Wednesday, May 27, 2009

VIDEO: Thousands Turn Out for Los Angeles and Statewide Decision Day Protests

Thousands turned out yesterday all across California in protest against the California Supreme Court ruling to uphold Proposition 8. Police are reporting that 162 arrests were made during yesterday's protests.

Turnout numbers are mixed for statewide protesters, even here in Los Angeles where numbers range from 1,000 to 5,000. LAPD, who usually underestimates crowd numbers, initially told the organizers of the Day of Decision rally that there were 12,000 to 14,000.

In Los Angeles, the day kicked off strong with a protest and civil disobedience in East Los Angeles.

In Leimert Park, nearly 1,000 clergy members and gay couples gathered at the Lucy Florence Coffee Shop in the heart of Los Angeles’ black community.

The protests spread to Westwood near Santa Monica where students blocked major intersections and refused to leave. Some were arrested.

The student protest grew to nearly 1,000 people reports say and marched up Santa Monica Blvd., past the Mormon temple and joined up with the large Los Angeles Decision Day rally just as it started in West Hollywood.

The rally kicked off with speakers ranging from comedian Kathy Griffin, Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa, Los Angeles Councilman Rosendthal, West Hollywood Mayor Abbe Land, Robin Tyler and Gloria Allred and Lt. Dan Choi, with Perez Hilton, Shanna Moakler and Drew Barrymore showing up for the march.

The long march, beginning in West Hollywood, passed the Matthew Shepard Memorial where pictures of hate crime victims were displayed. People laid white flowers on the ground in honor of them.

The march rallied at Hollywood and Highland, the heart of Hollywood, where thousands of people took chalk and drew their protests on the streets. The concrete was covered in graffiti depicting hurt, anger and hope for a better future. It was amazing to see - a striking visual that will stay on the streets until it washes off. (See slide show below)

Yesterday at the Los Angeles rally, we provided a live stream broadcast, but due to an overwhelming use of the application Qik throughout the state, it kept stalling. However, it was still able to record. Here are some of our videos (please forgive the sound - it was really loud, causing some of it to cut in and out, and the rally's sound system went down at times). Click on the Qik logo to see more.

Perez Hilton and former Miss California USA executive director Shanna Moakler.

Robin Tyler speaks at the rally.

Short clip of the march:

Unite the Fight slide show:

Different coverage of yesterday's statewide protests and responses to ruling. This list will keep growing.

Los Angeles Times
"California high court upholds Prop. 8"
"Cheers, anger and tears in response to decision on gay marriage."
"California's gay marriage ruling signals next step for both sides."
"California court's contradictory Prop. 8 decision."
Interactive map depicting marriage equality chronology.
"Q&A: Answering your questions about the Prop. 8 decision."

"What's next for the same-sex marriage debate?"
"California high court upholds same-sex marriage ban."
VIDEO: Lt. Dan Choi-Anderson Cooper Interview CNN.

"After Prop. 8, Gay-Marriage Proponents Plot Next Step."

SF Gate
"Prop. 8 stands; more ballot battles ahead."

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