Archive for the in the community Category

Los Angeles Anti-Prop 8 Protest Pics

Posted in in the community, just sayin', politics on November 17, 2008 by mightyfag

This weekend, several thousand of us poured into downtown Los Angeles, CA in order to demonstrate for the repealing of Proposition 8. Check out some of the pics below:

Los Angeles Prop 8 Protest

Los Angeles Prop 8 Protest

Estimates put the crowd at around 12,000 – 13,000 strong. There were several guest speakers including Los Angeles Mayor Antonion Villaraigosa, Ricki Lake, Lucy Lawless, and several others. The march circled downtown and crossed the 101 freeway where demonstrators waved signs at passing traffic, causing it to slow as people either honked in support or flipped people off in disagreement.

I marched – you can see me in the top picture holding the yellow “Restore Gay Marriage” sign – but I found a few things about this demonstration very offputting. First, the whole point of demonstrating is civil disobedience. You inconvenience the city by shutting down thoroughfares, showing the power of the people to cause disorder, but then you stop short of any violence and certainly keep it peaceful. But these demonstrations are being OVER planned, OVER monitored and consequently are nothing more than a parade. When the streets are blocked off in advance of the crowd, then the effect and power of the people is quelled. When the crowd gathers in an intersection and finds music being played to them over an amplified system, the effect is to passify the righteous anger of the people.

This protest had both, including over an hour of celebrity and guest speakers ahead of any said march. Speakers…. SPEAKERS?!!?! This isn’t a pep-rally… this is a PROTEST! Eventually the crowd began chanting “MARCH! MARCH!” and the speakers were shut down and the people began moving through the streets.

In my opinion, the problem with the gay community is that our abiding of the law and our generally peaceful nature is miscontrued as passivity and harmlessness. “Those nelly queens wouldn’t have it in them to rise up and do anything about it, so let’s take their rights away and they’ll just go back to doing hair and arranging flowers.” I think that the prearranged nature of these protests just allows that stereotype to flourish.

Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t get permits for his demonstrations. Ghandi didn’t “stay on the sidewalk” to demonstrate. Rosa Parks didn’t ask permission before sitting in the front of the bus. It was the DISOBEDIENCE of these activists that made the difference. It is when the police and authorties lash out against said disobedience that the community takes notice and says, “Well, they shouldn’t be beating that guy just for sitting in an intersection!” or “Wait, they are HURTING people?! Those folks are just shouting at the injustice that’s been done to them!” It is that sympathy and compassion from those who sit on the fence that make change in politics and policy.

With that, I think the time has come to couple this continued display of outrage with action. The lawsuits need to be pushed hard until the Supreme Court hears them. The churches who donated to this campaign against the “church and state separation” clauses in their 501(c)3 tax-exempt statuses need to be held accountable – they should lose their statuses and have to pay back taxes and penalties for the year. Most importantly, significant change has to be made to the voter initiative process in this state. The tyrrany of the majority should never infringe upon the rights of the minority. That is a fundamental concept from the inception of this great experiment in democracy that is the United States. Couple the shouts with action and we’ll have a show of force never before seen.