Remember the $700,000,000,000 bailout of the banking and financial industries? And the $000,000,000,000 to bail out everyone else, particularly those with crushing health care, housing, and student loan debt? That was back in September. At the time, there were a few scattered protests over the inequities of these numbers. Yesterday, the SEIU continued the protesting with its nationwide Take Back the Economy demonstration. Using the AIG bonuses as a launchpad, protesters rallied against corporate greed outside of the huge AIG building in Century City. Previously that same morning, President Obama stopped traffic and rolled on through the same area. Timing, people.
Since I am ever so lucky enough to work in Century City and to actually see the AIG building from my office window, I ran down after a meeting to snap a few photos. My biggest surprise was seeing Code Pink’s pinked members standing shoulder to shoulder with the purple shirts of the SEIU.
More pictures of the SEIU/Code Pink mashup after the jump.
The protesters walked around in a classic protest circle.
Signs and more signs. Code Pink had “JAIL NOT BAIL” and “FAILOUT”; the SEIU carried signs titled “ENOUGH!” There was one guy carrying a sign that said something akin to, “In China, they would have shot the AIG executives.” He appeared to be one of those showboating activists who knew he had a provoking sign, even stepping outside the protest circle every few seconds to make sure every camera caught sight of him. I declined to snap his photo in protest of his protest. In contrast, the woman with the purple bag (below, right) was doing this right: with an ice-cream cone. Yes!
As I mentioned, members from Code Pink were there, hot off an awesome showing at the AIG congressional hearing earlier this week. I tried to ask one exactly why they were there (I was under the impression that they are strictly an anti-war group), but they were in the middle of a song and I had to get back to my office. According to CNN, though, Code Pink “members acknowledge that the group was started to protest war but said that this financial crisis was tied into the world’s problems and worthy of protest also.”
I walked into the AIG building to gauge everyone’s reactions. People there seemed to be either amused (which was sad) or bewildered (which might have been sadder). I would like to protest the institutional laws, regulations, and politicking that incentivized all this corporate greed — anyone have an ice-cream cone?