Face Of Occupy L.A.: Josh Leffler
Leffler is not your typical young, leftist political activist. He grew up in an evangelical Christian, Republican voting home in San Gabriel. He attended Pasadena City College and seemed on track to follow an ordinary educational path.
Then Leffler had a change of heart. He wanted to go to Egypt.
Leffler decided to move to Cairo. Enrolling in the local university, he rented an apartment in the heart of downtown and began pursuing his college degree. Throughout these five years, he witnessed the bubbling, boiling and ultimate explosion of the revolution against Hosni Mubarak.
“I was really inspired and transformed by what I witnessed," Leffler said. “Before my experience in Cairo, politics was something that I would discuss over meals with friends, but after that, it became everything, like the totality of life."
When he returned to California last March, Leffler began to become more involved in politics.
He attended the Occupy L.A. general assembly just three days after he returned. Leffler lives with his parents and is currently unemployed.
He spends a lot of his time at Pershing Square attending Occupy L.A. events. He has been participating in both the assemblies and protests since his return.
The Occupy movement has been met with great dissent nationally. Opponents of the movement believe that the lack of leadership and focus prohibits occupiers from making any real change.
“I completely disagree with that criticism," Leffler said. "In fact, I think it’s the one thing that has made Occupy so potent because it’s inclusive. Like, you can show up to an assembly and your opinion is just as valid and equal as everyone else’s.”
Leffler said he believes the Occupy L.A. movement is helping to make genuine changes in legislation.
“Politics is everything and revolution is everything,” he said.
Read more of Neon Tommy's coverage on Occupy L.A. here.
Reach Staff Reporter Sarah Khasrovi here.