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Will Occupy protestors have a float at this year's Tournament of Roses parade?
If you’ve ever attended the Rose Parade in person, you’ve seen what happens once the last float floats by and the television cameras are turned off. In a time-honored tradition the public takes to the streets, following the parade route on foot, bicycle, scooter or skateboard.
Usually there are groups of protestors as well, whose number and causes vary from year to year. This year, the after-parade will be stronger by an estimated 250 to several thousand members of Occupy the Rose Parade. The group is planning a series of “floats,” including a gigantic octopus and a blow-up of the Constitution, and is inviting participants to bring signs supporting their messages, including ending corporate influence over politics, stopping foreclosures, giving power back to the 99 percent.
Although some have characterized the parade as symbolic of corporate greed and military grandstanding, the OTRP’s website says their actions “will be completely Peaceful, Nonviolent and Respectful of Pasadena's Iconic tradition.” They will even be providing self-policing with their own "peacekeepers.” Nevertheless, as always when anticipating extra protesters, the Pasadena Police Department plans to beef up their security surrounding the parade.
The Rose Parade is seen by hundreds of thousands of live spectators, and watched by nearly 75 million television viewers worldwide. Will the Occupy movement have its biggest audience ever? Are you planning to join them?
Pete Thottam, organizer of Occupy the Rose Parade
Lieutenant Phlunte Riddle, public information officer for Pasadena Police Department