OccupyLA and OccupySF Gather People to Protest and Plan
The California spinoff which includes OccupyLA and OccupySF will both be active this weekend. Saturday, OccupyLA will be holding a protest today to march on City Hall and Occupy SF will host a general assembly at the Civic Center.
Still so new that a representative from OccupyWallstreet said on Friday that they are not yet in touch with the California branch and the San Francisco branch said that they are not yet collaborated with the Los Angeles one, people nevertheless continue to flock to each Occupy group.
When asked how many people he expected at the meeting Saturday, Corry a communications representative for OccupySF said during a phone interview, “There are more people coming in every minute. We’re expecting a lot [to come to the general assembly today]. We’ve created a lot of buzz. The fact that we are physically taking action and using social media and the internet as our tool is the most effective way, it’s a means to an end. It keeps it up to date and keeps people engaged and aware this is live and happening.”
Corry said, “Right now we’re building… people are jumping in left and right. A lot of people who are never active politically, a lot of people who are following what’s going on in New York. Since we don’t have demands, it’s about participation and a need to organize ourselves so we can function more. It’s about creating a direct democracy and participating in a direct way with clear communication. We’re working on trying to get engage people around their skills and interests. Our goals for the general assembly is to solidify working groups.”
Expanding on what the group is about, Corry said, “We’re much more about participating to achieve the goals to create a structure to function politically. Get the word out and grow and continue to work out what our group is about and what we’re trying to say. There’s a space for anyone’s voice to be heard...We want to solidify small groups into a cohesive general assembly they have their working committees and we resolve on how to proceed. There’s a demand. We haven’t adopted any political demands. Just bring your skills.”
For Corry, he sees the Occupy San Franciso as something that doesn't need to be defnied. “We’re creating a model for participatory government, it’s vague in the sense that we don’t have political demands," said Corry. "We will use the space to organize and build democracy and we’re shaping that right now. It’s what is being defined by what people bring to the discussion, the skills and resources that they bring.”
Occupy Los Angeles currently has a livestream feed of the protest today online and 2,606 guests confirmed to attend the event on Facebook. Stacey Swimme a representative for the organization said through e-mail that social media has had a great effect on Occupy LA.
Swimme wrote, “The majority of us learned about Occupy Wall St through social media and in turn we found organize LA through the same channels.”
She explains that Occupy Los Angeles is using the General Assembly model similar to that in Occupy Wall Street. According to Swimme, “We have no leaders, so a different person facilitates each GA and there are various teams and committees that carry out tasks.”
When asked about Occupy Los Angeles’ long term goals, Swimme responded by writing, “Right now we're building our numbers and taking our time with a process for establishing goals and demands that are representative of a large, diverse group.”