los angeles

E-mail: worldcantwait_la@yahoo.com
Phone: 866.973.4463


Report from July 27th Los Angeles

A press conference was held at noon at the new National Impeachment Center (aka the Peace Center) to kick-off the Declare It Now - Wear Orange! Campaign.  It began when 3 orange-jump suited, black-hooded figures knelt before the podium while actor René Auberjonois (Boston Legal) delivered a stunning dramatic reading of the World Can't Wait Call.  A flurry of media cameras captured the images.  Then Prof. Dennis Loo of the WCW National Steering Committee contextualized the campaign and brought out the vision of transforming the situation where far too many people who hate what's going on are still not expressing or acting on that sentiment.  Constitutional lawyer Stephen Rohde made clear why it's not too late to push forward for impeachment and why it's urgently needed.  John Duran, Mayor of West Hollywood, who recently led the first city in southern California to pass a resolution for the impeachment of Bush & Cheney, spoke to why he's wearing orange.  Musician Wayne Kramer (formerly of the MC-5, co-founder of the White Panther Party) powerfully declared his feelings through his song, "Something's Broken in the Promised Land".  Last, but not least, Peter Thottam, Executive Director of the National Impeachment Center, announced the next steps of the Center while sporting the orange ribbon that he's been promoting.  On Saturday, La Opinion printed a photo of the press conference on p. 3 showing the orange jumpsuits, poster and new banner; this is the largest Spanish-language newspaper on the West Coast.

At 6:00 p.m., a small group gathered for a Speak Out. Earlier that afternoon, WCW volunteers, including several dressed in orange jumpsuits and black hoods, took out orange flyers, ribbons and encouraged people along busy Santa Monica Blvd to take up orange. The responses from people who were eating at sidewalk cafes, waiting at bus stops, or working at the car wash, was 80% positive.

At the park many passersby’s, including two very well-dressed women who specifically came to buy War Criminal t-shirts for their husbands, stopped to talk, and took ribbons and orange flyers to pass out to friends. Cheryl, an actress who sported an orange top, belt, earrings, and WCW’s signature bandana started things going by reading the Call. She declared she was so outraged that it made her want to cry, which she did as she ran down the first Your Governments. She later added that in a fashion conscious city like LA, Orange had to become a fashion statement. Diane Lefer, an award-winning writer, read from her newly published collection of short stories, while dressed in an orange jumpsuit. Poet Gayle Brandeis, active in CODEPINK, dressed in pink with a multicolored orange sash read a favorite poem. Eva James, singer/songwriter led people in Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On and sang an original number.

People were invited to come up to the mike and declare themselves. We heard from Mary, a 72-year old grandmother who was outraged and wanted to stop this madness for the sake of her grandchildren. Michael, a member of Interfaith Communities United for Peace and Justice reminded us of importance of taking a stand such as that of the young people who dared to sit at the lunch counters in the 1960s Jim Crow south. Some people chose not to speak out but were present in orange; one woman had crocheted a bright orange scarf and had made more to give. Another West Hollywood senior said she would take it out to neighborhood block parties in the coming week and have people take it up from there.

A well-known actor stopped by with a friend and told us that in his circles many think we’re preaching to the choir; the challenge now is to have people whether prominent or ordinary folk, take up and Declare It Now! so this campaign moves beyond the choir and impacts society over all.

While the group was small, a new WCW activist, Seth, who wore an orange jumpsuit all day, may best summed up the significance of the moment. He declared that he was outraged at how the constitution was being torn apart and shredded by a despicable and criminal group. It was good to be a part of this movement and while the group was small, it was the first time and our job is to wake people up so this grows.