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November 04, 2011

Occupy LA - Heavy on the Occupy, Light on the Protest [ArthurK]

My jury duty was Right Next Door to the Occupy LA site so..., why the hell not. Let's ask some questions.

My goal was not to engage in a debate, just ask the same questions to typical looking occupiers and see what's up.

No pictures. Verum Serum was All Over That yesterday so look at his stuff.

I walked past at noon and did my interviews after 4pm. There was a lot of occupation and damn little protesting. There's typically more protestors in that area when the Occupy LA guys aren't around. One guy with a bullhorn was yelling that this was more important that the Jackson Dr. trial. He was ignored. The very close entrance to the Superior Court house is prime protesting area as is City Hall (where the Occupy LA guys are). When you walk by Occupy LA you see rows and rows of tents and, occasionally, scruffy looking people in the area. I guess they don't like daylight?

Unlike OWS (NY) they have lots of porta-potties. And drum noise isn't an issue. No residential areas nearby. But I didn't notice any drums.

Place seemed mellow. It's LA, not surprising.

I asked these 4 questions.

1. Name a politician or statesman (living or dead) you respect. (tweeted from @siftyboones)

2. If you have a problem with a student loan, why'd you get it? That is, what was your plan to pay it back?

3. Assume you get your way. How will the world be different?

4. If you saw a violent crime in the protest area, would you report it? (tweeted from @rdbrewer4)

First, I talked with Katie. She was a serious protestor - white clown-face makeup with green dollar signs.

1. "Nothing comes to mind."

2. Yes. Graduated 7 years ago and unable to find a job in her career (graphics design). Has 2 federal loans and a private loan.

3. "There would be opportunities - maybe not for my generation but definitely for the one coming up... there would be more chances for jobs... for better paying jobs." (something sustainability and green energy)

4. Definitely!

Mel was standing next to her.

1. Theodore Roosevelt and Alan Grayson (some crank congressman from Florida)

2. Doesn't have a problem with a student loan. (sounds like he paid them off)

3. "I would like to see more people have affordable health care. I would like for people not to have to work 3 jobs to meet minimum standards of living. I would like (for people not to have to postpone retirement because they still have to work). I would like less regulation on pharmaceuticals (prescription drugs) so they would be more affordable for the elderly. (mentioned importing drugs from Canada)

4. Of course!

Deeper into the tent village I started and aborted an interview with a man who didn't seem to have opinions. Then I ran into Shyla. A man was in area listening.

1. "I love Obama!"

2. Has paid off her student loans.

3. (Her main concern was homeless children.)

4. Yes (and in fact she already has. She reported Sunday's knife incident) At that point the other man (he wasn't following me, he was just in the area) told her that she should have reported it to the "soldiers" in the area. He said he would explain it to her after the interview.

I tried to interview another man but he acted suspicious and kept asking me questions so I moved on.

Noticed a sign lamenting that occupiers were stealing from occupiers. And I left.

It seems to me that Occupy LA presents such a low level of annoyance to the authorities that they'll be able to Occupy indefinitely. Nobody cares enough to bring out the tear gas.

(written 10-31-2011)

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posted by Open Blogger at 03:41 PM

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