It Wasn't a Soccer Game, Was It.
We had a few minutes over lunch today to dash across downtown and watch the marchers on Broadway make their way towards City Hall. KTLA reported that by this time over 25,000 had already arrived, and judging by the mass of people moving past 7th and 8th Streets waving flags, cheering, and blowing horns, those numbers were rising in leaps and bounds.
Slipping back to find the lunch in “lunch hour” I passed a Motorcycle Cop, walking up to two Paramedics manning a LAFD unit, who said to them, “What’s going on, soccer game?” There wasn’t malice behind that statement, just a bit of happy realization that the police might get through their day with just crowd and traffic control, and the paramedics wouldn’t have to be on the job for anything more serious than exhaustion or dehydration.
There are a few “unalienable rights” we Americans have had bestowed upon us. But like muscles, those rights atrophy when they’re not used. The right to peacefully assemble took a beating after the 1999 WTO meeting in Seattle when more than a few marchers were fed up with globalization and raised havoc through the downtown of their city. Shortly after, there was quite a massive police presence on the street for the 2000 DNC Convention here in L.A., worried that any gathering might mimic those events, and the situation took a very dangerous turn.
But this gathering, like the unexpectedly huge Immigration March last year, was peaceful to the point of an Officer remarking it was like a sporting event. You may have been inconvenienced by their route, or possibly have a different opinion than the marchers, but this event just assured that in the near future, if you ever have a cause worth getting off your chair for, you can walk through the heart of L.A. with all that agreed with you, and yell it to everyone who’d listen.