Whether or not you subscribe to the “We are the 99%!” message of the protesters camped out on the lawn surrounding LA’s City Hall, it’s easy to get drawn in … if only to get a closer look at all the handmade signs, banners and other visual aids on display. Decrying such natural targets as corporate greed, government waste, financial malfeasance at the highest levels, and jobs outsourcing, there are also nostalgia-stirring signs calling for drug legalization, and more sex … Passing the encampment early Monday morning I came across this invitation to protestation: a carve-your-own-corporate/government-villain-onto-a-pumpkin station. It’s civic rebellion with a nod to the season!
Helpfully, a photographic rogues gallery of prospective baddies is posted, complete with their crimes. The Alan Greenspans are particular faves … must be the eyeglass frames.
This morning I found a veritable pumpkin patch of scoundrels threatening to spread into the street … who doesn’t love a craft project; I just wish I had time to contribute … When the campers first arrived on the City Hall lawn two weeks ago, they were relegated to the backside of the grounds. But, now, like the pumpkin heads, they’ve spread … surrounding the building entirely. There were some tense moments earlier in the week, when the big question was whether the farmers market that takes place every Thursday would still happen … to the relief of downtown office workers, the protesters moved their tents aside to accommodate the market, and they were not forced to do without fresh produce, Hawaiian chicken and falafel.
To experience Occupy LA, check their website (click here) for scheduled events. Come downtown during the week, and you can supplement your countercultural visit with a stop at the nearby courthouse where Michael Jackson’s personal Dr. Feelgood is being tried for his manslaughter; and keep your eyes peeled for big trucks and rent-a-cops, that’s a sign that a Hollywood studio is shooting a movie. But don’t wait too long, downtown productions wrap quickly before moving on …