Peace vigil does big box…

Peace vigil does big box office

The Hollywood peace vigil on Saturday night was a major success! Held in the center of Hollywood at the intersection of Hollywood and Highland, it drew about 1,000 noisy participants, got good media attention, and maybe most importantly, was successfully organized jointly by four major peace coalitions in L.A., ANSWER, NION, ICUJP, and Coalition for World Peace. In a way, it was a practice run for the upcoming major rally in downtown L.A. on Sat Jan 11, and the coalitions showed they could work together.

ANSWER had a 40 foot banner saying “No War in Iraq” and five mock coffins. I carried one around the intersection, which was fun. NION brought a passel of drums and bullhorns and made a whole lotta noise. Lots of Greens and “Green Party for Peace” signs. Everyone brought posters, signs, and candles. A South Korean delegation did drumming to commemorate the two girls run over by a US military vehicle in June. NION staged a few “die-ins” in the street, and led a boisterous march up and down the sidewalks.

In truth, it ended up being a noisy demonstration rather than a solemn vigil. It was on sidewalks only, not the street, hence we did not need a permit. Things got crowded towards the peak. A Lawyer’s Guild observer told me Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford made an appearance.

We got lots of supportive honks and cheers from people driving by. Practically no jeers or hostile reactions. That’s the important thing. People were vastly more supportive than negative.

Onward to Jan 11. Which is a prelude for the major national demonstrations on Jan 18 in DC & SF.

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