Occupy the Rose Parade: 5,000 Protesters, Giant Octopus Fail to Make Live TV
Apparently the 70-foot octopus float carried by an estimated 5,000 Occupy L.A. protesters at the end of today's Rose Parade wasn't awesome enough for KTLA, the premiere local station covering the event.
KTLA Best for last.
Reporters gushed over marching bands, floral arrangements and even a police horse brigade led by LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. But after float No. 43 had passed the finish line, the cameras shut off.
"Raw video" of the unofficial Occupy entry has been relegated to a corner of KTLA's website, because...
... the station is surely aware of the immense national (and international) interest in the parade-ending spectacle. It is, after all, Occupy's much-anticipated answer to carrying its last three months of momentum into the new year.
Unlike the usual motley crew of nutty picketers at the end of the parade, the Occupy the Rose Parade endeavor was thousands-strong, with 250 feet of visuals. Aside from Octupy, protesters carried two huge U.S. Constitution scrolls, cardboard houses tagged with "foreclosure" and a "1 percenter" in a throne. More from City News Service:
Among the demonstrators was a brass band, playing the national anthem and "The Mexican Hat Dance.''
The chant "We are the 99 percent'' reverberated over the strains of marching bands in the official parade.
Many demonstrators carried signs that played on the parade's theme "Imagine,'' reminiscent of the John Lennon song. One said "Just Imagine No War.'' Another: "Imagine No Greed.''
The demonstrators had their own "safety'' guards -- at least 100 of them in lime-green vests labeled ``99,'' who said they were there to help diffuse any problems along the parade route.
Newsworthy, no doubt. Yet KTLA's official Rose Parade coverage played it safe, instead oohing and ahhing over floats like the Natural Balance Pet Foods float, a waterway on wheels that showcased the talents of Tilman the surfing dog. Newscasters were tickled over the prowess of the driver, who had to maneuver the 150-foot float around sharp turns.
A contributing factor to the Occupy snub may have been that occupiers' intentions today weren't all feel-good. More than just another general anti-bankster protest on a national stage, the Rose Parade demonstration was an occupation of the popular Pasadena event itself.
For that, the float got a few jeers amid the cheers.
Organizer Mark Lipman told City News that "the march would spotlight the role Wells Fargo Bank -- a Rose Parade sponsor -- had in the home foreclosure crisis."
KTLA also notoriously shut off aerial coverage of the LAPD raid of Occupy L.A. in the wee hours of December 1, so as not to screw with police strategy.