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Occupy the Rose Parade Saw Approximately 4000 Protesters

By Terry Miller

10 Arrests in Pasadena Preceded Parade.

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While the pre parade could be described as a family gathering along the parade route, it was mostly peaceful and quite with the exception of the a few arrests made between January 1 at 5:00 p.m. and January 2 at 5:00 a.m.
There were a total of 10 arrests, 6 misdemeanors (4 drunk in public) and 4 felonies throughout the evening and early morning. This represented a decrease in the number of arrests compared to previous years, according to the Pasadena Ploice Dept.
One of those incarcerated was Michael Buell, 45, of Fallbrook, who was arrested by the Pasadena Police Department Sunday and initially charged with felony possession of a weapon. Those charges were later reduced to a misdemeanor. Buell had planned on attending the Occupy the Rose Parade
Pasadena police detained Buell after he allegedly jaywalked across the three-way intersection of Thurgood Marshall Street and North Euclid Avenue on Sunday night and apprently did not cooperate with the arresting officer’s request.
As the parade ended, so did the coverage by many television stations which quickly diverted their cameras away from the nearly 4000 protesters who peacefully followed the annual New Year’s Day Parade along with the religious protesters which traditionally follow the police cars post parade?
While Occupy the Rose Parade was not an official entry in this year’s parade, we felt it large enough to warrant news coverage.

high 5 too
Carrying a massive replica of the Constitution, fellow marchers met with small amount of disdain from conservative parade goers on Orange Grove but the majority of people were respectful of the group’s right to freedom of speech as they marched to city hall.
The group, which consisted of individuals of all ages and walks of life, held signs aloft ranging from the serious, to the sublime and some just plain comical.
One sign read “Tea Party Poopers International” another …”Keep Your Hands off MY Parade.”
People were dressed in typical ‘Occupy’ attire, some wearing masks and some beating drums to the beat of the Wall Street ‘fat cats’ depicted by cigar smoking menin suits with wads of cash spewing from every pocket.
There was a moment when the Occupy Protest looked more like the Doo Dah Parade with a dash of Burning Man thrown in for good measure. The peaceful, party atmosphere of the Rose Parade’s nemesis, the famous and upcoming Doo Dah Parade was once again reborn.
Costumes, music balloons, and a human octopus were met with a considerable show of force from the local police agencies, especially the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Dept which staged approximately 30 officers in riot gear at the corner of Orange Grove and Colorado to accompany the protesters to keep the peace.
At times, the peaceful protest seemed surreal with so many law enforcement officers with hundreds of plastic handcuffs at the ready. Luckly we saw no trouble as the sea of Occupy the Rose participants marched to City Hall for the Rally.
The women’s right group, Code Pink also joined in with their colorful and flamboyant messages.
Organizer Pete Thottam estimated the crowd of protesters at 5,000 but other local estimates varied.
“Banks got bailed out, we got sold out” was heard as the Occupy the Rose Parade demonstrators retraced about 1.5 miles of the 5.5-mile parade route before veering off for the rally near City Hall.
Carrying a 250-foot long banner that said “We the People” to represent the U.S. Constitution indeed sent a loud messgage along with a 70-foot (21-meter) octopus made from recycled plastic bags that represented the tentacles of perceived corporate greed.
The organizers were really pleased with the turnout and Pete Thottam told the throngs of protesters “This isn’t the end…this is just the beginning…” as he thanked everyone for keeping the protest, peaceful safe and so succesful.

January 5, 2012

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