Don’t see too many stories about LA in The Atlantic, for relatively obvious geographical reasons. But the mag has run back-to-back stories on its website about the Occupy LA movement–despite the fact similar protests are happening much closer to their home.
First, former Fishbowler Tina Dupuy took a formal tour of the LA City Hall encampment from medical marijuana advocate Cheryl Aichele–who, Dupuy informs us, is staying in a “large tent with a production company logo on it (this is how we roll in LA).”
More from Dupuy:
Sure, there are hippies dancing. And yes, there are drum circles. It’s LA, so there’s also “medicinal” marijuana wafting about. But mostly the crowd looks like LA: Half Latino, a quarter African-American and Asian and mostly middle-class. And that’s who is in the meetings, not the hippies. In the meetings, people discuss things like Glass-Steagall, plans of actions and politicians to reach out to. There’s a general sense that this is something big and they need to figure out what to do with it. All is reported at the General Assembly or GA every night at 7:30 p.m. Participants use Quaker consensus decision-making hand signals in all meetings. Participants can indicate if they agree, disagree, kind of agree or oppose vehemently — all non-verbally. So speakers get to see the reaction of the crowd in real time. It’s public polling and it’s painfully slow and tedious. Meaning: this is what democracy looks like. Everyone has a voice and not all of them are poignant. Some of them are repetitive — and there’s a hand signal for that, too.