A soggy, successful Los Angeles peace march
50,000 people turned out today in L.A. in steady, sometimes heavy rain, for the downtown antiwar march. You must understand. We here in L.A. seldom do anything in the rain except stay indoors. Yet 50,000 marched and stood in the rain for several hours in opposition to the war.
Speakers included Jesse Jackson, Arianna Huffington, Tom Hayden, and Ron Kovic. Several bands were scheduled but couldn’t play because of the rain. I worked lead ropes again, gently moving people off the street onto the sidewalks in advance of the lead banner.
The crowd was happy, if soggy. I was into Gore-Tex pants, parka, and hiking shoes, so I stayed dry. Many others were seriously soaked. No photos this time, the logistics of keeping a camera dry while being a (very) active volunteer seemed too complicated so I didn’t bring it.
There were a LOT of police present. Squads of about ten in battle gear walked besides us on the sidewalks at the lead banner. Many, many police cars, police on bicycles too. As far as I could tell, everything was peaceful. LAPD did their usual game of vastly underestimating the crowd size.
I will bring my camera next Saturday to the Long Beach demonstration – when we will no doubt already be at war.