Occupy Los Angeles
Last week I visited Occupy Los Angeles. It is my third visit to Occupy camps throughout the country and it was quite interesting to see. What is most interesting having visited the camps in various cities is that the movement in each city really seem to take on the identity of the city itself. The Occupy movement in Los Angeles has over 100 tents and they completely surround City Hall. In the middle of the camp they have a created a super size structure that has interesting artwork documenting the movement itself. Los Angeles by far had more tents than New York and San Diego combined. It also appeared to be more heavily populated by homeless people than the other two camps and I would have to say the camps in San Diego and New York had at least 25% homeless populations. While the movement was large in Los Angeles it seemed to be much more heavily skewed toward Marijuana legalization and environmentalism than either San Diego and New York which were much more heavily focused on economic injustices. I am not sure why that is, but that is what it seemed like to me. The police seemed to be much more lenient than the other two cities as well. In fact, for the very large camp (probably 100 tents or more), I really only saw two police officers patrolling the perimeter. In San Diego for example I saw about 25 police officers monitor 7 to 10 tents and 50 protestors.
The Occupy movement is growing stronger and new people are joining everyday. There was a national day of activities for the movement last week and it resulted in a flurry of activity that was well publicized. My next stop will be San Francisco and perhaps Chicago as my goal will be to photograph and document as many camps as possible.