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Feb. 15,....The Spirit of Los Angeles

by Anna Kunkin Monday, Feb. 17, 2003 at 11:32 AM

The Heart and Soul of Los Angeles was evident in today’s Peace March and Rally where between 75 and 100 thousand passionate Angelenos took to the streets of Hollwyod to protest what is being dubbed as Bush’s insane and solitary march to war.

Repel ugliness and horror with spirit, light, beauty and color is the call of the Tibetan Goddess Shakti; and today, the day of the celebration of the Tibetan New Year, the Goddess’s call was answered in the streets of Hollywood where, according to the event organizers, 75-100 thousand attended (the LAPD estimated 30,000)…and joined together with the people of the world to say “Not In Our Name.”

Bellydancers dancing to African drummers brought color and the feminine spirit to the occasion, and were smiled on by gentle dark-skinned women; their heads covered in traditional Muslim headscarves. There were puppets, marching bands and Aztec dancers. Impromptu drum circles accompanied by the bobbing heads of wildly wonderful L.A. tribal dancers were followed by grey heads holding anti-war signs.

United Teachers and the Librarians Guild among others joined the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor in a strong showing of Labor to the effort. Other groups included Radical Women, the Freedom Socialist Party and Women’s Strike for Peace.

Young children and their parents staged a dramatic die-in; the parents understanding the sense of historical inclusion being imparted to their offspring. “Twenty years from now my baby will understand that he was part of this…and that I brought him,” said one proud Mom.

A Butoh dance performance group, brought an artform created in Japan after the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima symbolizing the spiritual presence of the dead amongst the living This group brought up the rear of the march, and served as a buffer between the 100’s of people streaming out of the Hollywood subway to join the march and the impatient police striving to move things forward.

Speakers included actor Martin Sheen who gave a wonderfully rousing speech, and Gore Vidal. Actor David Clennon who has recently put his job on the t.v. show “The Agency” in jeopardy for publicly stating that the show has become a propaganda tool for the government, also made an appearance on stage.

For the most part the Hollywood police dept was relaxed…. used as they are to large crowds and parades. Some were even caught smiling and participating in conversation with participants. Like all people, they showed a diversity in understanding and intelligence; one officer wanting to know what would happen if Iraq really had weapons of mass destruction, while another tired officer at the end of a long work day, said he was happy to have been present at an historical moment.

There was a break-away protest toward the end of the day, and several arrests were reported.
This was followed by a stand-off at the corner of Highland and Sunset between a formation of riot clad police on horseback and on motorcycles and 50 to a 100 protestors, determined to hold the intersection.

Trouble was averted by local hero Jim Lafferty of the National Lawyer’s Guild, who, bullhorn in hand, convinced the police to turn their horses, and the tired protestors to go home, allowing the streets to open to Saturday night traffic.

“This has been a wonderful day”, declared Lafferty, “ a hundred thousand people came together for peace. Let’s not dilute the message.”

And they didn’t.
And that’s the way it was.

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 25 posted about this article.
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that aint how it was xxx Monday, Feb. 17, 2003 at 1:51 PM
Great Story johnk Monday, Feb. 17, 2003 at 2:24 PM
mhmm? mama cass Monday, Feb. 17, 2003 at 2:27 PM
ZZZzzzz..., Horses!! Did Somebody Say Horses? builder123 Monday, Feb. 17, 2003 at 5:16 PM
Hey Builder Sheepdog Monday, Feb. 17, 2003 at 5:33 PM
Diversity issue Leone Monday, Feb. 17, 2003 at 6:50 PM
January 11th. Was World Class builder123 Monday, Feb. 17, 2003 at 8:33 PM
Vitamin A Diogenes Monday, Feb. 17, 2003 at 8:39 PM
The meat Sheepdog Monday, Feb. 17, 2003 at 8:56 PM
true that metaphore Monday, Feb. 17, 2003 at 10:14 PM
lapd brutality tbengine Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2003 at 12:08 AM
making good ugly Michelle Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2003 at 1:25 AM
hero w/the bullhorn FluxRostrum Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2003 at 4:37 AM
ISO does good.... RedLibertad Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2003 at 4:00 PM
Diversity of Healthcare Not Warfare Contingent--Mutli-ethnic and bilingual! Leone Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2003 at 5:08 PM
it sure was a great opportunity just my opinion Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2003 at 11:23 AM
peace Anna Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2003 at 12:17 PM
Court Support Judith Schonebaum Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2003 at 12:27 PM
Court Support Judith Schonebaum Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2003 at 12:28 PM
to Anna RedLibertad Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2003 at 5:24 PM
poor liberals mhmm Thursday, Feb. 20, 2003 at 12:05 AM
more comments Anna Thursday, Feb. 20, 2003 at 10:42 AM
explaining IMC irpy Thursday, Feb. 20, 2003 at 10:52 AM
J R Friday, Feb. 21, 2003 at 12:43 PM

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