Occupy to pop up again at 2013 Rose Parade
The Occupy movement will be making a repeat appearance at the 2013 Tournament of Roses Parade, organizers and police said Monday.
A 15-foot-high float, with the "Monopoly" banker riding a red wagon, will wheel its way down the 5.5-mile route at the conclusion of the parade, organizers said. The banker will have strings attached to participants who are on the verge of losing their homes or have lost their homes in a foreclosure.
“It symbolizes the grip the banks have on individual homeowners,” said Carlos Marroquin, an organizer with Occupy Fights Foreclosures. “We’re protesting the foreclosure practices that continue to hurt millions of families.”
Occupy Fights Foreclosures, a subcommittee of Occupy L.A., is hoping to capture the attention of the thousands of national and international viewers, Marroquin said, and highlight what they call “illegal bank practices.”
Organizers expect at least 200 people to march alongside their float “Occupy Our Homes, It’s Not All Roses for the Banksters' Victims.” Participants are meeting at 6 a.m. at Singer Park before making their way to the parade route. Occupy groups from the region, including Irvine, Riverside and Pasadena, are expected to attend.
Germany-based Deutsche Bank, Wells Fargo and Bank of America are among the banks the Occupy protesters are taking issue with.
The Pasadena Police Department has been working with Occupy Fights Foreclosures since announcing their participation last week.
“It was a little bit more last-minute than last year,” said Police Chief Phillip Sanchez. “But they seem very cooperative.”
The focus will be on ensuring the safety of parade participants and spectators, as well as protecting demonstrator’s 1st Amendment rights, Sanchez said.
Occupy L.A.’s participation in the 2012 Rose Parade went off without a hitch, Sanchez said, and he expects it will be the same this time. They marched the route after the Rose Parade with an octopus float made of plastic bags and a "peacekeeping team" to keep the calm.
There will be increased police presence, including federal agents, at the 2013 parade because of the Occupy demonstration, Sanchez said.
Although official estimates tend to fluctuate, authorities expect nearly 900,000 people to attend the parade. Tournament of Roses officials said they expect more than 700,000 spectators.
“The big thing we’d like to get out there is that if someone sees something, they should say something,” Sanchez said. “It’s the best way we can prevent something from occurring.”
-- Adolfo Flores
Photo: Members of the Occupy movement parade down Orange Grove Avenue at the conclusion of the 123rd Rose Parade on Jan. 2, 2012. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times