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Will Protesters Rain on the Rose Parade?

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While the controversy over Beijing's Olympic-themed float in Tuesday's 119th Tournament of Roses Parade has not managed to stir up LA's Chinese-American community, as New Year's Day draws near, murmurings of anti-war protests have begun to surface. The protests are linked to a group called the White Rose Coalition, and involve well-known activist Cindy Sheehan, whose soldier son was killed in Iraq. According to a press release:

Local and national pro-Impeachment and pro-Peace American citizens will stage non-violent protests and demonstrations throughout the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, on Tuesday, January 1, 2008 beginning at 7:30 a.m. with support from Cindy Sheehan and the Camp Casey Peace Institute. The convergence of activists is called the White Rose Coalition, in honor of the resistance movement in Munich in 1942.

Furthermore, the groups are calling to impeach Bush and Cheney and hope to draw the attention of the millions of attendees and viewers of Pasadena's annual spectacle of flowery floats and marching bands. But will protesters really spoil the Rose Parade? Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard, who turned down multiple requests from human rights groups to hold their own event ahead of the parade, seems to have a terse and tightly guarded response to the issue of planned protests, as he is quoted in multiple news outlets as saying the following: "If controversy like this diminishes the positive impact of the Rose Parade, it would be of concern." Protests and other planned disruptions have been on the horizon in the past prior to the event, and the usual amount of law enforcement officers have their orders for duty, but representatives say there will be no more than they typically have on hand for the parade. The White Rose Coalitions press release suggests that they are not entirely sure how many protesters will show up, but quickly cite the growing numbers of Americans polled who express dismay at the Bush presidency:

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"Numbers of protestors and demonstrators from the various groups could be in the hundreds or in the thousands", said Peter Thottam, Executive Director of [Los Angeles National Impeachment Center]. "We expect this to be a national day of impeachment visibility, with folks joining from all parts of the country [...] [A]ccording to the latest MSNBC poll, of 584,000 people asked if they thought Bush had committed impeachable offenses, 89 per cent said yes!"

Despite his enthusiasm, and the potential interest in Sheehan's participation, it seems unlikely that Pasadena, after more than one hundred go-rounds of the parade, will let anything--including rain itself--rain on their parade.After the jump, a video of a KTLA news report spotlights the White Rose Coalition's plans to protest.

Photo by Joe_Mac1 via Flickr