The occupy movements have hit the country by storm, there is no doubt about that. Not only has the movement literally sprouted from New York to Los Angeles, but there is even Occupy in other countries. I have spent a good amount of time at the Occupy Long Beach site, so I have a pretty good feeling of just how many people support, and who is part of this very small 99%.
About 60 people come and go at Occupy Long Beach. Granted, Lincoln Park is not known for its large fields of grass and ample space. It seems almost like a cultivated group of people that feel comfortable here. "A lot of these people seem like they don't have much else to do, even if they weren't here," said Amber S., a local resident who was walking her dog near the park.
Occupy Long Beach does not seem to be very organized and when someone offered unity between a lot of the Occupy movements, everyone rejected it. The protesters did not seem too happy about the way that the LBPD treated them on their first night so some decided to do some civil disobedience. A grand total of 4 people decided to stay in their tents afther LBPD made it clear the park was closed and they would get arrested. Two people, including Louis (above), simply got citations and were released after a few minutes. The other two got taken away, one of which was taken for resisting arrest. The crowd chanted ther names as the police escoted the detainees to some near-by vans and the "We love you!" was heard throughout the mass. Funny it seems that a couple kids in their early 20s, a man in his 60s and a 17 year old are the ones getting in legal trouble but suddenly the crowd is all for following the law.
The Occupy Wall Street, with its "bail us out" message, is one that many can get behind. Occupy Long Beach is a bit unclear with their message. I understand that everyone is there for their own reasons, but without a unifying cause, you get little support. It is a great idea with poor execution.
Have you passed by the Occupy Long Beach site? If so, what have you seen? What do you REALLY think about OLB?
Cool photo. Just like to ask how much time have you really spent at OLB though? Listening to one meeting or maybe two (and I believe you attended day two after most of the leaders had not slept at all Sat night and spent all Sat day marching and rallying and were probably delirious) does not really give one a great understanding of why people are choosing to occupy Lincoln Park. I have probably spent 48 hours listening, learning and discussing about the entire movement and our localized occupation and therefor a have a much greater understanding that part of the process is to really just raise awareness. To get our neighbors and LB residents to realize that our country is corrupt and the people have to step up to change that. Yes, we do not have a list of demands we are making that will change the city of LB and ultimately the country, but we do have ideas about how we get the masses to believe that we can. And part of that involves occupation.
Also, the global movement is ran off a consensus basis and allows everyone to speak. There is not one leader, no president, and everyone is giving the opportunity to ask questions. Also, there is no "Majority wins" in a consensus so much discussion has to take place in order for everyone to find a common ground, and although to an outsider that hasn't spent too much time listening, it may seem disorganized. Actually, it is a bit disorganized, but we do not wish to run things where one person is in charge and delegates rules and that's probably why there are over 1,000 occupation movements all over the country. Because this fight is different, this fight is about the people coming together and it takes time for people to accept others ideas and learn to listen. We are all still in the process of learning.
Lastly, I'd to mention that it is a tactic of the Occupation movement to not have just one main goal declared, as of yet at least. This saves the movement from being controlled by mainstream media and forced to a Dem or Rep movement. It is based off the great tactics of major movements of the past and many are actually choosing to not do what the Tea Party did and be explicit about what specific demands are required to fulfill their desires. After all, that movement has disappeared. However, demands will be made, when it is time. For now, we just what to people to wake up and realize that we need equality in our country, before the 99% loses it all.
Cool article written by local (I believe he is local) Sorin Michalski. Please read to better underdstand
Wait, sorry one last clarification. To say about 60 people come and go is a major mistake. Night one, two and three, there have been over 100 people on te sidewalks of Lincoln Park and an estimated 300 at the peak of the march on Saturday. Also, the two "kids" are not in their early 20's. Jason James is 30 years old.
Hope this helps to clarify a bit for all the readers.
Unfortunately I couldn't be there for night one of occupy LB, I had a journalism conference to attend (preventing me from getting my story haha). Ive spoken to a lot of people there, I probably haven't been there a whole 48 hours like you, but I have spoken to many of the people there and had a great debate with Mr. 1%. Don't get me wrong, I think that the people who are there are doing what they believe in and its great.
I have been through a few meetings and the idea of having a consensus is a good one, but what happens if they had to make a quick decision on something? If it seems a little unorganized now, what happens if more people decide to join, adding more opinions to the mix? I'm sure things will go a lot smoother as they get the hang of things. I talked to some people walking by, they knew that Occupy LB was going on but thought it was a bit ridiculous. They were under the impression that it was just a bunch of people that had nothing better to do any way and there was no real sacrafice being made. It just feels like Occupy LB has to do a better job of recruiting people.
I made a head count of the number of people there when I got there around 4pm. More people showed up at night but come 1am, a lot of them left. A couple of weeks ago on the initial march there was easily over 300 people, but none of them stayed. oh and I was told by some crowd person that James was in his 20s.
