Westwood protest – The day after the bombing started
This was amazing, And scary. And inspiring. The Westwood Federal Building in L.A. was the designated gathering point. And several thousand did.
ANSWER had a wheelchair rigged with speakers on poles powered by a car battery so people could speak, lead chants, and make announcements.
You have to understand, there was no plan. Things just happened. After about an hour, some people sat down in the street. LAPD swarmed around, and things were peaceful, if tense. Then some sheriffs came running down the street in riot gear, and started pushing people down on the ground, clubbing them, forcing them off an area of the street LAPD had just said was ok to stand in. This was police brutality by thugs, and completely unprovoked. I know, I was ten feet away when it happened.
Things simmered down a bit. Ron Kovic, among others spoke, and I had the pleasure of pushing him back in his wheelchair to his car. You’re thinking maybe he has a big van? Nope, he scooted himself into a VW bug convertible and drove off.
I went back, and after a bit, several hundred of people walked into the street, and partied – dancing, chanting, singing – while surrounded by police. After about an hour, the event was, wisely I think, ended peacefully by the organizers, allowing people to leave all at once – and in groups so police couldn’t pick off people.
A happy, somewhat tense time was had by all. Most important, I think, was the emphasis made by many speakers about how the peace movement DOES support the troops. We want them back home, and not getting killed. Especially not for a pointless lunatic war.