Explaining Southern California's economy

Slide Show: The slogans of 'Occupy LA'

OLA-Emperor-MDB

Matthew DeBord

It never gets old: the Emperor Has No Clothes. Although in this case it might make more sense to say that the Wall Street Banker Has No Pinstripes.

OLA-RichCannot-MDB

Matthew DeBord

Hard to get more basic that this: a marker and a hunk of cardboard. Presto! Protest sign. DIY at its very, very best and most simple. Anyone can do it!

OLA-GoToHell-MDB

Matthew DeBord

Monopoly iconography still resonates, as does the old-school graphic approach of this sign and slogan. But so modest!

OLA-NoNukes-MDB

Matthew DeBord

No Nukes?!?! What do nukes have to do with protesting a Wall Street financial elite? Well, to each his own...

OLA-DumpCongress-MDB

Matthew DeBord

"Dump the Crony Do Nothing Congress." Plus a visual rundown of all the jobs said Crony Congress isn't creating. A hideous sign, but right on message.

OLA-OccupyHood-MDB

Matthew DeBord

A poetic offering. And also a bold prediction. But so far, an accurate one: Occupy Wall Street has spread across the country and across the globe.


I made my way down to Occupy LA yesterday. The movement has for all practical purposes surrounded City Hall in Downtown Los Angeles. To my eye, it looked as if there were hundreds of tents. Some of the protesters were a bit scruffy, but the area was peaceful and calm.

Unfortunately, a tour of the scene quickly revealed a BIG PROBLEM: Occupy LA lacks a uniform graphic indentity. It has a common, unifying slogan: "We are the 99%." But the leaderless Occupy Movement has so far resisited a common signage. 

As a result, there's a serious proliferation of slogans, to go along with the 99%er complaint. I photographed a few, so enjoy the slide show! If I have a criticism, it's that they were all over the place. But the ad-hoc nature of the slogans, taking issue with everything from nuclear power/weapons (I guess) to Congress, fits with the spirit of the Occupy protest. I suppose I can say I was there before they sold out the movement's original, inclusive energy in the interest of talking points.

UPDATE: Apropos of my point, Felix Salmon posts on a viral image of an intricately messaged #OWS protest poster. This is what networked agitprop looks like in practice. The virtual world and actual world overlap and then overlap again.

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