It is a bit of a kick to the gut to come to that recognition though we shouldn’t feel discouraged at what we do to support the revolt, whether its blogging or contributing money or joining the protests in person. As long as we’re doing something to promote and support it.

      This is a huge conflict brewing, the most powerful forces in our nation and the world aren’t going to back off willingly and this is going to take a long and sustained commitment from people to see this through but…it can happen.

      Remember the Citibank memo in “Capitalism: A Love Story” where is states that we are already in a plutonomy and that the only possible threat would be if the majority rises up together?

      The only threat is the ultimate threat to them, they are 1% and they stand against the 99%. They do have money, Congresspeople, governors and mayors in their pockets and control over the police in many cities but even so, the majority far outnumbers all of them.

      So, this is a profound conflict and it may make individual efforts seem trivial in comparison but we’ve all fed the fire that brought things to a boil in the many actions we’ve taken along the way, it’s all led up to this and that is a good thing.

      Now, we have to make sure the movement continues to be strong and growing over the winter and we may have an American Spring to rival the Arab Spring.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        AdLib-- AMEN! I remember the 60’s, and this feels the same. It started with students and then more students and then older people and then it became a movement with many offshoots. This movement is smarter and addresses the issues for more people worldwide than did the movements of the 60’s. It may slow down and disperse and then re-group; these things don’t advance in a straight line. But every day I feel it’s getting bigger. But as you say, the challenge will be to keep at it. Something tells me people are not going to quit, even after several years.

        And you know when the MSM spends as much time on something as they have done on OWS, it’s not going away soon. Case in point: MTV’s show “Real Life” (actually a good show!) is starting an OWS series. I love that! It will make it accessible to teenagers, and thus the net group will be ready to “Occupy.”

  3. Chernynkaya says:

    A heads up to my fellow Angelinos:

    Van Jones will be speaking at Occupy Los Angeles at 4pm. If you can get there, that should be great.

  4. Chernynkaya says:

    This comment

    This OWS has me feeling feisty and challenging convention!

    on AdLib’s superb post, Stop Paying Banks Credit Card Debt, got me impelled to do a mini-rant, but I didn’t want to disrupt that thread.

    I’m feeling pretty feisty too. In fact I’m feeling downright anarchic. As I read articles for the Daily Planet, I see that there is not one area of our country that is not either under threat from corporatists or christianists, or already ruined by them.

    What the OWS movement has awakened in me is dangerous to my equanimity, because I now see how meager the tweaks that are available to us are. The protests make me feel as though all the policy and political discussions I have are silly, and irrelevant. They just seem like way too little, if not too late. I cannot think of one aspect of life in the US that is not spoiled to one degree or another: voting rights, the justice system, our political system, our media, the Supreme Court, education, women’s reproductive rights, the rights to our privacy. The so called American Dream is a laughable fiction, and the fact of the OWS movement--while not specifically articulating any of those issues--has begun and has become so widespread has allowed me to kind of take off my blinders and see how fucked up it all is. When I see the police tramping our rights to peaceably assemble to protect the rich, it’s sort of the last straw. Watching the “debates” of the GOP candidates fills me with dread, because the fact that there is a fair chance any of these stupid and malicious people could be elected to any elected office is an outrage. The fact that there are possibly enough like-minded people who are my countrymen to vote for these criminals is unthinkable, but a fact.

    The other day, Funksands replied to my post with this statement and it is so true:

    Obama steps up to the “machine” grabs the lever and it falls off in his hand. Machine is still there humming along but Obama is standing there with this lever in his hand that ISN’T WORKING THE MACHINE ANYMORE. It’s fucking broken.

    So, he and his gang start trying to MacGyver the damn thing trying to make it do ANYTHING useful, trying to make the best of a shitty situation and what does the lazy left do?

    They stand around SCREAMING at Obama because the lever doesn’t fucking work. He’s moved on, and some of us are still standing around THREE YEARS later looking at the goddamn LEVER still LAYING there on the ground wondering why “Shit is all fucked up and bullshit”.

    Get started FIXING THE MACHINE!! It’s not about Obama, he’s a temp!!

