Just like this Podcast, the Occupy Wall Street movement is now bi-costal. Today about one hundred dreadlock bearing, sign waving, and bullhorn shouting activists made camp in a open- square near Seattle’s Westlake Shopping Center. In a happy cluster-fuck of a coincidence, the shopping chain Target planned to host an event with Celebrity Gail Simmons in that very same open square where the smelly hipsters were now squatting. The results of this were highly entertaining. Enough even to draw me away from work to check it out. Here I actually attempted to do some on-the-street reporting. As I entered the square first by accidentally crossing the thinly stretched picket line into the Target event area, where there was a stage and red-shirted vendors giving out samples of food and receiving taunts from the protestors about corporate greed. To the rear of the stage, there was modest encampment of two dozen multi-person tents and more formidable group of protestors. After getting a free hot-cider from a vendor I entered the encampment where there were several local news crews setting up interviews with the more animated characters in the group. A young man sporting baggy pants, brown wife-beater, and a reverse mohawk hair style gave me shit for drinking the free cider. I asked the haphazardly dressed “what is this all about?”, he replied, “We want to take down Wall Street, and the Tea Party.” To this I probably too quickly retorted “But there is no Wall Street or Financial District in Seattle.”. “Well, fuck Target then.” was his reply. The next person encountered asked me if I could tell that he had urinated on himself. I informed him that I could and moved on. When Gail Simmons (or some other person, I really have no idea who she is) took the stage is when the real action took place. To this there was a modest group middle-aged women gathered for the event that erupted in applause. In response to this the masses of grimy homeless looking protesters fortified the piquet lines at the front of the event shouting a myriad of chants. There was no clear message that emerged from this group, but these people sure are passionate, I have to give them that. In a weird turn, I found that the groups of middle-aged women at the Target event were more intrigued by the protesters than angry or fearful of them. Despite the obnoxious antics and shouts from the protesters, the two diverse groups seemed to co-exist for the time I was present at the event. I even saw some protesters drinking the free cider, eating the free food, and mingling with some of the red-shirted “corporate oppressors”.
This was a Step Aside Show Exclusive