Graffiti art by SABER
Over the weekend the violence in Oakland has gotten worse. Another military veteran was beaten by police, and more and more demonstrators are getting hit with pepper spray, shot with rubber bullets and struck with batons for protesting the economic damage that has been done to America.
In this story at the Occupy Los Angeles website, you can read some pretty gruesome details of young people, either in college or old enough to be in college, enduring horrific amounts of abuse (both physical and psychological) for demonstrating against the damage that's been done to the American way of life.
This is an interview with one demonstrator. What I'm hoping is that you are going to read this interview, see that he's a pretty important person, and donate to help Occupy Los Angeles and Occupy Wall Street so that Los Angeles doesn't become Oakland.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me about Occupy Los Angeles. What is your name, and how old are you?
I'm Steven Releford, and I'm 22.
What made you feel that you had to come down here?
Occupy Los Angeles is the name that brought us all here, but I had thought of all of this before. A lot of us feel that way. We're all waking up to the revolution. We're all related to immigrants and revolutionaries. All of us.
This is something natural. This is something that everyone should be out here for. I'm not just here protesting corporate greed. That's like telling the sun to stop shining. A corporation is just a fictitious name, it's just a building.
So, you want the rest of the country to notice this demonstration and wake up?
My whole reason for being out here is to get our brains out of the box. To get rid of all of the restrictions we think we have.
Aside from being here, you've also been down at Occupy Long Beach. What's that been like?
I've been part of the occupation down at Lincoln Park, and I had spent the day out there. When it got a little hot, about 3 or 4 pm, we left the occupation and ended up getting followed all the way to a friend's house.
The police just followed you, after you left the demonstration?
Yeah, he just pulled in right behind us. We were parked in the driveway, and he just stayed there for a minute or two with his lights on. He ended up giving us all tickets for not having a seat belt on, even though they had the seat belts on until we parked the car and turned it off.
So you feel that the police in Long Beach followed you and intimidated you because you had been at the demonstration?
What do you think is going to happen? Are you cynical about what's going to happen, here? Are you positive? What is your prediction?
I'm pretty positive. I've dreamed about this. I want this to all work out. Even this moment, talking to you. This is all happening. This is all real. This is all true. This is real life.
But people are going to realize that what we are doing here, we are a reflection of how we want this world to run. This is how we want things to be.
Here's how you can help to bring real participating democracy back to the American government. Money, letters of support, supplies...everything counts.
You can donate to Occupy Wall Street, here.
You can donate to Occupy Los Angeles, here. They recently posted this important banking update on their Facebook page.
They need a lot of American flags right now. If you have some, bring them. If you can donate them, please do so.
Here's a link to their Amazon wish list.
The mayor has been incredibly supportive of the protesters. You can support him right back, here.
Governor Jerry Brown could take out Occupy Los Angeles with a single phone call. Write him a letter and thank him for the support.
It's a long way from here to Oakland, so let's keep it that way. A letter to the LAPD in support of the demonstrations and a big donation to the Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation will help the movement. Remember, cops are also the 99%.