    See, I have no complaints about the President of towards those who are still trying to work the machine. In fact, it’s all we CAN do. I am still involved politically and will work hard to get Obama and my local Dems elected. But at the same time, since the OWS demonstrations, I know that this war will go on for decades--this is not something that can be fixed by a couple of elections. The forces of power in the world will not stop, and all we have left is our vote, and whatever influence protests have. I am thrilled to note that the OWS movement has really changed the conversation dramatically in only one month. I’m not discouraged, I’m furious. And I guess I see more clearly than ever that there is a tremendous amount of work to be done.

    Whew--that feels better!

    • javaz says:

      Nice rant, Cher!

      And I agree with you, especially in that it’s going to take time for things to change.

      I sort of have a theory and am probably wrong but I think it’ll be the corporations that bring about the change.

      I believe that corporations rule the world with globalization.
      Corporations have no sense of patriotism, as their only loyalty is profits.

      The rich will never be hurt, but the corporations will be as we as a nation continue a downward spiral when it comes to wages.

      Corporations need to sell stuff and Americans have always been the largest group of consumers in the world.

      The more Americans lose their jobs and take cuts in pay, means that more and more and more Americans will only be able to afford the bare necessities.

      Corporations will see a drop in sales and profits, and then they will eventually realize that they must pay people more so that they can sell their products.

      Henry Ford understood it, and he was a real SOB, but he understood that he had to pay his workers a good wage so that they could buy his cars.

      When it comes to the Radical Religious Right, I can’t worry too much about them as they are actually a minority that’s very vocal and the politicians love pandering to them.
      True people of faith are not fooled by them, but rather abhor them, in my most humble opinion.

      And corporations have no loyalty to any religion, except the Almighty Dollar.

      I seriously doubt that the Religious Right will ever be successful in banning birth control as the pharmaceutical companies would never stand for that.
      There’s too much money in it.

      I try to ignore a lot that’s going on and thinking too deeply about any of it, because I can’t control it, or change it and it’s depressing.
      All I can do is vote.

      I do take comfort in reading history, because really, we’re not going through anything that hasn’t happened before and people have always overcome and overcome much worse.

      That’s my 2 cents, and know it’s simplified, but I don’t know how else to explain it!

      • Chernynkaya says:

        Thanks, javaz--interesting take! You have a point and I have to think it through--it makes sense on one level. I completely agree about the global nature and anti-nationalism of the corps--they are stateless. But my first reaction is that there are new world markets for the corps to exploit. China is enormous and now has a nascent middle class. India is starting to catch up too. Once we have no more buying power, perhaps they will just move on to better markets. One thing I am sure of: They will set up a society of elites and workers. But you are so right about the historical perspective--this has happened before, and before progress has been victorious.

  5. Chernynkaya says:

    If he had lived, I am certain that Carlin would have been the spokesman of the OWS Movement--and there would be no confusion about what we are all protesting. He actually was, in 2005:

    “The American Dream”

  6. empi says:

    Sorry if I offended anyone with my comments. It’s the way I saw it . I watched the videos and I didn’t see what everyone else saw but it was not my intention to offend. Sorry for calling Los Angelenos lazy -- of course there are lazy people all over but when it comes to really protesting, I can’t remember a big protest in Los Angeles about anything -- and i have lived here for a long long time. The only real protests I have seen have been from latinos . Again, sorry if I offend thee

  7. empi says:

    I hate to be a downer but the Los Angeles turnout sure weren;t displaying any signs about jobs. It looked like a lot of lookey loos looking for a reason to eat and dance. I live in Los Angeles so it doesn’t surprise me. Lazy folks.

    • AdLib says:

      You should watch the video above, Empi, what you wrote simply isn’t accurate. I don’t understand why someone who didn’t attend something would be so certain in disputing the observations of those who did.

      There was no eating to speak of and little dancing, the majority there marched, listened to speeches and for the most part, protested and talked with other people about the issues. There is a tent city there where hundreds of people have been camped out and living in uncomfortable conditions in order to protest and there were many including myself and Cher who joined the protest on Saturday in support.

