There was a noticeably increased police presence throughout the city of Los Angeles, but in downtown LA the cops were EVERYWHERE — LEGIONS of them: motorcycle brigades, SWAT teams, helicopters, mounted police, etc.... The obvious intention was to discourage and suppress any possibility of another WTO debacle, so that even a LOUD FART might mobilize a swarm of heavily armed and helmeted riot police in your general direction. And there sure wasn't much jaywalking going on that week!

This omnipresence of law-enforcement was simultaneously harrowing AND reassuring — reassuring for someone like ME at least, being a middle-aged white guy in a suit and tie who had no real desire to get stuck in the middle of some protest that's suddenly gone out of control. However, anyone whose fashion sensibility leans more towards sandals, backpacks and dreadlocks would have been well advised to stay far away from Downtown LA that week — unless you enjoy being RELENTLESSLY HARASSED by someone in a uniform, that is. And there were plenty of those types in downtown LA as well!

So the real trick was to avoid getting stuck in the middle of this endless cat and mouse game going on between the cops and the scraggly dressed martyrs for who-knows-what-cause who were constantly testing and taunting them.


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