Monday, Nov. 27, 2017 at 11:23 AM
Reflecting on 15 years of weekly vigils both in Eagle Rock and elsewhere in SoCal.
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Above: The Eagle Rock vigil shortly before Halloween, 2017.
The weekly Eagle Rock peace vigil recently marked 15 years. It was started to protest the looming invasion of Iraq; however, within the first year we began branching out into other subjects such as environment, health care, and U.S. foreign policy over all. Today, a typical vigil might address LGBTQ issues, Black Lives Matter, environmental issues—and of course war.
The anniversary vigil was attended by eight people. When the vigil was new, turnouts tended to be 60-80 per week. The first big decline in attendance occurred after the invasion of Iraq commenced. A few of the current participants have been involved since the beginning (or very close to it).
Some of the older signs are still around, and some of us are struck by how topical a few remain (e.g.,one saying “Impeach, Indict, Imprison” was directed at President Bush but obviously is still relevant).
Older signs concerning global warming reflect a passage of time with numbers and figures updated many times—for the worse (see image below).
One of us still has an old flyer from early '03 listing the weekly peace vigils in SoCal (pictured below). At the time there were 56, including multiple ones per week in Pasadena, Long Beach, Torrance, Riverside, and Ventura. Others had multiple vigils per week but in the same locations, including Alhambra and Brea.
Locations were as far north as Bakersfield and Santa Barbara and as far west as Catalina.
Our vigil started on the first Saturday of November in 2002. However, other vigils, including the one in Silver Lake (in front of the Vista theater on Fridays), began earlier, as far back as June 2002.
In more recent years there has been crossover between the Eagle Rock and Montrose vigils. The former is on Saturdays from 3:30 to 5:00 (spring-summer hours 4:30 to 6:00) at Eagle Rock and Colorado Boulevards. The latter is every Friday from 5:30 to 7:00, regardless of weather, daylight savings, or holidays, at Honolulu and Ocean View.