      There are lazy folks throughout the US, including LA but it is hardly accurate to call the people who are living in tents in Downtown LA or took the trouble to get out of their homes, go downtown and protest injustice as being such.

    • Kalima says:

      That’s funny empi, I saw two just in the pictures AdLib posted above. If you click on the pictures, you can enlarge them. I have a lot of good friends in LA, and none of them are in any way, lazy folks. Btw, AdLib and Cher live in LA too. Cher has lived there her whole life.

      • AdLib says:

        First off, though jobs are an urgent and important issue, so is the bigger issue of corporate domination and economic inequity which includes joblessness, redistribution of the majority’s wealth to the top 1%, poor pay, damage to our democracy and more.

        I don’t understand imposing an arbitrary qualification, suggesting that if one was protesting against anything other than joblessness, they weren’t protesting.

        Reviewing the photos I posted, at least half address joblessness directly or indirectly. And that’s despite the fact that my photos weren’t about presenting only those with signs that protested joblessness or giving a sense of the proportion protesting against joblessness instead of other legit issues…yet a preponderance still reflect that issue.

        I do understand the reservations and/or cynicism towards OWS and its participants, the American people have been disappointed again and again but a big part of what holds back change are the American people themselves.

        Disparaging those who are working for change is not supporting change. Nor is voting back into power the very people who are the enemies of 99% of Americans.

        If Americans can manage to stop sabotaging themselves, things can indeed get better.

  8. choicelady says:

    Oh wow -- AdLib and Cher -- I’m so sorry I could not be there! It looked wonderful, energetic, funny, powerful! Thank you for pix of all the great signs and all the great people. I ADORE the woman who is 90! She says it all! Now I feel like a total wimp -- stood for about 2 1/2 hours at the Unite Here! picket and threw my hip out. If the 90-year-old can do it, who am I to wuss? On the whole I vastly prefer marching to standing. I hope she survived without any aches and pains, but bless her heart for DOING that!

    Good energies just come through all your photos, and your descriptions are superb. The Occupy Sacramento was pretty much a dud, but there were people, were signs, and my fave scene -- a policewoman laughing with some of the people with signs. THAT is a sign in itself.

    I do love the “be the change you want -- yes YOU” sign. This is going to need momentum to keep things moving along. We do need to focus on elections (November in Ohio is critical) and new ideas, and legislation and ballot measures. We need good judges and judicial rulings. Someone noted about all this that we can’t forget it took decades for the Civil Rights movement to become embedded in laws that affirmed and then guaranteed rights. Those things have to happen. They will take time. We cannot lose hope.

    So thank you for showing the face of Occupy LA. Thank you MORE for being part of it! Yours are two faces that already have changed the world for the better! Say hi to respective families from choicelady -- hope to be there next time!

    • AdLib says:

      I’m with Cher on this, it’s easier to be part of a bigger protest than to be one of the primary people in a smaller protest, don’t sell yourself short, Choicelady!

      Hope your hip is feeling better, BTW!

      Sacramento isn’t the most Progressive area so it’s not surprising that turnout wasn’t as big but those who did were joined across the state, the country and the world by their friends so you weren’t really so few at all!

      I am even more confident today that there will be specific actions and victories that result from this national and global movement, some that right now would be unthinkable.

      Such a movement has already had its fits and starts, it does feel to me that as in mountain climbing, OWS has set an anchor so even if the movement loses its footing, it will be caught and be able to climb back towards self-determinism from this point.

      There’s no going back to zero now, we are past that. Whatever happens in the future builds on where we are now.

      BTW, I saw that the right is getting more scared and Cantor and Romney are doing a 180 on attacking OWS as mobs and dangerous.

      Too bad boys, you’re on video expressing your true feelings about 99% of Americans and we’re not going to let anyone forget.

      • agrippa says:

        The hyperventilating by Cantor and Romney shows their fear. If they were unconcerned they would have remained silent.

        The photos and videos are excellent.

        I do hope that ‘OWS/we are the 99%’ continues to grow into something. The USA is a very large and diverse place. It takes a lot of time and effort to get the country moving.

