Sunday, October 16, 2011

Occupy Long Beach Night One

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Occupy Long Beach’s first 24 hours was full of community support, solidarity and massive police surveillance. First, the LBPD blocked off downtown streets as OLB begin their first march along the downtown financial district Saturday at about noon.

Throughout the day, they maintained presence with bicycle cops and police cars constantly circling the area. As evening approached, they directed the City of Long Beach to post up three portable generator floodlights that lit up all of Lincoln Park and they video recorded the people.

OLB was grateful with the overall lack of aggression coming from the police and the willingness to communicate with the police liaisons. However, frustration grew from the beaming lights, especially since it was understood that they were placed to not help the occupation but help the police monitor it and costs the city money.

Also, the constant changing of what the occupiers can and cannot do grew tiresome. First the LBPD asked everyone to leave the park. Then protestors were allowed to remain on the sidewalk. As the hours past and some begin to lay down in their sleeping bags, the police said no one could lay down and might sit upright. Then anyone could lay down, but not sleep, Then, they could sleep if they were not covered up. Then, everyone was delirious enough and just woke up and starting discussing future moves and strategies. Then, 5 am came and everyone was allowed on the grass of the park again, where many of the all day volunteer got sleep.

Throughout the first day, there were numerous rallies including a peace rally informing protestors of their legal rights with training, reminders from peacekeepers and safety/medic training. Set up began at 10:00 am and many of those that were there until the morning were all day participants.

There were also a few open mic sessions where protestors shared what brought them there and informed members shared their experiences in prior protests. There were also guitarists, poets, drum circles, conversations about our country’s corruption and an impressive nighttime march along Pine St around midnight where the group shouted “out of the bars, into the streets” (among many other slogans) to try to raise awareness to Pine Ave.’s praters.

Today is Occupation Long Beach day two and the group is asking that as many people that can be a presence at Lincoln Park to please come. There is food, water and supplies to make signs, although more donations are highly suggested and appreciated. So ocme down to Lincoln Park on Pacific Ave between Broadway and First St in downtown Long Beach and learn a little more about what this movement is about. Almost guaranteed you’ll be impressed.

Let’s seek change Long Beach!!

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