I just felt like it would be apropriate to voice the other opinion.
Yea for sure, totally appropriate. And it is understood that there are going to be many people that don't take the time to try to understand what it is about and why the movement began, they just don't want to take time out of their busy lives to listen, as well as people that just want to use nasty words like "pot-smoking, unemployed, nothing better to do losers" to describe the people they think are involved.
But those who chose to not care also must understand that they have no right to complain when they lose their job, their children's classrooms grow larger, or their bank institution start implementing more fees. I'm just so sick of the inequality and don't want to sit around and grow frustrated without attempting to change the many problems our country has.
And yea, I question the whole consensus thing as the movement begins to grow, but it's working in NY, it's working in LA, so I definitely think it could work in LB. And as far as the growth of OLB, it's hard to get LB folks to attend a Thursday night show at The Blues Cafe, imagine how hard it is to get people to stand in the cold at Lincoln Park and listen to the ideas of progressives trying to influence our city and federal government…feel me? LOL
I agree with pretty much everything this blog said. I say this because, I would say in some perspective, I have an inside perspective on what's going on. And I'm not biased towards any side.
First, I don't see the big deal people made with those people being given citations or arrested. The park closes and they were told to leave. These OLB people are not powerful enough where they believe these laws were made just to kick them out of the park. I've walked around there during my lunch breaks to observe the scene and it's hardly anyone there. But I do believe lots more show up at night. Which kinda defeats the purpose if you're leaving and coming back. Let me go work for these corporations that I'm against, but I'll be back to protest them, but first let me knock out these 8 hours. It's hard for anyone to get behind a movement when the people involved ain't in it to the fullest. I'm just keepin' it real.
I don't believe that tactic to be unclear of what they want. I think it's an excuse. I know someone who went to a meeting, a democrat and was just trying to see what's going on and asked to make the OLB movement more unified and organized - they weren't having it.
He also made it clear to them that if this is the "99%" then there MUST be democrats and republicans in this group. 99% is pretty much EVERYONE and these cats aren't including them - democrat or republican. Which I thought was a good point. If you take out republicans and dems out of this group, you're clearly not the 99%!
I spoke to the guy that got arrested, the one in the suit, and I just got the feeling that this was more like the 1%, but on the other side. Wasn't the guy who got arrested quoted saying something like those who got arrested did so because they wanted to and the police are just following orders?
I think the intention is good and all, but not having a direction or stating their goals is BS to me. Today I'm going to ask someone what is OLB goal's and I bet they won't have a damn idea. Other than saying we want the banks to stop getting bailed out blah blah blah...
And why occupy a park?? Occupy the WELLS FARGO across the street, or the promenade?! Just sayin'...
I agree with you on some levels Hampton. The guys arrested decided to not leave park grounds and knew there were going to be consequences and I'm not sure if that did much to modivate others to stand up, but it happened and everyone has moved on.
But what I want to reitirate is that this movement is still new and it is in the beginning steps... as I wrote before, part of the process is to really just raise awareness about people gathering a community and especially in the beginning. To get our neighbors and LB residents to realize that our country is corrupt and people have to step up to change that. Yes, we do not have a list of demands we are making that will change the city of LB and ultimately the country, but we do have ideas about how we get the masses to believe that we can. And part of that involves occupation.
Also, the demands will come. But first, we have to get enough people to back them. We need people to step up and professionally draft those demands. Then meetings have to be made, petitions have to be signed...c'mon you know the drill.
I think it's silly that so many of you are expecting the logistics of the occupation to be figured out so quickly. Nothing is ever figured out immediately. The Civil Rights movement went on for 20 years before the 14th Admendment was adopted and we still see so much racial injustice. But that cannot and should not stop Americans from taking interest, from trying to learn the suggestions leaders (by that I mean people knowledgeable of the laws/politics or experience with protesting) are speaking about (one being the Nov. 5th date for people to close their bank accounts from the banks that received bailout money) and using this occupation forum as a time to share their saddening stories and speak out in a public forum that has long failed to exist.
I was telling my roommate who attended her first meeting last night that people are so tired of having no idea what to do, having no where to talk about their frustrations with the way government is managing our economics and people are coming to OLB just to talk and listen. Just to be heard and learn. Because an opportunity like this has not been heavily promoted for pretty much our entire generation. Yes, we have social networks but we don't have face-to-face forums. Except now, and that's one reason I'm interested. Because I want to learn from the people that have knowledge about the details of government corruption and I would prefer for them to be people of my community.
So maybe to someone who just walks around and doesn't engage in a long lasting, real conversation with the occupiers, you might see a pointlessness of the occupation. But if you opened your ears a little more and realized that people are there to really help affect the greater good of our failing country and people who have progressive ideas about the baby steps that can make that happen, then maybe you would benefit from this movement a little more.
