By the Left Coast Rebel
Yesterday I checked out the OccupySanDiego event. As I'm sure you know, the "Occupy" rallies are popping up across the nation as discontented leftists take it to the streets.
It's easy to categorize the group of several-thousand (2-3 thousand, I'd say) as just a bunch of wide-eyed hippie wackos. But I found the group to be a bit more varied than your typical far-left rally.
Far-leftists, college students, senior citizens, communists and socialists, "reds", Green Party activists, Democratic Socialists of America members, a handful of end-the-fed'ers, San Diego State campus leftists flying the SDSU banner, international socialists, Mexican separatists, union activists, peacenicks... literally dozens -- if not more -- disparate groups united under the "We are the 99%" credo. Their was a decent police presence; the crowd was raucous but peaceful.
- It's shocking the naivety on display that somehow taxing the "rich 1%" (somehow comprised of both corporations and wealthy individuals) would magically solve every financial/social ill facing this nation. It's a fantasy of mind-boggling proportions.
- Plenty of Obama discontent. Leftists are not happy with Obama's cronyism, bailouts, war expansion and other issues -- lots of these issues (cronyism and bailouts especially) are areas that Tea Partiers and Occupiers can find a lot of common ground. Better for the Tea Party to embrace these overlapping issues than to allow these people to co-opt the anti-bailout message. WC Varones agrees.
- This was interesting: I overheard a television reporter asking a OccupySanDiego protestor for his opinion on George Soros; he was likely fishing for a local t.v. soundbite of some sort. "What do I think of Soros?" the man responded. "Hate him -- and Obama is his puppet."
- Big crowd. I got the feeling that leftists have been waiting and waiting for some sort of movement to get behind as the Tea Party has gained power and prominence over the last 2 years. Just how far will the Occupy/"We are the 99%" go? It's hard to say. The anti-bailout message is non-ideological but the fringe elements of most of the group will likely keep them on the periphery of the American political scene.
Timeline and Some Pics:
I met fellow SLOBer WC Varones before the event. First we grabbed a few beers then worked our way through the Occupy crowd. As things wound down -- and the OccupySanDiego crowd began to camp out (literally) at the San Diego Civic Center Plaza -- we called it a night.
On our way back to the train station we dropped by the Kansas City Barbecue to grab the last beer o' the night. Believe it or not, the Kansas City Barbecue was featured in "Top Gun" (picture of Tom Cruise sitting at the bar here). I hate to admit that even I -- a San Diego native -- had never been there. Check it out if you are in the area.
Here's just a few of the Occupy San Diego pictures WC took, photos are high-res, click to embiggen:
Hello f*ckers = the new civility.
Camping out after the event
Some of the leftists -- in a strange, roundabout way -- are actually
correct about our nation's debt
Lots of anti-war sentiment
Child props? Pretty spooky
More of the same
Time for camping
Yes, it does; it's called crony capitalism
Lots of seniors and folks in their 50s. This couple was having a
spirited discussion with the young man on the right
Good view above the crowd
Note the red flags? I think those are the international communists
It can be said: at least there were American flags present
Part of the march that commenced later in the evening
Currency = censorship?
This guy seemed to run out of one the nearby
office buildings, quickly putting on a makeshift rally shirt
Green party members
Another shot of the crowd
Don't think I've ever seen signage vernacular
like this at a Tea Party event
Paper mache costumes -- I've seen stuff like this in the Bay Area
What does the sign (at left) even mean? You tell me
Somehow I think it is way more complicated than that
An outfit that speaks for itself
International socialists, unite!
Tea Party discontent
I hear they don't taste very good
View of one of the speakers
Again, it's not that simple
A lot of libertarians and Tea Partiers agree with this
No love for the Tea Party?
At this point an older man started yelling about
international bankers (or something)
Democrat talking points
I've heard this read from a teleprompter before
Tea Party guy!
Tea Party guy II
UPDATED: Head over the Temple of Mut for excellent summary and analysis of the OccupySanDiego event.
UPDATED x2: Great post covering the points of agreement that we have with the Occupy groups from B-Daddy over at SDRostra.com.
Related discussion: Memeorandum