Occupy LA attends Obama visit

September 27, 2011

Members of Occupy LA march in West Hollywood during President Obama’s Sept. 26 visit. The group used the high-profile event as an outreach action. (Lucy Guanuna / LA Activist)

Occupy Los Angeles, a solidarity movement with Occupy Wall Street protested outside of the House of Blues in West Hollywood yesterday where President Obama was speaking for a Democratic fundraiser.

The group wanted to make public the occupation that will be taking place this Saturday at Los Angeles City Hall.

The occupation in Los Angeles, as well as in New York, aims to build upon and create cohesion to a decentralized ongoing movement against corporate welfare, bank bailouts, continued rising unemployment rates, the privatization of schools and the continued foreclosures affecting what the “occupation movement” says is affecting 99 percent of the population.

The group gathered at the corner of Crescent Heights and Santa Monica Boulevards to plan for the rally, make signs and distribute fliers of amongst the group.

Holding signs at the intersection, organizers tried to rally people out of their cars, as well as handed fliers to people in their cars. They got many honks from drivers in agreement with their placards that read, “End corporate greed” and “Stop the Media Blackout.”

Mario Brito, a long time trade union activist and member of the Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Council, said that being at the Democratic fundraiser was not initially something Occupy LA, as a group, planned on doing. He said the opportunity allowed for them to make the movement visible to Obama, as well as other activist groups that were protesting the fundraiser and the president’s visit.

Occupy LA hoped to align themselves with the immigrants rights and anti-war groups that were in attendance.

Although the group has varying points of view on voting, political parties and ideologies, they still wanted to send a message to the president.

“He will not meet with the ones that elected him, the working people, the backbone of the economy. Yet, he meets with the most powerful and wealth,”said Brito, “If politicians decide to ignore us, they do at their own loss.”

Occupy LA has been expanding rapidly throughout Twitter and other social media networks. The event page on Facebook has so far garnered more than 820 guests, jumping from approximately 530 guests at 2 p.m. today.

The occupation movement is spreading spontaneously throughout the nation, including Occupation movements in Kentucky, Boston and Chicago, among others.

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