Hundreds of fat cats, corporate bigwigs, the top 1 percent and at least one “puppet” Barack Obama marched around downtown San Francisco on Saturday.
Yes, Occupy San Francisco protesters can get into the Halloween spirit, too.
While some dressed in traditional Halloween garb, most, like Connie Jeung-Mills, had some fun making political statements out of their getups. Hers was a pink alien outfit with a badge that read “(Alien) Nation 99%.”
“The 99 percent are alienated,” she said. “The system is broken and we need to fix it.”
“Fat cats” pounced on the scene, with felines of all sizes marching up Geary Street to Union Square before heading to Yerba Buena. The costumes represented the movement as a whole: corporate greed and income inequality, said protesters.
But some cats weren’t exactly sure why they had dressed up as they had. When asked why he was part of the group, Derek Whaler said he wasn’t sure; he hadn’t been keeping up with the news lately.
Fenny Kuo channeled Rupert Murdoch’s wife Wendi, complete with a foam pie attached to her arm representing the incident in which Wendi Murdoch attacked a man for throwing a foam pie at her husband during his testimony before Parliament.
“It’s nice to come out on a Saturday and show solidarity and support for the continuing protest,” Kuo said.
One group took the theme a little further. The Occupy San Francisco Drama Club (who knew such a thing existed?) brought together fat cats who stood behind someone dressed as President Obama with puppet strings. Protesters in white masks donned sashes that read words like “consume,” “depression” and “oblivion.” Protester Lauren Phillips stood by with a banner that read “Wake up.”
“We are representing what capitalist culture has created,” Phillips said. “We have blank clone faces, an Obama puppet and two fat cats. And I’m here telling everyone to wake up!”
As protesters chanted “They got bailed out, we got sold out,” one protester, who identified herself as Windsong, explained that she was dressed as a corporate zombie. With a dollar bill taped to her mouth, she said, “Money talks in this country.”
Other outfits were a bit more personal. Steve Manchester dressed as someone being stabbed in the back, to represent how he feels as someone who has worked for the postal service for 31 years. He’s less secure in his job now, with the postal service facing financial issues.
Some costumes weren’t as obvious. Jumana Nabti dressed as a glass seagull, a play on the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, a law enacted during the Great Depression that imposed tighter regulations on banks. Some believe that the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999 helped bring about the current financial crisis.
As the afternoon wore on, protesters headed from Yerba Buena back to Justin Herman Plaza and their own Halloween-style encampment.