Thursday, November 17, 2011

8 days against corporate greed By Dan Bluemel LA Activist

October 9, 2011
By Dan Bluemel
Eight days into the “occupation” of Los Angeles, a movement that hopes to arrest widespread economic injustice in America, took time to celebrate its first week.
And deservedly so. In its first eight days, Occupy Los Angeles, the leaderless group who organized the sit-in demonstration at City Hall, has been visited by Cornell West, actors Danny Glover and Rosanna Arquette and musician Tom Morello, and has received a proposed resolution from city officials supporting its occupation.
On Oct. 6, 11 protesters were arrested after they picketed banks and occupied the intersection of 7th and Figueroa. The downtown march, which was sponsored by Make Banks Pay, was supported by Occupy Los Angeles. None of those arrested were with Occupy LA.

Tom Morello performs for the protesters of Occupy LA. (Dan Bluemel / LA Activist)
A sundry of artists performed on the south steps of City Hall yesterday. Tom Morello, the guitarist for Rage Against the Machine, performed music from his solo act, The Nightwatchman. He said the occupation movement was about the people taking their power back.
“The people who own and control this country do not deserve to, because they do it in the name of profit. They don’t do it in the name of human rights and environmental sanity,” he said.
Morello energized the crowd with an emotional performance. For his last song, he invited the audience onto the stage with him so they could “jam with the guy from Rage Against the Machine,” causing what one organizer called a “logistical nightmare.”
“The corporate malfeasance that torpedoed this global economy is criminal and should be accounted for,” said Morello to the audience. “So, if President Obama doesn’t have the courage to shut down Guantanamo Bay, he might as well fill those animal cages with the Wall Street bankers who savaged our economy.”
Approximately 1,500 protesters were present at City Hall. While the south lawn was filled with music and dance, on the north lawn, demonstrators continued protesting and organizing.

Danny Glover speaks to reporters while lending his support for Occupy LA. (Dan Bluemel / LA Activist)
At 2:00 p.m., demonstrators held 99 seconds of silence. It was done “in respect for all the lives lost at the hands of capital greed,” according to the Occupy Los Angeles website.
Speaking to reporters, actor Danny Glover said the occupation was “an opportunity to use our imagination” to carry on various other movements. He said the occupation movement was the first time since the mass strikes of 1934 that so many people coalesced over such a broad issue.
“You can’t sit in concert with those whose main plan is to eliminate or diminish your power,” he said.
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