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Previous Posts
• Occupy L.A. One Year Anniversary Rally - 10/01/2012
• Occupy May Day / General Strike - Los Angeles, CA 5/1/2012
• …Continuation - Occupy May Day / General Strike - Los Angeles, CA 5/1/2012
• Women March Against the Phony "War on Women" - Los Angeles, CA 4/28/2012
• The Occupation of Los Angeles - Part 8 - 11/11/2011
• The Occupation of Los Angeles - Part 7 - 10/28/2011
• The Occupation of Los Angeles - Part 6 - 10/15/2011 (The Global Day of Action)
• The Occupation of Los Angeles - Part 5 - 10/13/2011
• The Occupation of Los Angeles - Part 4 - October 3, 2011 through October 13, 2011
• The Occupation of Los Angeles - Part 3 - 10/01/2011
• The Occupation of Los Angeles - Part 2 - 10/01/2011
• The Occupation of Los Angeles - Part 1 - 09/17/2011
• L.A. Teachers Unions "State of Emergency" Rally - Los Angeles, CA 5/13/2011
• Unions and Communists March Side By Side at May Day Rally - Los Angeles, Ca 5/1/2011
• Anti-War Demonstration, Hollywood, CA - March 19th, 2011
• "Solidarity With the Egyptian People" demonstration - Los Angeles 2/5/2011
• Anti-Israel Protest in Front of the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles, CA on June 4th, 2010
• The Good, The Bad And The Ugly... May Day Immigration March - Los Angeles, Ca - May 1st, 2010
• Tax Day Tea Party, Thousand Oaks, Ca - April 15th, 2010
• The Annual March of the Moonbats - March 20, 2010
• The Tea Party Express Visits Los Angeles, CA on Oct. 25, 2009
• Where Have All the Anti-War Protesters Gone?… The 8th Anniversary Protest Against the War in Afghanistan on Oct 7th 2009
• Henry Waxman's Secret Town Hall Meeting That Wasn't Really A Town Hall Meeting - 8/21/2009
• A Short Walk Down Memory Hole Lane
• Tax Day "Tea Party" - Van Nuys, CA on April 15, 2009
• Street Corner "Tea Party" - Studio City, CA on April 11, 2009
• Anti-War Protest - Hollywood, CA on March 21, 2009
• Anti-Israel Demonstration - West LA on Jan. 10, 2009
• Anti-Prop 8 Demonstration - Los Angeles, CA on Nov. 15, 2008
• Sarah Palin Visits Southern California on October 4, 2008
• May Day Demonstration - Los Angeles, CA on May 1, 2008
• Anti-War Protest in Hollywood, CA - March 15, 2008
• Anti-War Protest in Los Angeles, CA - October 27, 2007
• Anti-War Protest in Hollywood, CA - March 17, 2007
• Anti-War Protest in Los Angeles, CA - August 12, 2006
• Anti-War Protest in Hollywood, CA - March 18, 2006
• Anti-War Protest in Los Angeles, CA - September 24, 2005
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Tax Day "Tea Party" - Van Nuys, CA on April 15, 2009
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There were two "Tea Parties" held in Los Angeles on Tax Day, April 15th, 2009. One of them was at the Pier in Santa Monica and the other was at the Van Nuys Civic Center in the San Fernando Valley. I wanted to attend the one in Santa Monica because the carnival atmosphere at the Pier, along with the ocean backdrop, would make for better pictures. But the Santa Monica "Tea Party" was held during the daytime, and I had to be at work on a Wednesday afternoon, so I went to the "Tea Party" in Van Nuys which was slated to begin at 7pm… I arrived at 6:45 and found the sidewalk already lined with people holding homemade signs and waving the American flag.
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I was a bit apprehensive about these "Tea Parties". As a social moderate and a fiscal conservative, I am quite sympathetic with the cause of smaller government, lower taxes, less wasteful spending, preserving the American work ethic, and the idea of personal responsibility, yet I am also aware that street demonstrations are often overtaken by the most extreme, or just plain crazy people who show up. And the small street corner "Tea Party" that I witnessed a few days earlier in Studio City didn’t ease my fears in this regard.
My main concern was that the "Tea Party" would be overrun with Ron Paul supporters, who tend to be annoying zealots. And worse, where you find Ron Paul zealots, you will usually find 9/11 Conspiracy loons (also know as "truthers")… and I really, really hate "truthers".
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So I was hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst. And I was determined to photograph what I saw either way.
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The first thing I noticed was that unlike the many "anti-war" protests that I’ve attended, most of the people at this demonstration seemed to be - what’s the word I’m looking for? - normal. And unlike the descriptions that I was hearing on the TV of "angry Obama-haters", most of the people were smiling and seemed perfectly willing to blame Republicans as well as Democrats for our country’s current financial problems. And this being California, Arnold Schwarzenegger was especially unpopular, particularly among Republicans who had hoped that he would bring fiscal responsibility back to Sacramento.
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I spent the next hour wandering around the crowd taking pictures of the people and their signs.
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Some of the signs were a bit over-the-top, but I was having a tough time finding anything truly offensive to photograph; a problem I have never had at Left-wing demonstrations where Hitler / Nazi analogies are commonplace.
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These two fellows were happy to give me an angry tax payer scowl…
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And yes, there were some Ron Paul supporters on hand, but not too many. I’ve seen more of them at Left-wing, anti-war protests.
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And I did see one 9/11 Truther as well. He was a creepy looking dude who stood at the back of the demonstration with his coat opened up just enough so that people could see his black "9/11 Was An Inside Job" shirt. There he stood by himself for about a half hour, not talking to anyone… although thankfully a few people did walk up and told him to get lost. I tried to photograph him a few times, but each time he saw me he crossed his arms over his shirt and turned away. Eventually I did sneak up on him and got this blury shot.
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A short while later I saw something else that I didn’t like. A group of people had arrived with Obama birth certificate conspiracy signs. It was the exact same bunch of kooks that I had photographed the previous Saturday on a street corner in Studio City, holding the exact same signs.
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Were there any other signs that I found offensive or beyond the pale?… No, not really - although the following sign is not what I would describe as helpful.
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And calling Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid "Communists" is a bit much too.
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There were people on the small stage making speeches which, to be honest, were not very inspiring. The only person on stage who’s name I even recognized was a local talk radio host named Kevin James. The rest of the speakers seemed to be Libertarians, and their speeches were cliche-ridden, dull, and at times nutty… At one point someone on stage said that Barack Obama would like to have everyone here in "concentration camps"… Fortunately most people weren’t paying much attention to the speeches anyhow.
Another thing which I really don’t like seeing at protests are children holding signs that they are clearly too young to understand. I don’t like to see it at Left-wing demonstrations and I didn’t like seeing it at this demonstration either.
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But overall, the vast majority of the approximately 1000 people in attendance were normal, friendly, flag-waving, patriotic Americans.
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At aroud 7:25 everyone stopped and the entire crowd recited the Pledge of Alligence and then we all sang the National Anthem; something you would never in a million years hear at an anti-war demonstration.
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I’m guessing that this fellow just couldn’t decide which slogan to put on his placard, and so he decided to just get one big cardboard and cram them all onto one crazy sign.
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As the sun began to set, I walked through the crowd one last time.
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And the question of the day…
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