Patrick Range McDonald writes in his blog at the LA Weekly that the Prop 8 protesters this week were younger, a broader mix of gay and straight marchers and certainly media savvy.
“On Wednesday night, for example, West Hollywood City Councilwoman
Abbie Land stood on top of a L.A. County Sheriff’s Department police
cruiser at the intersection of San Vicente and Santa Monica boulevards.
The “No on 8” rally had just ended, and Land, with West Hollywood Mayor
Jeff Prang standing on another police cruiser near her, begged the
emotionally raw crowd to disperse.
“”You can’t block traffic!” she yelled without a bullhorn. “We have to open up the streets!”
“The twenty-somethings stared at Land as if she was crazy,
immediately shouting back, “Hell, no! We won’t go!” The councilwoman
kept trying to reason with them, but then a young woman screamed into a
bullhorn, “Don’t listen them to people! Now is the time to fight back!”
Land was outmatched, and the protesters didn’t back down.
“Within minutes, the police cruisers left the scene, allowing the
protesters to march east on Santa Monica Boulevard and then north on
Larrabee Street and up to Sunset Boulevard. From there, they chanted
all the way to Hollywood, stopping in front of the CNN Building. If
Abbie Land had her way, that important march for the “No on 8” cause,
which was broadcast, at the very least, throughout Los Angeles, would
have never happened.
“That march also immediately got the attention of CNN. The next day,
the cable news giant aired the protests at the Los Angeles Mormon
Temple on live, nationwide TV. Not only that, young people–gay and
straight–who had never marched for anything, anywhere suddenly caught
the protest bug.”
In Los Angeles, if you stop traffic at a major artery, it doesn’t take much to get citywide and even nationwide attention.
Another demonstration is planned for Saturday evening in Silver Lake.