Everyone moves to Los Angeles eventually, so it was only a matter of time before the epicenter of the occupation movement, which has shifted at times between New York and Oakland, would find its way to La-La Land. David DeGraw, who is said to have coined “we are the 99 percent” and was among the first campers in Zuccotti Park, told the crowd at Occupy L.A. this weekend that they would have to pick up the slack once winter hits New York.

Neon Tommy quotes DeGraw as saying, “L.A. is going to blow up over the next few months and through the winter,” adding “The winter is brutal. People in New York are talking about coming out here. We’re going to keep pushing, but it’s definitely going to slow [OWS] down. You are all going to have to step up. It’s your turn to lead the leaderless.”

Without the brutal police crackdowns or hostile city governments we’ve seen in Oakland and New York, Occupy L.A. has been cursed with a lack of villainy. The encampment surrounds City Hall, not the financial district, and until recently the City Council was on board with the protest.

DeGraw may be correct that the movement will be easier to carry on in warmer climes, but its success could also be diminished. From the beginning, the protest camps have achieved more in recognition and agenda setting through adversity. The media and regular people will surely be more impressed by those who tough it out in the cold, surrounded by armed police.

As DeGraw took great pains during his talk to point out, it’s a leaderless movement. Ultimately it will be the occupiers to chart their own course.

(Hat tip to LA Observed.)

— Peter Z. Scheer

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