There is much to say in regard to The Occupy Movement and Los Angeles. Yvonne de la Vega was there, camped on the lawn of City Hall, a member of the Media team, she wrote for the Occupy Los Angeles (OLA) website and spoke to the troops with the only voice she had during the effort, the same voice that spoke in every poet’s way of words; becoming a light switch found in the dark. A poet’s voice in the realities of the day was needed for a certain group of activists who could hear more clearly in that enlarged vision from the 3rd Eye, those troops that camped across America and said things that weren’t said before.
photo by Annie Appel for The Occupy Portraits
“These revolutionaries of 2010 beginning with the Arab Spring, rose to the calling as the fire caught a wind that blew across the Middle East that special springtime from where it spread to Europe, igniting Spain’s Indignados (see article: “Five years on, the Indignados have changed Spain’s politics”) and then across the oceans to America where Wall Street would not escape the new and bold writing on the wall. It was the Occupy Movement, a global uprising of all kind of citizens that then, wrote the names on the wall. The names we all know today as the fat cats, the greedy rats, the “They” of our every suspicion. From Goldman Sach’s to Monsanto, big pharma and super pacs, Central Banks such as the Federal Reserve, and so on.
“Our signs were scrawled and purposely hand drawn to make our point clearer. They said, “People Before Profit”, or “You can’t arrest an idea”, We are the 99% and etc.
It was grassroots at its best.
It was NOT a failed movement as some have said, those that are simply repeating lines like the parrots the ignorant are, but they have no idea why life is in an all awareness this very moment. It was because of our effort.
Bitcoin was developed during this time in an effort to begin a departure from the Federal Reserve’s paper notes. Crypto-currency… brilliant! If everyone started using crypto-currency and e-commerce, the federal reserve would be less needed. That is, who would need paper notes that represent gold?”
Many articles published by Yvonne de la Vega found readership in the thousands. All eyes were on Los Angeles for reasons apparent. The city itself is a herald. We were courted by the City Council at times and and yet still, in the end, we were raided as ordered from up on high.
Time Magazine recognized the movement however ignored by most mainstream medias. 2011’s Time Magazine Person of the Year was “The Protester” The girl on the cover was a fellow occupier of Occupy Los Angeles.
Below is a hopeful video, “If I Could Change The World” that was produced by Bianca Smith and Yvonne de la Vega. Bianca, Yvonne’s daughter directed and edited this powerful piece of content while attending Los Angeles Film School.
While at OLA, Yvonne joined the Media Committee and began writing blogs which became articles read by Occupiers in the many camps across the Nation. Los Angeles, being the city of all media and cross genres of media, has always been looked to and Yvonne found her writings well received by her readers and fellow occupiers and all the while at camp not many knew that Yvonne de la Vega was that brown chick on the bike that was the female Peace Keeper amongst an all male committee, who was up in the night placing herself between two men at war for some personal grievances between them or a couple of angry dudes ready to box it out for a reason unknown but at the moment unresolved. Yvonne would come through the crowd and appear there between them and in a soft voice she would ask, ” “What’s the matter guys?”
When Emilio, the person heading the Peace Keepers committee announced at GA that they were in need of a female in the group, Yvonne signed on. She asked Emilio after a while, but before they actually began a night with her on the team, she asked, “Why do you need a female on this team?” and Emilio answered, “Because, when dudes get angry and are up to duke it out, and a woman steps in, they calm down and begin to come back down to earth, you know?” Yvonne understood, nodding. And she told others the story later when recalling her days at OLA, always adding, “And Emilio was right. It’s true, I saw it many times, men calmed down a bit whenever I would step up and talk to them.”
Tensions were high at times due to the factors thrown upon the occupiers. There were donations being hoarded by some people and eventually, the Health Department began citing the restaurants that would donate meals to us. At first, there were so many donations in food and other supplies, we almost had more good eatings than when we lived at our homes which by this time, seemed like decades ago. Then the donations began to dwindle and the occupiers were becoming nearly starved and a loaf of bread was passed around to whomever was lucky to be in the right proximity and get a slice for themselves. Thus due to actual hunger, there was a lot of in-camp tension and this was across the board, all camps were experiencing the same explosive behaviors. When the peaceful protests grew increasingly violent due to a sudden show of police brutality, the PTSD factor would become an added rouse to the already existing frustrations within the camps.
Yvonne de la Vega’s first article entitled, “United We Stand, Divided We Fall” hit the OLA website and addressed the issue in a bigger picture. It spoke to the troops in a positive light urging them to continue the good fight with respect and compassion for one another within the camps. But more than just OLA read the article. When Yvonne and her film maker daughter Bianca Smith went to Washington DC to participate and document in the Occupy Congress and Occupy The Federal Reserve standing with Occupy Washington D.C. (OWDC), Yvonne was approached and praised for her writings by D.C. occupiers.
The protest was captured by Bianca beautifully and the result is the video, “Occupy Congress: I Am Not A Terrorist” This protest was two fold. One, to protest the Federal Reserve, and secondly, also to protest the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) detailed,
“Normally, this is just an act which details the monetary calls of the Department of Defense which is passed every year. However, the act passed for the 2012 fiscal year changes the bill and can be seen as an extension of the Patriot Act. Now, the indefinite detention has been extended to U.S. citizens as well. If people are spied on and suspected of being terrorists, they may be detained indefinitely without trial.” read more
stay tuned… more to come, including all of the articles written by Yvonne de la Vega while in the Media Committee at OLA.