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20,000 People March in L.A. To Demand Overturn Prop. 8!

by ANSWER Coalition Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2008 at 2:57 PM 213-251-1025 137 N. Virgil Ave, #201, Los Angeles

Over 20,000 people came from all over Southern California to unite with a single voice to demand civil rights and marriage equality. It was one of the largest--possibly the single largest--pro-LGBT rally in Los Angeles' history. The rally was initiated and led by the ANSWER Coalition and the L.A. Coalition for Equal Marriage Rights.

 20,000 People March...
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20,000+ People March in L.A. To Demand "Overturn Prop. 8!"
Historic March for LGBT Rights Takes the Streets

On Saturday, November 8, a historic march against the passage of California ’s discriminatory Proposition 8 filled the streets of Silver Lake and Hollywood in Los Angeles. Over 20,000 people came from all over Southern California to unite with a single voice to demand civil rights and marriage equality. It was one of the largest--possibly the single largest--pro-LGBT rally in Los Angeles' history. The rally was initiated and led by the ANSWER Coalition and the L.A. Coalition for Equal Marriage Rights. The event was organized in only three days with dozens of volunteer activists working 18-hour days, all to make the event a success.

In the days before, thousands of LGBT people and their allies had taken to the streets to decry the passage of Prop. 8. Protesters marched on CNN, the Mormon Temple and held spontaneous demonstrations in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Orange County, San Diego and throughout the state.

At 6 p.m. on Saturday, thousands of people had already arrived at Sunset Junction for the protest and march, entirely blocking all of busy Sunset Blvd. Sunset Junction has great significance for the LGBT struggle. In 1967, two years before Stonewall, the LGBT community rebelled against constant police harassment and bigoted raids on gay bars. Just minutes later, the rally kicked off, chaired by Carlos Alvarez and Peta Lindsay, youth organizers with the ANSWER Coalition. The first speakers were Robin Tyler and Diane Olson, the first same-sex couple to marry legally in California. Other speakers included community leaders, out lesbian candidate for California State Assembly, Lucilla Esguerra; National Lawyers Guild-LA leader Jim Lafferty; ANSWER Coordinator Preston Wood; General Hospital star Nancy Lee Grahn; West Hollywood mayor Jeffery Prang; and other same-sex couples and equal rights activists.

The speakers denounced bigoted Prop. 8 and vowed to continue the struggle until all marriage rights are restored and LGBT equality is won. They denounced the ongoing attempts to divide the LGBT community from people of color and immigrants, and stressed the importance of unity. 

Rally co-chair Lindsay, a graduate of Howard University, said, "The right-wing is trying to keep our communities divided. We can't let that happen. We all suffer discrimination and we must make common cause to struggle against the true enemy--wealthy institutions and outlets that spread bigotry. No one should be scapegoated. An injury to one is an injury to all!"

By the time the march stepped off at 6:45 p.m., 20,000 people were in the middle of the streets of Los Angeles. The crowd was very diverse and reflected the wide spectrum of people in the LGBT community: Latino, Black, Asian, white and others. The march filled the enormous span of Santa Monica Blvd., and then Vermont Ave. and Sunset Blvd as it twisted through L.A. It measured at least 5 blocks from beginning to end and was densely packed with people. It was a lively march carrying message of anger and hope. People chanted loudly and pumped their fists in the air, "Gay, straight, Black, white--marriage is a civil right," and "What do we want? Equality! When? Now!" 

Local, National & International Media Coverage

All the major national and local media--TV, print and radio--covered Saturday's Los Angeles mass protest. From CNN to Good Morning America, organizers and participants were interviewed. The lead cover photo and story in Sunday's L.A. Times was about the march. Our message was heard not only in the United States, but also in Europe, Central America and Asia, as major international outlets covered the event.

Click here to read the L.A. Times cover story on the Nov. 8 "Overturn 8" Protest.

All major outlets described thousands or tens of thousands of people marching. This was correct. By all organizer and independent estimates, well over 20,000 people marched. At the same time, 10,000 people marched against Prop. 8 in San Diego. One day earlier, 15,000 people protested in San Francisco. The wave against Prop. 8 is building and the struggle is sure to intensify and take different forms in the future.

After the march returned to Sunset Junction, ANSWER organizer Carlos Alvarez said to the crowd, "Los Angeles has never seen anything like this before. The outrage at having rights stripped away was channeled into a mass protest filled with hope and sentiment for continued struggle. The LGBT movement and its allies will continue to move forward with more protests, mass actions, speak outs, sit-ins, town hall meetings and so much more. Tonight, the people truly have spoken--in the streets. Prop. 8 will be overturned and we are certain that we will win.”

Click here to volunteer in the grassroots campaign to overturn Prop. 8.

Click here for more photos and video from the Nov. 8 protest.
Photos by Kelly Wine and Marcial Guerra.

Donate to ANSWER's Work Today

Please consider donating to ANSWER to keep the movement going strong. We incurred thousands of dollars in expenses in the few days before the event. Donate online by clicking the button below or call 213-251-1025.

Overturn Prop. 8! Marriage equality now! No to homophobia, sexism and racism! 


A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
Act Now to Stop War and End Racism
137 N. Virgil Ave., #201
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Join us at ANSWER meetings - contact us to get involved!

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Silver Lake LGBT March

by ANSWER Coalition Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2008 at 2:57 PM 213-251-1025 137 N. Virgil Ave, #201, Los Angeles

Silver Lake LGBT Mar...
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