Hours after the eviction of Occupiers in Los Angeles, the camp that hummed for two months from the energy of optimism and direct democracy was nothing more than a 30 ton pile of debris. The food, medical, media and spiritual tents were leveled. An endless array of protest signs, books and tents were strewn about the camp as if a tornado had sent them flying. Chairs, tarps and bicycles lay in heaps.
And everywhere you looked were workers clad in white haz mat suits, face masks concealing their identity in an unintentional mimic of the occupiers who preferred anonymity. They dragged tents by the hundreds to trash trucks that crushed the occupiers symbols only hours after the LAPD crushed their hope of prolonging the occupation. People stopped to watch the clean-up from behind the massive chain link fence that sealed off the encampment.
Waiting for the light to change at 1st and Main, several occupiers clutched their sleeping bags and backpacks and found themselves face-to-face with LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck, the architect of the camp eviction. Seemingly surprised, a few questions about retrieving their things were asked before the chief strode away.
Nearby, one couple managed to retrieve their tent and quickly set about inventorying the contents. Within moments, police descended on the two and told them they had to leave the sidewalk. Grabbing the tent, the two walked across the blocked-off street and resumed their work amid the noise from the trash haulers. Satisfied they had what they needed, they strolled away without so much as a glance back toward the camp.
It was over. The time had come to clean-up and move on.
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Click on an image for a larger photo. All images © Todd Bigelow, 2011. All rights reserved.