Update: And while they're here, they might as well “Occupy the Rose Parade,” right?
SoCal's famously bland winter weather is looking mighty appealing to the frozen campers at Occupy Wall Street right about now.
The roughly 200 tents occupying New York's Zuccotti Park are facing a long season of snowstorms and freezing temperatures. “Is it time to Occupy Miami Beach?” one camper wondered aloud to a Los Angeles Times reporter last month.
But today, USC zine Neon Tommy reports that L.A. might be the next best thing. David DeGraw, a head organizer for OWS, “told a crowded tent at Occupy L.A. on Sunday night” …
… “that during the harsh winter months, Los Angeles' camp is going to become the central and crucial occupation,” writes Neon Tommy's Allegra Tepper.
“L.A. is going to blow up over the next few months and through the winter,” DeGraw, who coined the “We are the 99 percent” slogan, said. “The winter is brutal. People in New York are talking about coming out here. We're going to keep pushing, but it's definitely going to slow [OWS] down. You are all going to have to step up. It's your turn to lead the leaderless.”
On the contrary, one OWS protester told the Times in late October that “the hardy will stay [in Zuccotti Park]. The junkies will go. And in the spring all somebody has to do is declare Occupy Central Park or Occupy Union Square and everyone will return. This was just practice.”
We're trying to get a hold of DeGraw to confirm the Neon Tommy report.
However, his proposal has some reason to it: Though Occupy L.A. has braved its share of scattered showers since setting up camp in early October, our idea of bad weather is lightyears from the perils of a New York winter.
If OWS does head west, it'll be interesting to see how Los Angeles politicians handle the influx. Our camp, at somewhere around 300 tents, is already busting at the sidewalk perimeter of City Hall's wraparound lawn. Councilmembers who were feeling passive-aggressively overwhelmed before will be faced with a whole new set of PR problems upon receiving a heroic people's caravan from NYC.
Can't freaking wait. Updates to come.