A sea of tents has been erected on the lawn surrounding Los Angeles City Hall since Saturday, as more and more people flock to participate in Occupy Los Angeles, one of the largest protests to form as a result of Occupy Wall Street. The total number of permanent occupiers–overnight campers–ranges between 300 and 400 people and has at times reached 1,000 or more.
People representing every social, political, and economic view are occupying the area surrounding City Hall.
“I’m here to protest the corporate influence on politics, to end fractional banking, and pretty much change everything about the way we live,” said a college-age protester named Michael, who declined to give his last name.
“We have a society where if supply is low and demand is high, that’s a good thing,” he added. “We should be focusing on abundance and how to take care of everybody.”
From the overthrow of despots in the Middle East to the rage of disenfranchised youth in Europe (mostly Greece and Spain), revolution has been sweeping the world. This wave of civil unrest hit American shores in September in the form of a massive political protest and sit-in called Occupy Wall Street in New York City.
What began as a peaceful call to arms by Canadian activist magazine Adbusters for people to occupy “Wall Street, the financial Gomorrah of America” on Sept. 17, 2011, has now blossomed into a protest with approximately 1,000 New York participants; many of whom camp out in nearby Zuccotti Park night after night.
Within the past week alone, the Occupy Wall Street movement has grown into a nationwide “revolt” dubbed the American Autumn, involving over 400 cities, against the top one percent of America’s wealthiest people and the “corporate takeover” of the American government by corporations.
A self-proclaimed anarchist named Alex Everett feels that even though there are a lot of problems, people aren’t united enough to help each other out.
“There’s a lot of things wrong with the world right now… more young people than there should be are just dead poor right now, and you can’t throw them under the bus or they’ll revolt,” Everett said.
The largest problem with America, according to Everett, is that “we don’t talk to each other,” emphasizing there needs to be a national dialogue among people and that by discussing these issues around the world and learning from one another, real change can occur.
Even older generations are involved in the protest.
“I’m appalled at what’s going on in this country. There’s a long list of things that need to be fixed. But I think the first thing that needs to be fixed is the fact that corporations own Congress,” said retired math teacher Lucy Horowitz.
“I also want to improve the education system in this country, we’ve got a long way to go,” she said. “We need not only to repair schools and so on, but we need to pay teachers more so that people will want to be teachers.”
Credit: Ben Gill/The Foothill Dragon Press.