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by Charles Fredricks
Saturday, Jul. 06, 2013 at 9:41 AM
Report back from Restore the Fourth demonstrations at Santa Monica July 4th Parade and Pershing Square July 4 gathering
snowdensign.jpg, image/jpeg, 240x320
Yesterday RESTORE THE FOURTH [restorethefourth.net] made its presence known with two demonstations in Santa Monica and Pershing Square downtown Los Angeles.
There were some fun hi-jinks at the Santa Monica Independence Day Parade. The Restore the Fourth section was led by a guy dressed in two flags worn toga style, who danced and pranced and turned the occasional cartwheel. We all were blowing whistles. Another person on a four-wheel bicycle trolley ran circles before our group, festooned with flags and Snowden and Manning pix. One of two guys dressed in dark suits pretended to pursue him copying the license plate number on the back of the cart.
The two guys dressed in dark suits grabbed the flagged dancer at one point, patted him down and carried him to lie prone before the crowd and prepare to cuff him. Another woman with a Snowden pix on a stick and I pretended to confront them; she patted them on the head with her pix on a stick and I waived my finger in their face, whereupon they let him back up.
The mood in the SM parade was jovial, and witnessed by I'd have to guess over a thousand people, lining both sides of Main St. several deep for the mile or so route (from the Civic Center to Marine).
The mood of the Restore the Fourth demo downtown was more serious. There was a march from Pershing Square to a rally on the steps of City Hall, where some political context was lent to our action.
As we attempted to march back around the celebration in Pershing Square the police at first attempted to block our advance. They backed off when the crowd took up the chant "show me what a police state looks like— this is what a police state looks like."
Faced with this (and the intention of the march perhaps), they backed off, acknowledging we had as much right to be there as anyone else.
One strange thing. As I marched up the street in Santa Monica to join the Restore the Fourth people, I moved off the sidewalk into the parking lane in the street to be more visible with my sign. The lane was occupied by literally hundreds of people; more than on the sidewalk. A roving undercover woman riding a segway yelled at me, "If you don't get back on the sidewalk you will be arrested." Selective enforcement, anyone?
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