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article imageOp-Ed: Photo Essay - Occupy Los Angeles, Laid Back in November Special

By Kelly Bowlin     Nov 3, 2011 in Politics
Los Angeles - I recently revisited Occupy Los Angeles. Police were all smiles, yoga class was in full stretch, dinner was free hot dogs and french fries, and surf was running 2-4 feet out of the southwest.
Makes you kinda feel guilty you're not protesting on the east coast.
It was a perfect summer evening on November 2. Air temp was 80 degrees with a light Santa Ana breeze and surf running 2-4 feet out of the southwest. Downtown LA’s a lot prettier lit up at night when you don’t have to see the smog. The occupy Los Angeles movement, now into its second month looked a bit tidier than a few weeks earlier. It’s got a bit more of a permanent feel.
The historic fountain on the south lawn, dedicated in 1935 was wisely boarded up by the city hall for protection which of course makes for a magnificent graffiti board. I spoke with a police officer on the south entrance steps and he was all smiles. I asked him if he was expecting any trouble. He smiled and said “Are you kidding me, this is a carnival, they’re serving hot dogs and fry’s on the east walk.”
“Witnesses of the Oakland violence that occurred a week earlier were doing their best to ignite the crowd, but I wasn't feeling their mojo. There were plenty of signs and lots of posters but I’ve seen more anger at a Dodgers game. Call it the occupation doldrums. If there was any real anger present it was summarized in a poster that read: “This isn’t a music festival, this is not a picnic, this not a tourist attraction, this is not a party, It’s a movement, join us or get lost.” I got my wittle feelwings hurt at first but then decided, you know, they’ve been here awhile, and tempers are bound to get short so cut em a break listen to what they have to say.
Are the occupiers getting tired and frustrated? I can’t say that I blame them. But like it or not, it HAS become a tourist attraction. Particularly when you can visit in shirt sleeves and walk two blocks downtown for the best Al Pastor Tacos on the planet and maybe sip a Margarita at the roof top bar of the Standard hotel. LA is laid back. Sorry dudes.
The occupy movement isn’t going anywhere in a hurry and I fear bad things are in store for the occupiers who are truly taking the fight to the streets. I think the doldrums are dangerous and complacency breeds impatience and impatience breeds Kent State.
I admire their guts and stamina and appreciate that they’re doing a helluva lot more than me. They’re showing us that as a country we can still fog our metaphorical mirror.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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