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Rally Supporting King Drew Trauma Center

by Walking Wounded Monday, Nov. 15, 2004 at 8:01 PM

About THREE THOUSAND people turned out today at noon for a mid-day rally led by Rep. Maxine Waters at King/Drew supporting the King/Drew Trauma Center. Also in attendance were local politicians and dozens of community leaders and activists.

Rally Supporting Kin...
jessejacksonaddressescrowd.jpg, image/jpeg, 674x570

Above: Jesse Jackson Addresses Rally at King/Drew

About THREE THOUSAND people turned out today at noon for a mid-day rally led by Rep. Maxine Waters at King/Drew supporting the King/Drew Trauma Center. Also in attendance were local politicians and dozens of community leaders and activists.

This rally was HUGE and very MILITANT. And it was as diverse as it was large, with SEIU members, teamsters, ministers, politicians, people with disabilities, members of the local community, bus riders union members, young people, old people, and everyone in between, all demanding that the King/Drew trauma unit remain OPEN.

Rep. Maxine Waters ran the show in her warm, strong and absolutely inimitable style. Mayor James Hahn showed up to offer a few words of support, reportedly coaxed there by his more progressive sister, Janice Hahn, or perhaps in an attempt to revive his considerably challenged re-election campaign. Challenging mayoral candidate Antonio Villaraigosa also spoke, making a much more credible and well-put statement of support (I guess you can tell that I'm not impressed with Mayor Hahn). I did not notice mayoral candidate Bernard Parks there, and I probably would have noticed it had he appeared, so that is certainly notable that he would not show up to support the community in this important struggle, but to be fair I honestly don't know what his position is or what other commitments he might have been honoring that could have interfered with his attendance. I do not recall Maxine or anyone else saying that he had sent a message, though. Janice Hahn spoke briefly but well, saying that we need a "second opinion" before "amputating" King/Drew.

Jesse Jackson lent his oratorical gifts and historical memory to the cause, as well, pointing out that King/Drew was an offering made to the community in response to the Watts uprising, and so its removal now is not just an attack upon the community's right to healthcare, but a betrayal of that original commitment..

Assembly speaker Herb Wesson spoke up for the trauma unit. The mayor of Lynnwood also stepped to the microphone, stating that Lynnwood's own trauma unit would be inundated if King/Drew were to close.

Actually, so many people spoke that I've completely lost track. Ministers, activists, politicians, movie stars (including Angela Bassett), all lent their voices to this cause, and were all greeted with enthusiatic support from the crowd (except Mayor Hahn, and even he was politely applauded).

Many workers from King/Drew itself came out during their lunch break, picked up signs and joined in the rally.

The reason for the rally was to pressure the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to vote against closure of the King/Drew trauma unit. The Supes were meeting at 4pm at a nearby location, and a large contingent from the rally (not including me, as I had to transport some venerable activists back from the rally) went on to overflow that 350-seat room. An account of that meeting, in which the cowardly and evasive Supes postponed their vote until Tuesday (completely disrespecting the people who came from the community to lobby them) is in today's L.A. times on the front page (http://www.latimes.com, with article at http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-kingdrew16nov16,0,3834495.story?coll=la-home-headlines ).

The WEB SITE for the King/Drew struggle is:

http://www.savekingdrew.org

You can sign up for the campaign's e-mail list on that site.

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Angela Basset Endorses Campaign to Save King/Drew

by Walking Wounded Monday, Nov. 15, 2004 at 8:01 PM

Angela Basset Endors...
angelabassetendorsescampaign.jpg, image/jpeg, 775x570

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Beating the Drum for King/Drew

by Walking Wounded Monday, Nov. 15, 2004 at 8:01 PM

Beating the Drum for...
beatingthedrumforkingdrew.jpg, image/jpeg, 760x570

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Bus Riders Union Members

by Walking Wounded Monday, Nov. 15, 2004 at 8:01 PM

Bus Riders Union Mem...
busridersunionmembers.jpg, image/jpeg, 770x507

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Community Members Hit the Roof Over Proposed King/Drew Closure

by Walking Wounded Monday, Nov. 15, 2004 at 8:01 PM

Community Members Hi...
communitymembershittheroofoverproposedkingdrewclosure.jpg, image/jpeg, 653x570

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Demonstrators Viewed from Side of Stage

by Walking Wounded Monday, Nov. 15, 2004 at 8:01 PM

Demonstrators Viewed...
demonstratorsviewedfromsideofstage.jpg, image/jpeg, 689x570

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King/Drew Workers Join Demonstration

by Walking Wounded Monday, Nov. 15, 2004 at 8:01 PM

King/Drew Workers Jo...
kingdrewworkersjoindemonstrationduringlunchbreak.jpg, image/jpeg, 715x570

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King/Drew Workers Line the Sidewalk

by Walking Wounded Monday, Nov. 15, 2004 at 8:01 PM

King/Drew Workers Li...
kingdrewworkerslinethesidewalk.jpg, image/jpeg, 760x570

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Maxine Waters Addresses the Crowd

by Walking Wounded Monday, Nov. 15, 2004 at 8:01 PM

Maxine Waters Addres...
maxinewatersaddressesthecrowd.jpg, image/jpeg, 770x396

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Maxine Waters Gives Directions from Stage

by Walking Wounded Monday, Nov. 15, 2004 at 8:01 PM

Maxine Waters Gives ...
maxinewatersgivesdirections.jpg, image/jpeg, 743x570

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Maxine Waters Introduces Outgoing Mayor James Hahn

by Walking Wounded Monday, Nov. 15, 2004 at 8:01 PM

Maxine Waters Introd...
maxinewatersintroducesjameshahn.jpg, image/jpeg, 645x570

:-)

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Members of Uhuru Drug Rehab Program

by Walking Wounded Monday, Nov. 15, 2004 at 8:01 PM

Members of Uhuru Dru...
membersofuhurudrugrehabclinic.jpg, image/jpeg, 529x570

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Ministers and Politicians Advance Toward Stage

by Walking Wounded Monday, Nov. 15, 2004 at 8:01 PM

Ministers and Politi...
ministersandpublicofficialsadvancetowardthestage.jpg, image/jpeg, 770x440

Near the middle of the rally, a huge group of ministers and politicians swept from the back of the crowd up to the stage behind a huge purple banner. Unfortunately, I wasn't on the spot and so can only offer this slightly obscured picture.

Near the center of the banner we can see an uncomfortable looking Mayor Hahn.

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Nation of Islam Organizers

by Walking Wounded Monday, Nov. 15, 2004 at 8:01 PM

Nation of Islam Orga...
nationofislamorganizers.jpg, image/jpeg, 487x570

NOI had a few organizers in the crowd, although they did not appear to have a part in the official program. Once again, there was no printed agenda, so I may have missed their involvement.

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Salvemos King Drew!

by Walking Wounded Monday, Nov. 15, 2004 at 8:01 PM

Salvemos King Drew!...
salvemoskingdrew.jpg, image/jpeg, 756x570

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Teamsters Union Members

by Walking Wounded Monday, Nov. 15, 2004 at 8:01 PM

Teamsters Union Memb...
teamstersunionmembers.jpg, image/jpeg, 765x570

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Video Chant: Save King Drew

by Walking Wounded Monday, Nov. 15, 2004 at 8:01 PM


video: MPEG at 3.6 mebibytes

This "thumbnail clip" is all that my poor camera could store, but it gives you an idea of what it was like to be there among all of those people.

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