PASADENA (CA) - Occupy joined this year's New Year celebrations by marching at the end of the Rose Parade. As Rose Parade spectators dispersed, the Occupy movement held a rally outside Pasadena City Hall with speakers.
Between 1000 and 2000 people participated in the OWS contingent of the Rose Parade. Notable props included two versions of the US Constitution--one for "We the People" and the other for "We the Corporations"--and the octopus float that has been in the works since prior to the eviction of Occupy LA. All three provided numerous people ways to participate directly, and the octopus gyrations at key moments provided an element of spectacle.
Marchers held signs and banners, but didn't do too much chanting as they dodged horse dung in the road. Music was very present, from both drummers from the Venice collective and from the Billionaires' brass band. Giant-headed Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich fought over who would represent the one percent. A playful attitude prevailed.
At the end there were the requisite speeches. Peter Thottam gave the introductory welcome and some background on the movement without acknowledging the previous day's hit piece on him in the Pasadena Star-News1. Marcy Winograd gave a speech, as did people from Occupy Wall Street and Occupy LA. The crowd seemed the most attentive, however, during Cindy Sheehan's speech.
The day's efforts were directed at capitalizing on the Rose Parade as the center of the world's attention to promote economic justice rather than on taking action. Nonetheless, the mainstream TV networks appear to have mostly ignored Occupy the Rose Parade. Despite the inevitable, spirits were high, perhaps in anticipation that 2012 will be the year that the systems of opression come crashing down around us and we create healthier alternatives together.
No incidents of police violence were reported.
1. Charles, Brian. "Occupy Rose Parade leader has questionable past." Pasadena Star News. January 1, 2012. http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/news/ci_19656317
2. nobody. "Did Occupy the Rose Parade Get Air?" Los Angeles Independent Media Center. January 2, 2012. http://la.indymedia.org/news/2012/01/250755.php
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