They came with drums, pots and pans, trumpets, clarinets, cans filled with beans, noisemakers of all sizes, shapes and sounds - young, old, of all nationalities and backgrounds - with one simple demand: BUSH STEP DOWN!
A preliminary estimate of about 3,000 people gathered and marched in Los Angeles to refuse to recognize this regime and to drown out Bush’s lies. The march was led by the Aztec dancers, and when it took off from Hollywood and Highland, many tourists and shoppers from all over the world who hadn’t heard of the protest joined in. The Watts drum corps had organized in south central and put out their own call to take up the demand, Bush Step Down; and there was a significant number of black people, old and young, in the crowd.
The high school youth were once again in the lead - with several walk-outs that we know of and over 27 schools in the house. Many youth had come to the office for materials and organized friends and others when they heard of the protest through My Space. About 7 or 8 colleges that we know of mobilized, including: Cerritos College Mecha, who have been actively organizing against the Minutemen hunting down of immigrants at the border and who wrote a call to all activists to take up the World Can’t Wait; Occidental College students from “Oxi Conscious” who have been holding “Bloody Mondays” on their campus against the nomination of Alito and sounding the alarm about the attack on women’s reproductive rights - and who bought their tickets to Washington, D.C. as soon as they heard about it - and called on everyone to do the same.
But not far behind were the 60's generation people who remembered driving out Nixon, and grandparents who don’t want to see a world of war and torture for their grandchildren.
Speakers and performers included: actress Lucia Marano reading Eve Ensler’s poem, “Fire His Ass” and who later did a dramatic reading of a major statement from Gore Vidal; Rev. Lewis Chase; Dolly Veale (Revolutionary Communist Party, USA); Jane & Jim Bright (Gold Star Families); Blase Bonpane (Office of the Americas); Dwight Trible (jazz vocalist); rap producer Fredwreck reading Harry Belafonte’s statement to the Bush Crimes Commission; Suzanne Gage (Progressive Health Services); Jan Lundberg (energy conservation advocate from Culturechange.org); Jim Lafferty (Executive Director of the National Lawyers’ Guild, L.A. Chapter); Rev. Meri Ka Ra Byrd (KRST Unity Center).
The event was covered by all the major media channels, college newspapers, alternative press and a lot of international press, including a pre-rally interview on CNN Spanish from Atlanta.
Scattered reports so far: Indy Media, L.A. called to report they had put up major coverage on their website and that they had seen a very favorable report on Channel 5, KTLA. Some students reported watching Channel 11 Fox news, that had more coverage of the protest than of the State of the Union, and closed their report for the evening by saying, “We were skeptical at first, but Nixon was forced to resign - these people may have a point.” On to Washington, D.C.!