And again I will say this, at least there are SOME people who want things to change and are doing more than just "voting" to ensure that happens. Can you really put them down for that?
ANd BTW, the movement is not affiliating itself with a particular party, but of course individuals involved in the movement are. ANd that is perfectly acceptable and expected. Also, OLB main goals is to support the Wall Street Movement. There, I said it man. That may not be good enough for you, but at least we can say we're there to support a movement that is thousands strong and is making progress with regards to wall street corruption.
I love all this. Us discussing about real things. Hope I helped to um...do something to change or open your idea about OLB.
For now, the focus is really to get people involved. And I know you've been by and seen 40, 60, maybe 130 people, but it is growing and
They rejected your friend, the Democrat? That's great! I love the fact that these young people are saavy enough not to allow themselves to be co-opted. The Dem and Repub duopoly is not only a false choice, but a dead end. If nothing else comes of the OWS movement, hopefully that's the conclusion that's drawn. I've only been to OccupyLB once, but the steering committee at OccupyLA has been very clear in avoiding Democrats and their operative front organizations. I'm confident that such a large number of Americans aren't falling for the "vote the lesser of two evils" hustle. The way I see it, after the various OWS groups put together demands/objectives, that'll serve as the policy for populist candidates (who refuse corporate money) to grab and run with it. A mechanism such as that will be effective in serving as a litmus test for candidates running in favor of progressive issues.
You guys really need to take a nationwide headcount. I doubt the sum of the entirety of the "occupy" movement equals 1%, much less 99%. I find it a bit arrogant and terribly presumptuous of the members of the "occupy" movement to presume to speak for 99% of Americans. You do not speak for me, nor do you speak for anybody I know or anybody I have known in over 47 years on this planet and living in this country. How about speaking for yourselves without invoking an imaginary "consensus"?
So you don't know anyone that lost their job to corporate cutbacks? Or lost their home to a foreclosure? Or taxes were significantly raised while millionaire's were not? Or you do not have children (or know any) in the public school system and are watching their classroom size increase, while their school is dramatically cutting back on practically every aspect of funding because our government has continually mismanaged our economics? Well consider yourself lucky then Sybil. I wish I could say the same.
And sure, I understand that not everyone agrees that our country is mismanaged. But I do know millions of Americans are happy that people are out there representing their stories and struggles of the injustice they have faced for years. So just because you may be content with your lifestyle and all the people you associate with are not struggling (which seems like that may be the case because you said that the movement does not represent anyone you have met in over 47 years on this planet) doesn't mean you should bring negativity to the people that are trying to help a large percent of Americans, in my opinion. Maybe it's not 99% and maybe they aren't speaking for you, but they are representing the frustrations of most of the people I know and I wish you could respect that.
The country is terribly mismanaged. It's impossible to bribe an honest and ethical human being. The problem lies more with the elected representatives who accept the money in exchange for our freedoms, than it does with the people, orgs, pacs, banks and corporations who buy themselves a politician or two (or 50,100, 400 etc...)
50% of Congress are millionaires. Guess what? Most of them made their millions in Congress. So long as voters keep reelecting incumbents, it wouldn't matter if you kept all of your money hidden in your mattress - they'd simply pass a law allowing the powers that be to confiscate your mattress. Quit reelecting dishonest. lying thieves and the American Spirit will find its own way out of this mess. The occupy movement, on the most part, wants the government to fix itself -- Not gonna happen. A government large enough to give you everything (health care, pension, a fixed wage, guaranteed housing, free college, etc...) is a government big enough to take everything you've got. Quit depending on the government. They are representatives, not leaders.
A government large enough to give you everything (health care, pension, a fixed wage, guaranteed housing, free college, etc...) is a government big enough to take everything you've got. Quit depending on the government.
This is a wonderful statement. I agree wholeheartedly and never thought of it so succinctly before.
Molly, are you an Occupy Long Beach advocate or an objective journalist? Is this a personal endeavor that you're involved in and you just happen to be a journalist, or are you a journalist who is writing subjectively about one of your personal activities and a group you personally support?
For 562Citylife, I write blogs/discussions to inform LB residents about events going on in the city, among other things. With regards to OLB, I have wrote a few blogs because I think it is important to cover Long Beach's involvement in a movement that has developed all across our country and the wonderful thing about this website, it these blogs create discussion. That was the purpose of writing them.
I may not agree with your perspective on everything, but you have some wonderful knowledge about politics and our government and I'm glad you are participating in these discussions. That fact was one of the main reason I got interested in the movement…so people will start talking about our country's economic frustrations and injustices. If OLB doesn't succeed, at least it created tons of discussions that are getting hundreds of people to think about those things and I know readers are learning and hopefully will think about these discussions in the near future.