Multimedia: Occupy Lansing holds ‘Laugh Riot’

By Sam Inglot

Members of Occupy Lansing sing protest songs at the Capitol

“Ha! Ha! Ha! Hee! Hee! Hee! Hee! Wallstreet shows terminal greed. Hee! Hee! Hee! Ho! Ho! Ho! Ho! Courts are owned by CEOs.”

Sung to the tune of “Little Brown Jug,” the verse was one of several protest songs that were sung Friday afternoon in front of the Michigan Capitol by eight members of Occupy Lansing.

The small but energetic group carried signs, balloons and sported Fourth of July-style party hats. They sang songs that, as Chris LaMere, an Occupy Lansing member put it, “laugh at the silliness that our government is up to.”

Misdeeds of the government, LaMere said, include treating corporations “like people” in terms of election donations, the “taking away of civil liberties” through the National Defense Authorization Act and the rejection of the petition to repeal Emergency Financial Manager legislation in Michigan.

The petition, LaMere said, received over 200,000 signatures and was rejected because of “font irregularities.”

“There were no font problems,” she said. “They’re trying to take away our voice.”

The warm weather brought Occupy Lansing back out into the community after continued organizing throughout the winter, LaMere said, and events like the “Laugh Riot” on Friday will continue and hopefully grow.

Occupy Lansing member, Rick Eby was the maestro on guitar for the group and helped adapt and write many of the tunes. He said he plans on hosting a songwriting workshop with Occupy Lansing in the near future to help people come up with their own protest songs.

“Everyone is an artist, everyone can be creative,” he said. “It’s a good way to vent frustrations on issues that are important to people.”