      • choicelady says:

        I am a woman of some substance intellectually. I am polite to those around me. I respect elected officials as part of our democracy. I hold a position of responsibility. I believe in seeing all people as worthwhile and equal.

        But seeing Boehner and Cantor backpeddle?


        You may resume your regular activities.

        • foodchain says:

          AdLib: I had trouble loading your article last night, so Good Morning!. Maybe I’m projecting from my own experience, but you wrote in a way that I felt conveyed the special feeling that comes from gatherings that have good, kind people united to create something better. The videos had good energy, the street sound had a great chant feel.

          The comments about OWS not having a specific focus, being used by MSM to continue the rant that the left is “soft”, has given me a simple yet clear response:

          The unifier in all this is, of course, greed. The commonality is that all these things have been taken away, destroyed, humiliated, ignored because of only one thing: greed. That is why this is not an unfocused demonstration. It is the sum of all that greed has caused.

          I glad you took your family; cool. :-)

          • AdLib says:

            Good Afternoon back to you, Foodchain!

            Yes, that’s what came across to me in person, there is such a positive and unifying feeling among the Occupy folks and a strength.

            What the MSM pudnuts refuse to or can’t comprehend is that the aspects of corporate domination are many and varied. There is not one set of demands that would solve all of them. And the American people focus on the ones that strike the strongest chord in them so they go in different directions when it comes to specifics.

            When it comes to the big picture though, they now recognize that they are all going in the same general direction, fighting corporate domination and the damage it is wreaking.

            That’s at the heart of this movement and why it’s a success and growing.

          • agrippa says:

            OWS does not need a ‘specific focus’. The foci ( plural!) may emerge as events unfold.
            The USA is large and diverse.

            • foodchain says:

              Agrippa, I agree and I think it’s an advantage: it gives a very broad and complete face to the pain caused by greed in all it’s faces, whether it is corporate profits, personal egos, political power or just selfishness played out in fear of helping others.

              I do like seeing how the many faces of greed have caused many faces of neglect and loss. And I love the word “foci” but would be in trouble if I said it in my neighborhood 😉 I’ll remember to use it more though.

        • foodchain says:

          Choice Lady: perfect! Good chuckle on that

        • AdLib says:

          Heh! It is pretty amusing to FINALLY see those RW bullies start cowering in fear.

          They’ve been kicking over and stomping on all the other kids’ sand castles then suddenly turn to see a massive wave about to crash down on them.

          I love a good comeuppance! Theirs is coming and they’re just starting to see it.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Well, CL--WE were sorry you weren’t with us for our own selfish reasons (I know I can speak for the AdLib family on this.)

      OK, you need a good talking to from a paragon of guilt Jewish mother. You stood for hours in the Sacramento sun on behalf of union workers (which BTW had none of the cache of the OWS demonstrations but was every bit as important) and yet you find something to berate yourself for--hip pain! Are you Catholic? Because they are the only other group I know as guilt-ridden as my lansmen. Now listen to me: Hot bath, bed and a mindless TV show or novel. THAT’S probably how that fabulous women at the OWS-LA lived to be 90! (OK, probably not--she looks care-worn and of hearty stock who worked every day of those 90 years.) Wuss indeed! Gimme a break.

      And yes--it will take decades and we cannot give up--eye on the prize! (I think it was I who said it. :-) )

      • choicelady says:

        Thank you, dear Cher. No -- not Catholic nor Jewish but raised to believe I’m entirely responsible for the well being of the world. I am very strong -- sling 35-pound boxes of kitty litter regularly -- and very flexible (do Pilates) but the older I get the more I discover I CANNOT stand in one place without consequence. Walking? No problem. I think this is one more bit of evidence that there is no intelligent design. Who’d build a system that frail?

        But when I look at the photos of the WW II vet and the 90-year-old woman (also a WW II vet given her age) it does make me feel silly. The hip is better -- mindless novels, warmth, and Aspercream have made a huge difference. Very much appreciate the uplift and support! That helps too!

