Occupy L.A. Live Blog: On The Protest Front
Occupy Los Angeles, which began just weeks ago in solidarity with the massive Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City, continued into the weekend, with members railing against corporate greed, income inequality and other examples of socioeconomic unfairness. Scroll down for updates.
Sat., 4:50 p.m.
It's difficult to watch the Occupy movement and not think of Woodstock. There isn't a spot on City Hall grounds that hasn't been frequented by musicians, plucking at guitar strings, pounding on drums, shaking tambourines. The subject matter of their songs: peace, freedom, protest, rebellion.
Today they've barricaded Spring Street and set up an Occupy LA stage, where local artists, musicians, poets and anyone who wants to have a say are invited to perform. Southern California-based group the Mowglis take the stage and give blessings to the Occupy LA protesters.
Sat., 2:45 p.m.
Comparisons to the Arab Spring at the Occupy LA protest are many. Several signs reference the revolutions sweeping across the Middle East: "Arab Spring = US FAIL!!!"
The Yemen Peace Project, a photo exhibit documenting the protests in Yemen, has also set up a presentation here at City Hall.
Sat., 2:15 p.m.
There's s carnival-like atmosphere back at the City Hall camp. Many of the protesters have left, but those who stayed are enjoying spoken word performances, music, dancing and speeches calling for "economic freedom.”
A diverse selection of political material, including signs, pamphlets and books, cover the ground wherever there aren’t tents pitched. Local artists sell handmade T-shirts and sing, strumming guitars alongside the sidewalk.
A kids village has been set up where children can color, draw and play with donated toys. Michelle Waterhouse of San Gabriel Valley has brought her children, Bailey and Tristan, here to play.
Waterhouse said she's protesting because she believes there is an unfair concentration of wealth that victimizes the lower classes.
"We're all just scampering around to get the scraps that they're leaving," she said, "whereas the wealthy at the top have billions and billions and billions of dollars."
Sat., 1 p.m.
More than a thousand Occupy LA protesters are walking up Hill Street.
Sat., 12 p.m.
The protesters have flooded onto 5th street in front of Pershing Square. LAPD assistant commanding officer John Sherman estimates that there are at least a thousand people here today.
Sat., 11:45 p.m.
California resident Jennifer addresses the crowd. She says she lost her job at a corporation. "Channel yourself and change the world, that's all you can do!"
Sat., 11:30 a.m.
Animal rights, environmental justice, Palestine, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the bank bailouts are among the dozens of causes represented on signs, fliers, t-shirts, and buttons at Pershing Square.
Pets are everywhere -- protesters walking dogs on leashes make calls for better animal treatment. One man's backpack doubles as a solar panel. A table set up at the square offers books, fliers, newspapers and other material on socialism.
American flags abound, alongside signs that call for a return to democratic principles. The "99%", however, is the event's most prevalent motif -- demonstrators have scrawled it on all their clothing and signs, some even on their arms and necks.
Sat., 11 a.m.
Around 200 protesters arrive at Pershing Square.
"Whose square?! Our square!"
San Bernardino resident Todd Lee drove seventy miles to attend today's proceedings.
"I really believe that the people need to come together," said Lee, "I'd love to see an American consciousness and awareness of what's going on."
Demonstrators pass around a bullhorn and rally the crowd. One girl says she goes to school at Occidental College but must work two jobs to make ends meet.
"Education is a right!" yells back the crowd, pounding on drums and shaking tambourines.
Sat., 10:40 a.m.
Protesters have begun their demonstration in Pershing Square, marching along Spring Street from City Hall.
"We are the 99 percent!" they chant. "All night, all day, we will Occupy LA!"
Kylw Way, 23, rode the train here from the Inland Valley to show his support for the Occupy movement.
"I'm here for economic justice and social justice that I think our country's been lacking for a really long time," said Way.
Sat., 10:30 a.m.
As the Occupy LA protesters camped out on City Hall grounds enter their third week today, organizers are gearing up for a Global Day of Action. The all-day event includes a slate of protests, speeches, and concerts.
"We're here to take back control of the economy from the richest 1 percent," said media volunteer Joe Briones.
At 10:30 protesters will march to Pershing Square. Emerging from their tents and pouring in from the streets, protesters carry signs denouncing corporate greed and call for peace and freedom.
"It's in solidarity with all the people in the world suffering from economic inequality," said city liasion Mario Grito on today's day of action. He says they aexpect anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 people to march this afternoon.
Reach Tasbeeh Herwees here.