Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Los Angeles, November 6, 2008 (Proposition 8 protest)

"This event is the civil rights movement of the 21st Century" (Rick Jacobs,www.couragecampaign.org)

Wednesday night gay-rights activists gathered outside the Mormon temple in Westwood to protest the role Mormons played in passing Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California.

Groups of protesters who had been in different neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles, during the day, waving signs, getting signatures on a pledge to repeal prop. 8, and marching through the streets together, unified at the intersection of Overland and Santa Monica Blvd. on the street at the bottom of the hill where the Mormon church, the Los Angeles Temple, sits.

The size of the protest group grew along with the energy and enthusiasm of the people within it. When the 11 o'clock news began broadcasting from the intersection around 11:05pm anchors had to plug their ears with fingers just to hear the cues from the station.

Gay-rights activists eventually started rushing the intersection when the crosswalk light would flash on. Respectfully though, they would walk back on to the sidewalk when it went off. "See, we're only breaking the law a little," joked one protester after regrouping himself on the sidewalk with friends as the lights turned green to allow traffic through the intersection.

The LAPD was especially respectful and even jovial at the protest announcing through megaphones as they patrolled the intersection, "Please, get back on the sidewalk. Thank you." It was refreshing to hear such polite phrases at such a high volume.

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