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Police beef up security for Occupy Rose Parade protests

December 27, 2011 |  7:57 am

Police beef up security for Occupy Rose Parade protests

Facing a protest by Occupy demonstrators, Pasadena police will bolster their already robust presence at this year’s Rose Parade.

Pasadena police and Tournament of Roses officials have been negotiating with Occupy forces for several weeks on a plan that they hope will prevent any disruptions to the Jan. 2 parade. Pasadena officials are allowing the Occupy group to march on the parade route after all the official floats have passed.

Protesters intend to march with large banners that decry wealth inequality in the United States and to unveil a few colorful "floats" of their own, including a giant people-powered octopus, said Pete Thottam, an Occupy spokesman. The octopus -- to be made out of recycled bags and stretch 40 feet from tentacle to tentacle -- is designed to represent the stranglehold that Wall Street has on the political process, he said.

PHOTOS: Rose Parade floats in the making

Planned speakers include Cindy Sheehan, an antiwar activist who lost her son in the Iraq war, local Occupy activists and possibly leftist documentarian Michael Moore.

Pasadena Police Lt. Phlunte Riddle declined to say how many of the city’s 235 sworn officers will work on Jan. 2, when the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl game are expected to attract as many as 800,000 people to Pasadena. But the array of local police, county sheriffs and state and federal law enforcement agents will be larger than usual, she said.

VIDEO: Construction of a float

“We have brought on some additional resources since learning that Occupy intends to demonstrate,” Riddle told the Pasadena Sun. “We use federal, state and local partners to make sure we have the appropriate resources on hand.”

Riddle declined to say which agencies would assist the city. In the past the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have had a presence, as have the National Guard and the California Highway Patrol. Every year the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department enters into an agreement with Pasadena to provide support. Riddle said plain-clothes and uniform officers will be on hand.


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--Bill Kisliuk, Times Community News

Photo: Rick Jackson, right, president of the Tournament of Roses Assn., presents a Rose Parade flag to Tony White, director of the Los Angeles Unified School District's All-District Marching Band, in the parking lot of Dodgers Stadium last week. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times