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Report from World Cant Wait Los Angeles - 1/6/2008
Report from World Cant
Wait Los Angeles: The Annual Rose Parade Meets the White Rose Coalition
January 1, 2008 began the evening before as tens of thousands gathered in
Pasadena to camp out, securing front row seats to watch the Rose Parade. World
Cant Wait Los Angeles and San Francisco joined the White Rose Coalition to
spread the message throughout the crowd; fascism must be repudiated and torture
in our name is immoral and unacceptable.
On New Years Eve, we dressed in orange, and passed out flyers and orange
flagging tape to those willing to declare their opposition to the Bush Regime.
Orange was already a prominent color in the crowd as the Illinois football team
scheduled to play in the Rose Bowl use orange as their team color. Our message
was greeted with a variety of responses. Our brand-new Torturers: Drive Them
Out! t-shirts were grabbed up by some, young and old. A few yelled at us about
how they support torture. Some engaged with us about this, saying that they
thought that the US should torture terrorists, and that they felt that citizens
of the US were not in any danger from their own government and only from
terrorists who needed to be tortured first, before they tortured us. Others we
talked to had never heard of Guantanamo, nor did they have knowledge of the
passage of the Military Commissions Act and its implications. These people took
our flyers with interest and thanked us for informing them.
On the morning of the
1st , some of us were out in jumpsuits and black hoods on the parade route
before the parade got going, drawing scores of photographers. The coalition
gathered around the Backbone Campaigns Bush Chain Gang (people dressed in
prisoners black & white striped uniforms with large papier mache head masks
of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Rice) with torture victims surrounding them.
Members of the White Rose Coalition carried a huge banner with the preamble to
the constitution written on it. There were many Impeach Bush and Cheney banners
held aloft too. We joined in at the end of the parade creating a contingent of
over one hundred people. A favorite chant was taken up in a very spirited way
by the contingent War Criminals! Drive Them Out! There were loud boos from
some in the bleachers as we marched by, but we got applause from others. At
one point, as the chant echoed in the street, we realized that some onlookers
had joined in, shaking fists in the air as they shouted our chant with us.
At Pasadena City Hall, a press conference was held with Cindy Sheehan, Jodie
Evans of CodePink, Dennis Loo of World Cant Wait, Peter Thottam of the National
Impeachment Center and others , that was broadcast briefly on local TV. Our
orange jumpsuited protesters were seen all over the internet.
One of the people who camped out with some of the coalition all night was a
woman from South Central whose son just returned from Iraq. She had never
participated in a political event before, and at the end told us that next to
the birth of her son, this was the most exciting thing in her life.
This is just the beginning. Happy New Year! Drive Out the Bush Regime!