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Class Warfare

'Occupy L.A.' Plans to Stage Rush-Hour Protests on 101 Freeway Overpass Every Day Until February

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Tue, Oct 18, 2011 at 5:55 PM

click to enlarge Nowhere, fast. - OCCUPY LOS ANGELES VIA FACEBOOK
  • Occupy Los Angeles via Facebook
  • Nowhere, fast.
If your commute takes you under the 101 freeway's North Broadway overpass at rush hour, get ready for at least three-and-a-half more months of rowdy 99 percenters dangling their Wall Street insults all up in your windshields.

Beginning today at 5 p.m., Occupy L.A. has voted to "protest at the nearby freeway overpasses and bridges for both morning and evening rush hours."

That's twice a day for two hours until 7 p.m. on January 31, if protesters make good on their Facebook event. Here's a video preview of what they've got in store:

Oh, goody! Organizers also made a list of "suggested signs" for participants with magic-marker block:

(LARGE WRITING & SHORT, FOR VEHICLES TO READ QUICKLY)

"We are the 99%"

"Occupy LA"

"All Week, All Day, Occupy LA"

"Join Us!"

"Corp Greed Out!"

"Banks Bailed Out, We Got Sold Out!"

"This is not a protest, it is a Movement!"

This General Assembly decision is far from the group's most controversial: An Occupy L.A.-endorsed solidarity march with the powerful teachers unions this afternoon should raise many more eyebrows than a little ruckus on an overpass.

But it's certainly news, in that this the farthest we've seen occupiers look into the future so far (besides a few of them telling us, speaking for themselves, that they're prepared to stay over a year).

Twice-daily protests until February, for a movement many thought would have dispersed by now? That's big.

While Occupy New York braces itself for local government to edge it out of Zuccotti Park with tricky zoning plans, and San Diego finds itself evicted cold-turkey, the Occupy L.A. encampment is being embraced wholeheartedly by Los Angeles politicians and police. It's almost eerie. During the few days that protesters were camping outside City Hall -- almost three weeks ago now -- City Council President Eric Garcetti told them to "stay as long as you need."

And they're taking it to heart. Melissa Balin of the film committee tells the Weekly that she and some friends from the indigenous committee have started a sub-movement called "Stay Occupied." Balin says they're trying to declare one patch of Occupy L.A. grass a "sovereign nation" (stick with us here) and change their addresses to 1 Sovereign Place, 200 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA.

click to enlarge "Stay Occupied" is using the somewhat controversial design that L.A. street artist Shepard Fairey did for last Saturday's "Occupation Party" in New York. - COURTESY OF MELISSA BALIN
  • Courtesy of Melissa Balin
  • "Stay Occupied" is using the somewhat controversial design that L.A. street artist Shepard Fairey did for last Saturday's "Occupation Party" in New York.
A bit less radically, a few others are filling out the paperwork to change their mailing addresses to the Occupy location in general, so they can try to retain some semblance of normal life while standing their ground against banksters and paid-off politicians.

Balin gives Jenette Perez as an example: She says the young woman is "changing her address for her student loans." (We've contacted Perez to confirm. That would be super ironic though, right?)

Anyway, looks like the Occupy L.A. diehards aren't even a little bored yet. The City Council's being insanely patient, too -- we're still waiting for any indication as to how politicians plan to handle the mini-city growing roots in their front-/backyard. And it's all kind of unprecedented, which is a feat in itself.

[@simone_electra/swilson@laweekly.com]

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