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Corrupt Elite Inspires Occupy Protester To Act

Sarah Zahedi |
October 5, 2012 | 11:10 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Leslie Radford (Sarah Zahedi/Neon Tommy).
Leslie Radford (Sarah Zahedi/Neon Tommy).
Leslie Radford, a professor of communication at Pasadena City College, said that a corrupt elite has motivated her to get involved with Occupy Los Angeles.

“The income gap is a huge problem,” she said as she pointed to the crowd of Occupy activists sitting in Pershing Square Monday night. “Look at the number of people sitting here that are homeless. Maybe half of the people in this group are not going to be in sheltered spaces tonight and that’s wrong.”

Radford, 57, has participated in several Occupy L.A. events throughout the past year.

“There’s almost nothing going right the way the world is going,” she said. “Occupy is about people taking back and owning their literal and political space. If that could happen, the world would change for the better.”

As the movement continues into another year, Radford said she is pleased with its development.

“I know this started as an economic movement but it’s becoming a great social movement as well."

Her experiences as a protester in the Occupy movement have continuously encouraged her to come back and help out with later events.

“Every time I come to Occupy events, it’s a positive experience. All the people who come here are hugely engaged.”

Despite some initial setbacks, Radford said that Occupy is continuing to make progress in terms of organization.

“During the first days of the movement, we had trouble setting up general assemblies," she said. "Subgroups competed and shouted at each other. Now they are more united in making change and know what they’re doing.”

“The movement is just a year old. It’s had some growing pains but I can’t think of another movement in history that was any further along after a year."

Radford has high hopes for the future of the Occupy movement.

“Occupy protesters are the smartest activists I’ve ever seen,” she said. “They have direction and vision. It gets me excited and makes me think we can create a world that really takes care of people.”

Read more of Neon Tommy's coverage on the Occupy movement here.

Reach Staff Reporter Sarah Zahedi here, follow her on Twitter here.



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