Taken from my office window, early in the afternoon -- the protesters had just finished walking past the office, and were on the opposite corner of the block, a few yards to the east. Quite a contrast to photos taken later on in the evening:
The protest started at the Mormon temple in Santa Monica, then went to the Federal building a couple of blocks west of my office, then everyone camped right outside my office! So naturally, all of the office's 18 floors went outside to cheer them on, except for the few who stayed because they were either doing Important Things... or bigoted asshats. There were a lot of rather ugly altercations, as it became clear who had and had not supported the proposition. Today at the office is going to be quite interesting.
Outside, the police were actually being quite polite, except to the people who were insisting on sitting down in the middle of the street (for those of you not from LA, this was a move tantamount to suicide until the police could get traffic blocked off; about two pedestrians a month get struck by cars outside my office), which I thought was reasonable of the cops. [Apparently, later on in the evening, that reasonableness disappeared entirely.]
The chanting reverberated off the glass and concrete of the corridor of high-rises; helicopters swarmed overhead, and it was deafening. It was awesome.
Until I had to leave to go home. That was not so awesome. The other vanpool driver was so scared of the protest that he refused to drive up on campus and pick up the other riders. This guy is... Well, we're really different people, and that's about as polite as I can be. So after making my disgust plain, I drove us up, collected the other riders, and set about working my way through West LA's surface streets to get to the freeway, and then back home. Had to tell two riders that if they were going to be whiny bigots, they could walk home. If they agreed with the protest, they'd have been taking it in stride.
The traffic gods were angry, so I didn't get back home until very late last night.
Pissed off about Prop. 8 and want to do something?
- The ACLU could use your help. They're spearheading the fight to get Prop. 8 overturned.
- For a $5 donation to Invalidate Prop. 8, they'll send the president of the Mormon Church a postcard with the following message:
Dear President Monson:
A donation has been made in your name by _________________ to “invalidateprop8.org” to overturn California's Proposition 8 and restore fundamental civil rights to all citizens of California. The money will be donated to legal organizations fighting the case and to support grass-roots activities in support of full marriage equality. Although we decry the reprehensible role the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints leadership played in denying all Californians equal rights under the law, we are pleased a donation has been made on your behalf in the effort to overturn the discrimination your church members helped enshrine in the California Constitution. Given that throughout its history the Mormon Church has been subjected to bigotry, we hope you appreciate the donation in your name to fight religious bigotry here in California.
I'm especially fond of that last sentence.
- The Vote No on Prop. 8 folks are still fighting it, and still need help.
“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.”
-- Anne Lamott