Criticism of the "Occupy" protests that began last month in New York - which by now have spawned a widespread series of mini-Occupies - as being too white has never completely applied in Los Angeles, where Latinos and other minorities have played at least a small part since the start. And less so now with the spread of mini-protests like "Occupy South Gate," a campout that began last week in the 95 percent Latino southeast L.A. County city.
As with the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York and its big-city offspring, the central thread tying particiants together in these smaller protests is the economic crisis, with a variety of other issues thrown in. Interviews with late-night campers this weekend outside South Gate City Hall posted by TheBoxer93 (who peppered his questions with conspiracy theories and random non-sequiturs) reveal younger Latinos concerned with issues that are not Latino-specific, but which relate to general concerns like the economy, transparency in government, education and the real estate bust, which disproportionately affected the fortunes of Latino and black Americans.
In a different video, a man identified as Isaac Sandoval talks about his mother being forced to short-sell her house after falling behind on payments. (Just as a warning, it's laced with expletives, including from the highy opinionated guy doing the interviewing.) Another South Gate protester said he was there over his concerns about education.
There are plans for another Eastside mini-Occupy, "Occupy ELAC" (East Los Angeles College), next week. Not that the news of yet another mini-Occupy appeals to everyone. Boyle Heights blogger @ElRandomHero tweeted this morning: "All right, that's it. This whole occupy places thing has turned into a joke of itself now that people wanna occupy ELAC."