        But three cheers to you and the AdLib family for getting all these AMAZING photos! It looks like it was just great fun -- and yes, the beginning, not the end.

      • AdLib says:

        Indeed Cher, our meeting up at the rally couldn’t help but make us think of how cool it would have been to have CL and so many in our Planet community come together for something meaningful like this.

        Woody Allen is credited for a quote (not sure if he coined it) which I find very appropriate for OWS and all we did:

        “90 percent of life is just showing up.”

        That’s all we did and that’s all thousands of people did in LA and around the country and the world…and just showing up truly makes a powerful statement and a difference.

        • choicelady says:

          That is absolutely the truth. Even if Woody said it. It does matter, and I’m glad everyone did whatever everyone could.

          And for those who could not -- cheering everyone else on!

          And sending giant raspberries to GOP whiners. Always good, too.

  9. Chernynkaya says:

    Here’s nice coverage for the Los Angeles Times about yesterday. It seems that our message is not so hard to figure out after all--they get it pretty well:

    “‘We are the 99%,’ L.A. marchers chant at protest”
    Frustrated and angry, their unifying sentiment is that middle-class and poor Americans are being hurt at the hands of greedy corporate profiteers and politicians.


    • AdLib says:

      BTW, the video you posted on your article showing the march was remarkable! We arrived after the march so it was phenomenal to realize that the many people that crowded the area while we were there were but a fraction of those who had been there!

      Now how come it’s not so difficult for the LA Times to get what this movement is about but most pundits and other outlets in the MSM huff that it’s not about anything they can figure out?

  10. javaz says:

    Very nice videos and pictures.
    It’s all so exciting to see so many people and so many young people getting involved.
    It gives me hope.

    • AdLib says:

      Thanks javaz! The enthusiasm and confidence of the young people was exciting. I was also thrilled to see plenty of middle aged and older folk out there too. This is a real people’s movement of all ages and races.

      As the song goes, “Something’s happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear.” But it is happening.

  11. Chernynkaya says:

    AdLib, those video really adds so much to the feeling of the day--just excellent work! I was struck even more by watching the videos how much people were talking to and listening to each other. It was like one of those teach-ins from the 60’s. People were educating and informing each other and sharing why they were there.

    You said something in your post that I have been trying to say too but couldn’t formulate:

    And so, OWS not having a focused message is not a deficit as many in Pundit Land declare, it is instead the only way in which such a broad and popular coalition of a majority of Americans can come together. The diversity in causes has divided the energies of the majority (along with many other things), the more serious problems corporate powers cause, the better for them because they splinter the American people amongst causes and dilute their power.

    YES! That’s it exactly. There may not seem to be a cohesive message but there actually is: Corporate plutocracy SUCKS! It poisons and destroys its host--we 99%. It poisons democracy--we 99%. It poisons capitalism--served by 99%. So of course, just because we enumerate and protest each of the myriad tentacles of this monster, the idiots in the lazy media whine that there is no single message for them to over-simplify and then ridicule.

    Someone needs to do a Venn diagram of all the issues on all the signs throughout the movement and at the center where all would overlap would be Corporatism. So thank you!

    • AdLib says:

      Thanks Cher, all I did was press the “record” button, reality did the rest!

      I got the same sense as you from all of it, a real coming together as people. Almost like a re-recognizing of the humanity we have in common with each other and that same desire of wanting things to be better and more just.

      So many conversations between strangers who spoke as neighbors, musicians and artists and dancers and people expressing themselves…as human beings have always done so.

      What the status quo absolutely does not want is the people coming together and agreeing that they don’t need the status quo to speak for them or make decisions for them. If a majority comes together and eschews the MSM and corporate owned politicians and plutocracy, they can chart their own course without regard for what the status quo wants.

      So whether it’s intentional or just a defensive reaction, the insistence by the status quo that this movement has no future because it is “only” bringing people together but not making a narrow list of demands, is just more manipulative BS.

      As I’ve said before, first you get the team together on the field, then you play the game. We’re just recruiting now. They can’t stand waiting for us to start playing? They’ll regret that they ever thought that!

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