Ludacris was forced to talk about our protest. Therefore, we believe, it was a success. The stories in the OC Weekly and Daily 49er have yet to hit the newsstands, but the District Weekly has already posted up their live blog
of the event. The tickets sold presale were about 1500 though the Walter Pyramid seats 4500, according to an article
in the Daily 49er earlier this week. Though some tickets were sold at the door, we are unsure at this time of how many. We had about 20 people total throughout the night, but a steady 15 were there at the same time most of the evening. This was a decent amount in order to hold our signs in view of the people in line, though we were basically caged off to the side in what was labeled the “free speech area”. One protester commented that having a free speech area behind a wall was ironic.
Throughout the evening (from about 7:15 to 10:45) a few of us went on Hole Mole runs and there was a potato taco feast of sorts. The signs read sayings such as “(562) No Hoe’s in this area code”, “Women’s bodies are not Moneymakers”, and “Homophobia is a disease” and when asked why we were there, we had a leaflet ready to provide explaining that “we believe strongly in the right to free speech; we're not trying to shut down the concert. But we also believe in activism and education as a means to bring about a more just and egalitarian society.”
Later in the evening, a man claiming to be Luda’s D.J. came over and took pictures of us, saying over and over, “this is so stupid”. He then began badgering one protester, Jose Acosta, and repeating over and over that Ludacris has never been in trouble with the law. Jose attempted to explain that he actually enjoyed Luda’s beats, but didn’t agree with his language. “He doesn’t have to say faggot” he informed him.
At the end of the night, two girls came over and said that they had made the mistake of going to the concert and talked to us for a little while. About ten people came over to us and took pictures of the signs and we engaged them in conversation. The other thousand or so either ignored us, booed us, or said clever remarks such as “move bitch, get out the way”.
I feel that the protest was a success; the concert goers went in after seeing signs such as the one which said “Warning: Highly Sexist Content” and at best, were able to hear the lyrics with new ears. Also, by being covered in the local press we are bringing that awareness to a larger group of people. And finally, as I stated above, Ludacris himself had to address our concerns. Though his statements didn’t alleviate them, he was forced to recognize our message. The bigger picture is that we addressed violence against women and hate speech on our campus, and were able to turn something we viewed as negative into an educational platform and a conversation about what one sign termed “rapper responsibility.”