AP member Griff Fuller Jr. is reporting from the Occupy Los Angeles site (City Hall). Week 2 was full of surprises: Fishbone came to support and perform, 10,000-15,000 people marched on Saturday according to LAPD. Below, Griff is sharing his reflections from week 2 of the occupation, pictures he took, a chat with Fishbone's Norwood Fisher and musician/Occupy The Hood member (and AP member) CM Talley + an audio clip of Fishbone's jam session recorded from his phone!
"I spent less time at the camping site at City Hall this week due to my tent-mates taking an extended break. I stopped by in-between classes and on my off-days and saw our tent village grow and expand even more. The media trucks were still parked along the curb, but there were fewer of them than there were the first week. Not only was the community growing, but Occupy LA’s operations became more structured. A library tent was added where occupants can go to read books donated by supporters. Schedule boards were set out listing daily events and committee meetings. The process of assembly meetings got more sophisticated, but not without challenges from concerned individuals and the notorious Keepin’ It Real Committee (a committee comprised of individuals that claim to exist to keep things in check and to call out others that who may be exercising too much authority).
Occupy LA also started negotiating with the Health Department to attain a permit to serve food long-term. There were concerns about sanitation and homemade meals were no longer accepted, only restaurant-made food. Throughout the week there were various protests at banks and other isolated marches endorsed by the movement. There was an increase of more common everyday working-class people participating in the daytime protests.
The steam kicked back up again on Saturday when a large crowd gathered at Pershing Square to prepare to march to City Hall to join the occupants already there. A massive widely-diverse group of people briefly took over the streets of Los Angeles by the thousands. The LAPD would later estimate the crowd-size to be between 10,000-15,000 people. The crowd arrived at a stage set up on Spring st. in front of the west steps of City Hall; it stretched back all the way to 1st st. Marking the third Saturday of Occupy LA, new occupants joined our tent village. I joined an intense multi-cultural drum circle after the march which lasted for almost an hour.
Later that night Fishbone and its collective of live performers took to the South steps for a jam session. It was held during the same time as the general assembly meeting so the crowd had fewer people. I got the opportunity to speak with supporting musician CM Talley and Fishbone founder Norwood Fisher: GF: Why did you guys come out here today and what is the message that you wanted to get across? Fisher: I’m here today because my man asked to me to come through. But it’s in my spirit to be a part of things of this nature. I live my life in an anti-establishment type manner. You can look at my record to see where I stand. So, bottom line is, I am a part of the 99%... Talley: We are endorsing it, we are doing it. We are the 99%. They are in it, we are in it. We are all in it. We need to reform the banks. We need to treat banks like a utility. They took our shit and then made us pay for it, and then they took more of our shit. And now they wanna charge us for taking our shit! Like, what the fuck?! (Laughter)
Talley is associated with members of the South LA wing of the Occupy LA movement, a part of a national committee referred to as Occupy The Hood which aims to include more people of color from the inner city.
Audio clip of Fishbone's performance recorded from my phone:
With the newcomers also came more boisterous drum-circles and rude occupants who play music all night. The larger the movement grows, the more of a problem it becomes. It leaves me and other occupants who have responsibilities and who actually need our nightly sleep to resort to getting earplugs. But over time the people who are here for the wrong reasons will eventually go away because they are greatly outnumbered by those who are motivated to continue this revolution."