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Rose Parade float No. 44 belongs to Occupy protesters

December 30, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Trailing the Rose Parade's 43rd float down Colorado Boulevard will be the Occupy movement's unofficial 250 by 50 ft. float.

Occupy Rose Parade organizers say 5,000 to 10,000 demonstrators will descend on the historic parade Jan. 2. They will march down the parade route at its conclusion.

Among them will be Laura Love, who arrived to Southern California from Seattle to protest. She also joined a protest at a Wells Fargo branch in Pasadena on Friday, which drew about 10 people.

"I expect a huge crowd, but if it's only me and these people here, I've done what I can do," she said. "I can't sit at home and watch it."

Occupy Rose Parade plans on meeting at 7 a.m. at Singer Park on the day of the parade.

"They are presenting the flowers and the smiles they want for their corporate image and we are presenting the truth," said protester Mark Lipman of West Los Angeles.

The Occupy float will reportedly be in the shape of an octopus to represent the choke hold corporations have on the country.

Pasadena police say everything the Occupiers plan on doing is perfectly legal, but they're beefing up security in case any rogue protesters attempt to disrupt the parade.

Occupy leaders say they will have 50 peace keepers in green vests to make sure everyone stays in line.

"We can't control everybody. We're putting it out loud and clear we want people to be non-violent," said Pete Thottam, an Occupy Rose Parade organizer. "The goal is to win over the hearts and minds of middle-class Americans."

Some people in Pasadena are already turned off by the idea of seeing Occupy protesters at the parade.

"I think this is a family event, a celebration for the New Year. I don't think this is an appropriate venue," said Peter Conti of Pasadena.

ABC7 will have live coverage of the Rose Parade on Jan. 2. Coverage begins at 8 a.m.


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