Sunday, November 09, 2008

join together

you can give a journalist a camera, but you can't make her work it properly. hence, i don't have many even half-decent shots of last night's prop. 8 protest in silver lake, but there's one above.

the divine ms. m and i were hanging out at her house, then decided to go to her place el chavo for dinner. she mentioned there was a protest going on near the site of the recently designated gay-rights landmark the black cat, and on the drive to chavo we saw that sunset was indeed packed with people. got into the restaurant, which was fairly quiet, had a drink and ordered some food. a sense of excitement kept building, b/c we could see people streaming east on sunset toward a throng amassed somewhere around santa monica. we were eating our meals and chatting when someone opened the front door, and through it i saw a rainbow flag passing, and a slew of signs and a big crowd. the protest was going by right out front!

so, we ran to the sidewalk, where police cars and motorcycles were blocking out the route, and thousands of people marched past with signs protesting proposition "h8" and demanding marriage equality now! a truck that seemed to be carrying the march leaders or organizers passed by, with a woman shouting through a megaphone. but almost everyone carried some sort of sign, and folks were chanting, and cops were everywhere, but it was peaceful as far as we could see.

this shot is blurry, but you can get a sense of how many people were in the street at the five points intersection:

they'd been marching for a while at that point, so while we were standing with the door to el chavo propped open, people started pouring inside. pretty soon the place was filled up. so, we went back in to decamp from our table, and then went out to the parking lot to watch the parade from there. again, this shot isn't great, but you can sorta see what's goin' on:

and here's another impression of the crowd:

we watched the march until it had all passed by, with the rear guard followed by a line of mounted police, a handful of bicycle patrol, and one lone truck loaded with riot police who were clearly not gonna see any action. then we went back inside and had a drink on the chavito side, talked with a few people who'd been out there, and headed back to ms. m's place. we hung out for another good hour or so, and then i headed home ... only to run into ANOTHER protest in hollywood, which i mostly avoided by dropping down to sunset instead of taking franklin (which was gridlocked starting about a block before cahuenga). sunset was pretty busy too, but the traffic thinned out after la brea. this was around 11:30-midnight. it took me more than 45 minutes to get home, which is a pretty long time.

anyway, this morning i read details about the silver lake protest in the l.a. times (with much better pix, ahaha), and also that there were other protests in san diego, sacramento, and modesto. the paper also said that, although there are still ballots to be counted, prop. 8 is probably going to pass. which means, i'll guess, that protests are probably going to continue. yeah!

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