Rose Parade security beefed up as Occupy plans protest

Facing a protest by Occupy demonstrators, Pasadena police will bolster their already robust presence at the 2012 Rose Parade.

Pasadena police and Tournament of Roses officials have been negotiating with Occupy forces for several weeks on a plan that they hope will prevent any disruptions to Monday’s parade. Pasadena officials are allowing the Occupy group to march on the parade route after all the official floats have passed.

Protesters intend to march with large banners that decry wealth inequality in the United States and to unveil a few colorful “floats” of their own, including a giant people-powered octopus, said Pete Thottam, an Occupy spokesman.

The octopus — to be made out of recycled bags and stretching 40 feet from tentacle to tentacle — is designed to represent the stranglehold that Wall Street has on the political process, he said.


Planned speakers include Cindy Sheehan, an antiwar activist who lost her son in the Iraq war; local Occupy activists; and possibly leftist documentarian Michael Moore.

Pasadena police Lt. Phlunte Riddle declined to say how many of the city’s 235 sworn officers will work Monday, when the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl game are expected to attract as many as 800,000 people to Pasadena.

But the array of local police, Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies and state and federal law enforcement agents will be larger than usual, she said.

“We have brought on some additional resources since learning that Occupy intends to demonstrate,” Riddle told the Pasadena Sun. “We use federal, state and local partners to make sure we have the appropriate resources on hand.”

Riddle declined to say which agencies would assist the city.

In the past, the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have had a presence, as have the California Army National Guard and the California Highway Patrol.

Every year, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department enters into an agreement with Pasadena to provide support. Riddle said plainclothes and uniformed officers will be on hand.