Occupy The Rose Parade: Pasadena Police Gird Their Loins For Human Parade Float
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This year's Rose Queen must be shaking in her stilettos.
Occupy Wall Street protesters have recently announced their intention to march in the iconic Rose Parade as a "human float," and both the police and parade officials have already started preparing for any disruptions.
A new website outlines the protesters' intentions to form "a spectacular protest" that they promise will be free of both violence and tents. On the site, protesters say they are calling for the separation of corporate money from the electoral process. They also denounce what they claim is the militarization and corporatization of the Rose Parade.
Not everyone is enamored with the idea of mixing rowdy (albeit peaceful) protesters with the genteel, century-old tradition. Activist and Pasadena resident Patrick Briggs, who has participated in Occupy Pasadena, told the Pasadena Star-News, "Disrupting cherished city traditions is really not the appropriate step to take... Maybe at a later time we would protest or occupy the Rose Parade because the parade is really too corporate. We don't think it's an effective strategy right now." Occupy Pasadena and Occupy the Rose Parade are not affiliated movements.
The Pasadena police have already issued a statement about the upcoming parade, this time ahead of schedule in response to the protesters' plans. United Press International reports: "As the primary agency responsible for safety [of the Rose Parade], the Pasadena Police Department is well-equipped to handle emergencies and unusual occurrences... Parade groups are encouraged to respect the rights of all who attend the parade, many of whom travel great distances with their families."
In an interview with Reuters, Occupy the Rose Parade protest organizer Peter Thottam explained, "It's not rocket science. All we're trying to do is use this event, a historical piece of Americana that is becoming increasingly militarized and corporatized, to get our message out to millions of people."
Officials are expecting 1 million spectators in Pasadena for the Rose Parade, which will be broadcast and watched by about 50 million people nationwide and 200 million people worldwide, according to NBC Los Angeles.
Check out photos from last year's Rose Parade and let us know in the comments below: can you imagine hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters marching alongside the rose-covered floats?