Yesterday, as part of the nation-wide and world-wide Occupy Wall Street movement, my own Los Angeles ramped up it’s demonstration. Unfortunately, we got to the event later than planned as my husband had to work in the morning. But here is a video posted by some wonderful soul who get there on time.
To be honest, I couldn’t tell how large the demonstration was yesterday, but judging from the video, it looks as if it’s grown. Actually I wish it had been bigger for such a huge city. (We are the second largest city in the United States after NY.) I can’t understand why it isn’t gigantic, but this post from Cal State L.A. professor Louis Esparza partially explains it:
The majority of my students at Cal State, Los Angeles had not heard of the Occupy movement before I projected the Wall Street feed live into the classroom alongside my lecture on State Theory. There is something eerie about lecturing on revolutions alongside live images of white shirts beating on decent people. The streets of Manhattan have never looked at once so familiar and so foreign.
There are real grievances: the bailouts, Wall Street excess, abuses from banks, the lack of jobs, and so on. There are many ideas about what has sparked this outburst now: an SEIU lecture, the Zapatistas, the Spanish Indignados, Adbusters, anonymous, alter-globalization protesters, the Tea Party, and so on.
Decades of social movement scholarship has failed to answer the question of why movements happen when they do, though I do not see an end anytime soon to people trying to answer the question. The more interesting question, however, is how do we get from where we are today to where this movement wants us to go?
His post is worth the read, but that first line struck me, and made me remember how most people have no clue what the hell is happening in their own lives, let alone the world; which makes it all the more miraculous that this movement–without any help from the MSM–has taken off like wildfire.
As you probably know, L.A. County is incredibly spread out: 4,752.32 square miles. That’s a big distance but thanks to our fairly new MetroRail system, we made it from Long Beach way in the south to City Hall in 40 minutes, for five bucks round trip. We met our AdLib and his wonderful family there and they came from the opposite direction in the San Fernando Valley and told us that via MetroRail they made it in 15 minutes. So the distance is really no excuse. I hope that as the movement becomes more visible more people will join up.
The mood was a mellow as any stereotype of L.A. and represented most of us. Here are some pictures my husband took. Hope you get a feel for it: