I decided to wander downtown in search of the remnants of the Occupy LA march that started this morning at 4th and Figueroa. It was the two-month-iversary today and so there were special actions to mark the day. I got off the Dash F bus (took it up from the USC campus) and wandered up Fig, finding no clues. I wandered around for a bit more, but then I noticed the real clues were in the sky above. It’s something I’ve used before to figure out where the activity of interest is – look into the sky and watch the pattern of helicopters. There’ll be two types… The still ones up high are going to be TV, monitoring at a certain fixed distance… then there’ll be a lower one circling and moving around more. That’ll be the police, and at the center of that circle is what you are looking for. It was over the very center of the newer part of downtown, so I figured the movement was occupying right in the financial centre, and I was correct. Just North of Hope and 4th, or thereabouts, at the Alexander Calder sculpture (right where the opening pages of one of my stories for the graphic novel takes place, in fact (see here), so I know the area well from my location scouting)…
Anyway, both the protesters and the police were out in strength… a lot of police, in fact. Also lots of on-lookers, unsure of where and how close to stand. I stood back for a while as well, and then realized that there was no real issue with getting close and listening to what people were saying. So I did, and took some pictures for you:
The one at the top of this post is a set of three glued together. The others are six other snaps*. Click for larger views.
The protesting was pretty good natured, all around (I was there around 2:00pm), with several people regularly urging everyone to be peaceful, and calling out for more people to join in. A nice background sound was the chorus of voices of the core protesters repeating what was being said at the front to those at the back so that everyone could hear the deliberations. There was only a little of that while I was there, but it is a major feature of the larger gatherings, I’ve learned over the weeks. Some random shouting back and forth would break out for a while (mostly enthusiasts from the sidelines yelling advice, or thoughts) but this would quickly dampen down as someone would urge people to calm down, and they would. And so it went on for a while, with some people on the sidelines muttering things like “this is serious”, because of the large police presence (officers were mostly standing in protective lines in front of entrances to various financial centers), and other people (mostly the ones in the thick of it) just thoroughly enjoying the camaraderie, the attention, and perhaps finding some fulfillment.
An interesting time.
*Camera-phone, so dodgy quality… of course I forgot to bring my better camera. Did not realize I’d come to this.