westlake-park

Westlake Park (later MacArthur Park), circa 1892. The park’s lake began as a naturally occurring alkaline pond. The Wilshire Boulevard causeway divided the lake in 1934, and in 1942 the city renamed the park after Douglas MacArthur, a longtime general in the United States Army.

Part of the Title Insurance and Trust, and C.C. Pierce Photography Collection in the USC Digital Library.

5

Today I went down to Occupy Seattle. It was interesting to see the differences between it and Occupy Wall Street. There were only a few handfuls of people here, though to be fair our waitress the other night said, “On Saturday we’re moving to the college. It’s going to be awesome.” They do have their own website, which says the march to the community college won’t happen until 5:00, and to ‘Bring your tent and a pumpkin!’
I do have to say, despite the Halloween party bit, their website looks more professional than the OWS one.

As I paused to take a photo of the Occupy Seattle banner (with Starbucks in the background) a man came up to me and asked, “Do you want to go up on stage near the mic and pretend like you’re saying something?!” When I said no, thanks, he grinned and wiggled, “I did! It was awesome!”
Soon after that another man shuffled up to me, holding something out. As a New Yorker you are trained to never accept anything from a stranger so again I said no, thanks. He then withdrew the roll of We are the 99% stickers and said, “I guess you’re part of the 2%.”

Come on! That’s not the right attitude to have in this protest, now is it? Plus your math is bad!

I happened to be at Westlake Park, their headquarters, when a group of protestors were chanting outside the Chase Bank across the street. There was an IATSE poster among the group (the union for stagehands/theatre workers) and everyone was shouting, “Shame on Chase! Shame on Chase!”

The part I liked the most was that the Seattle police force was present, it looked like they all had bikes and would probably be following the protest group, but they were very professional. It’s sad that everything happening with Occupy vs. Police around the country makes a group of officers who are NOT harassing the people stand out.

There was one lone security guard standing outside the Bank of America, which is on the edge of the park, looking a little jumpy.

 One friend who lives in Seattle commented that the group of protestors is usually small during the day because everyone has a job here. 

Reading through this, my tone appears to be dismissive of Occupy Seattle, which is not my intention whatsoever. Maybe the sticker guy just left a bad taste. I am proud of the smart people who have organized, who care about the situation, who are trying to create a needed change. I hope the Occupation continues, I hope the news media starts interviewing intelligent protestors, I hope the police force shapes up and actually protects the citizens and not just the corporations. 

This protest is uniting people across the world, and that is a powerful thing.