Saturday, October 01, 2011

Occupy L.A. - Talking About a Revolution

Pete's 77 years old, just diagnosed with emphysema.  He hasn't smoked for eight years, but the 50 prior to that is what did him in.  It's a shame too, since as a activist, he goes to all the rallies and volunteers at various Los Angeles non-profits.  His energy only about 30% what it once was, with all the meds he's on, he was still at the protest to "Occupy L.A.," smiling with toothless happiness as he sat next to me at City Hall, talking about revolution.

Some one with a camera asked me, do I think this will change anything, he told me, taking a swig from his bottle of water and surveying the crowd of post-march people who had taken over the lawns and sidewalks of L.A.'s City Hall.  He paused and we both listened to the sound of a band playing, drums being beat, kids giggling and playing games, an occasional chant rising up.

Even if nothing changes, said Pete, we had a good time, right?  We came, we met people, we listened to music and we talked.  I nodded.  But, Pete continued, I believe it is already changing.  From the middle east to New York to here, a spark has been ignited, and it only takes a spark to fan that flame.


Photos include "Old and Still Idealistic" Donna with her daughter, the "Greed Kills / End Wars" guy pausing for a protest hotdog, "I Won't Believe Corporations are People until Texas Executes One," ladies with feather headdresses (I don't know what it is, but I like it), my friends in marching mode Sean & Robby, and the 99 to represent the rest of us, the 99% whose voices should count, whose votes should make a difference.

Someone with a camera talked to me too.  A man who identified himself as being with NBC's Nightly News asked me why I was there, and the first thing that came to mind, the most basic, simple response was, "I had to show up.  To make my voice heard.  It's time."

But, as Sean coined the word, I'm a bit of a slacktivist.  After marching in the sun, I bailed at 1:30, just when the day's activities were getting going. If you want to head down to City Hall, there's live music at 4pm, an open forum for the occupiers at 4:30, dinner delivered from Food Not Bombs at 5:30, a general assembly at 7:30, and at 9:30, the evening event begins.  Power to the people!

Thanks to Eric, who reminded me of Tracy Chapman's lyrics: "Talkin' Bout A Revolution"


Don't you know you're talking about a revolution
It sounds like a whisper
Don't you know they're talking about a revolution
It sounds like a whisper

While they're standing in the welfare lines
Crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation
Wasting time in unemployment lines
Sitting around waiting for a promotion

Don't you know you're talking about a revolution
It sounds like a whisper

Poor people are gonna rise up
And get their share
Poor people are gonna rise up
And take what's theirs

Don't you know you better run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run
Oh I said you better run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run

Finally the tables are starting to turn
Talking about a revolution
Finally the tables are starting to turn
Talking about a revolution oh no
Talking about a revolution oh no

While they're standing in the welfare lines
Crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation
Wasting time in unemployment lines
Sitting around waiting for a promotion

Don't you know you're talking about a revolution
It sounds like a whisper

And finally the tables are starting to turn
Talking about a revolution
Finally the tables are starting to turn
Talking about a revolution oh no
Talking about a revolution oh no
Talking about a revolution oh no

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