Today Democrats.com, the Oral Majority, Fringe Folks, trustthepeople-cadems, the Sierra Club and other groups brought together over 500 concerned citizens to protest the Resident in Century City. Ten year old Natasha Hull-Richter and twelve year old Alexandar were joined by twelve year old Bree (the daughter of Fringe Folk's Rose Thomas) in leading the crowd in chanting of, "Gore won Florida. Nazi go home. Gore won Florida. Bush go home," "Hey, hey, ho, ho, George Bush has got to go," "Vote Democrat in 02, Impeach in 03," "We like Davis. We hate Bush," and "Oh no! Gore's ahead. Better call my brother Jeb." over Natasha's megaphone.
Ed Begley, Jr. gave a brief inspiring speech in the midst of the crowd. Then as speakers (reportedly brought by the Power to the People, ISO and Green groups) attempted to bash the Democratic Party, Al Gore and Gray Davis, young Alexandar saved the day by standing up for all three on Natasha's megaphone (which turned out to be louder than the ad hoc sound system). A couple of Alexandar's shouted/amplified comments were, "The Democrats are responsible for everything good in the country. The Republicans are trying to destroy it." and "Gray Davis is a good governor." At one point Natasha, Alexandar, Bree and the audience who joined them completely drowned out a pair of anti-Democratic speakers with a five-minute chant of "We like Gray." The Democrats were out in force.
The protest started across the street from the hotel where Bush was meeting Davis. Later the protesters marched across the street to the same side as the hotel. The kids and the megaphone made sure that Resident Bush could hear how they felt about him. The news media (including the BBC) was there for the whole event. The kids gave taped interviews to reporters.
One mishap was when a police officer who was routinely tapping people in the front crowd with his baton (while they were awaiting the departing motorcade) struck Natasha (by accident, he said). However, Natasha was very brave and later said that she hoped the protest would make a difference.
It was a beautiful day to protest, and a great, highly spirited anti-Bushit protest took place. An estimated 800-900 people of all ages showed up during the course of the day. 7 total pro-Bush supporters showed. As usual, we overwhelmingly received honks and thumbs up in a show of support from those that drove by. I went to protest Bush's illegitimate status secondary to the Florida election fraud. Janet, Chris (my son), and I proudly wore the cool VoterMarch and the Citizens for Legitimate Government anti-Shrub t-shirts. They make great "protest uniforms." We went as representatives of The Oral Majority and FringeFolk.
Several, well-done large banners were tied between trees and posts that proclaimed loudly against Bush and his policies. There were hundreds of anti-shrub posters. About half of the banners and posters referred to Bush's theft of the Florida election.
There was also a good showing by members of the Sierra Club and other environmentalists. Others protested Bush's policies that strongly favor corporate interests over the interests of average citizens.
Many protested the energy companies that financed Bush's campaign and are now ripping off California citizens. They demanded a temporary "rate cap" to limit the tremendous profit being made by the out-of-state energy companies. The rate cap should remain in effect until competitive energy plants go online. That's not to say California is not conserving energy. Energy demand in California is down about 8% from two years ago with (at least) the same number of power plants online. We Californians are being held hostage to Texas Tyranny with money flowing out of California to Texas.
I took two large posters, plus our old favorites: Wake Up America, Bush Stole the Election, and Stop Bush. The nice fellow that makes these signs attended, and brought more signs to freely distribute to the crowd, so these terrific were everywhere!
My newest poster states:
Gore - 50,765, 453
Supreme W. Court - 5
The flip-side states: U.S. Media Censors Bush Protests
Another one of my signs read: Bush-Cheney Fossil Fools-Gasholes!
Chris' sign (his first) states: "End The Bush Regime," and "GOP: Gas, Oil, Pollution"
I'm very happy to report the L.A. P.D. was not confrontational, like they tended to be during the J20 event. About 200 of the most determined and verbal protestors waited a couple of hours to personally "greet" Bush with our banners and posters. However, "Back-door Bush" did it again, and left without facing the citizens of this great state.
I called KPFK (Pacifica) during the protest to complain about their lack of coverage for this, and other events, such as Votermarch. I mentioned I'm a KPFK listener-sponsor, and a volunteer. Furthermore, WE are the activists which the station has ignored for some time, and we are angry about it.
The corporate media carried out its usual distortion and censorship intended to please the Bush administration. Neither of the two L.A. news radio stations mentioned the protests as of this writing. Some local L.A. TV stations have aired a snip of the protestors. One commentator stated there were "about 200 protestors" and "the organizers are disappointed with the turnout." What a bunch of pro-Bush crap!
Even worse, KFI radio 640 had their commentators out in the field carrying out interviews, which were played later. I was scanning stations while driving home when the KFI commentator proclaimed that he is politically "middle of the road," and stated the California public is right of center on the issues. He described the protestors as "wackos" that are "not normal" because we are still protesting the election. He went on to state that the protestors are "your usual, way out left-wing cuckoos that need to take baths." He kept referring to a protestor that "was mentally ill." He described the older protestors as "old hippies," and younger protestors as "wanna be hippies." Keep in mind he is describing the protesters to L.A.'s radio listeners. He also described KPFK as a "way-out, left wing wacko station that no one listens to."
I could only take a few minutes of this distorted account of the protest, and the protestors, before I turned the radio off. We are the citizens that work to increase our knowledge of issues and choose to participate in democracy. I must admit I was tired and feeling rather discouraged after listening to those comments. Then, I was reminded this is the way that Bush supporters want me to feel, so I promptly recovered. No doubt about it folks, there is much work to do and we are engaged in an uphill struggle.