October 20, 2011

Is Che the patron saint for Occupy Marina del Rey?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 3:01 pm

Occupy Venice CA

[Note: In an attempt to achieve humor, portions of this column have been fictionalized (it is up to readers to do their own factchecking to discern what has and what has not been fictionalized).]

(Venice CA) The Occupy Wall Street demonstrations have been gaining increased media attention recently (although some lackeys in the conservative propaganda branch of the media have taken to blatant mocking the spontaneous combustion of citizen outrage) and so the World’s Laziest Journalist went to Marina del Rey (on the Western edge of Los Angeles County) to contact and interview the leaders of the Occupy Marina del Rey (CA) at their secret rebel encampment. Unlike the other Occupy protests around the USA, the one in Marina del Rey makes a concerted effort to avoid journalists and we had to switch to stealth mode to talk with the folks who have been trying to reverse the trend of politicians, bankers, and capitalists collaborating on the fleecing of the middle class, in that area of county owned land.

For fifty years the media has been reporting on the cozy financial relationship between the politicians and the developers, but (alas) the trend continues to gain momentum to this very day.

There is no publicized, centralized location for the Occupy Marina del Rey protesters where the police can focus their efforts to discourage the voters’ discontent. The rebel forces in Marina del Rey have tended to pattern their efforts more along the lines of the Occupy the Sierra Maestro Mountains. Many years ago that protest, in a small Caribbean Island Nation, may have, inadvertently, provided the paradigm for the more visible various Occupy Wall Street clone protests springing up around the USA in the Fall of 2011.

We talked with the leader of the Marina Rebels (formed in the late Seventies) known to his followers as “el Jefe,” and he pointed out that the new Occupy Protesters who say that they “aren’t going away” will need at least a decade to establish the priorities for their demands and develop a dialogue with the opposition.

The Marina Rebels have been stymied at every move by the capitalists who dictate their agenda to the local politicians and stifle any attempts to gain converts by managing the news and thus coercing the locals into becoming “sheeple.”

El Jefe brandishes a copy of the October 20, 2011, issue of La Opiniõn newspaper and points to the lead story that details the allegations that the S-Comm program (according to Aarti Kohli at the Warren Institute at UC Berkeley) puts electronic tracking devices on undocumented foreigners in the USA and challenges the columnist saying: “Bet ya didn’t know about this, didja?”

We had to admit that we must have missed that story in our efforts to monitor the news emanating out of that school in the SF area.

El Jefe calls the fascistic politicians, who let developers deplete citizens’ bank accounts via sordid and assorted devious schemes, by the word “Batista” which we assumes means people born out of wedlock. He uses the word as a metaphor for a dictator who has a very cozy relationship with the capitalists and should be replaced by someone via legitimate democratic means or somehow.

The more traditional protest at Occupy Venice (CA) epitomized by a small encampment at the Venice Circle echoes the various bigger protests in places like New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles, but the Marina Rebels prefer to conduct their efforts via law suits. The leader of the Marina Rebels is quick to ask the visiting columnist if he knows the details of the dispersal of the Bonus Army in Washington D. C. a few years back. We replied: “Didn’t Douglas Macarthur do a superb job of extending ‘interline courtesy’ and limiting the number of fatalities of protesting WWI veterains, to an extremely acceptable small number?”

“Evidently,” el Jefe responded, “Macarthur was intent on running interference for Ronald Reagan and establishing a precedence for the kind of harsh response to demonstrators which the California governor would condone when he said ‘If it takes a blood bath to end this dissention on campus, let’s get it over with.’”

We asked if the leader of the Marina Rebels thought there would be a heavy handed government move to help convince the protesters to abandon their efforts. “You had to be blindfolded while you were being brought here. Draw your own conclusions.” He continued: “Didn’t your mother teach you that all’s fair in love, war and politics?”

Then he pointed to the front page of the Los Angeles Times October 20, 2011, edition which had a lead story about an FBI investigation into allegations of beatings in the jail facilities.

“The protesters who compare their commitment to non-violence to Gandhi’s methods may soon want to read Albert Camus’ ‘The Rebel’ because in effect they are forcing a binary choice on America: ‘change your ways’ or endorse fascism . . . one more time. Based on America’s past history, we think we know which way the capitalists’ police force will be told to handle the problem. Camus wouldn’t have expected a Pollyanna ending to the protests, so why should I?” He paused and then asked: “How are the ‘No Justice; No BART’ protests going?” He paused and then asked another question: “After the 1968 Democratic Convention who was put on trial? Was it the cops or the kids?”

When we pulled out our Nikon Coolpix camera some of the rebels pulled out pistols. El Jefe motioned me to put the camera away. “Go over to the Occupy Venice site if you want to take photos. You can’t take any here.”

He chuckled and then added: “We have been conducting our fight for about thirty five years. We may not live to see the Promised Land where rents are fair, but we will continue fighting until we win or the day we die. Che Guevara said: ‘Whenever death may surprise us, let it be welcome if our battle cry has reached even one receptive ear and another hand reaches out to take up our arms.’ We hope the Occupy sites succeed and achieve all their aims but they should know that it may take some time to wear the capitalists down.”

Then he ended the bearded leader added: “It seems that efforts to shame the capitalists into repenting is a bit more optimistic than this old cynic is ready to expect.”

Now the disk jockey will play “Until the end of time,” and the Stones songs “When the whip comes down” and “Street Fighting Man.” We have to go check and see if there is an “Occupy Santa Monica” and see how well it is going. Have an “In it to win it” type week.

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