HR4437: Sunset-Gower Studios Overrun By Protestors
The lead line might be a bit of an overstatement, but from approximately 9:00am until twelve noon today, the Sunset-Gower Studio gates were blocked at times by thousands of passing high school-aged protestors. By our informal count, over 3,000 students proceeded eastbound along Sunset boulevard; it was a snaking line of marchers that stretched as far as the eye could see (or at least as far as Vine). The teenagers -- escorted by dozens of LAPD officers on the ground and in the air -- were marching in protest of the federal government's pending immigration legislation, HR4437.
Of the several students we spoke with, most seemed to be from nearby L.A. High-- home of the Mighty Romans. Nary a Roman (or even a caucasian) was spotted in the sea of faces; the crowd was almost exclusively comprised of Hispanic and Latino students. The group was vocal, but well-behaved (being eyed by cops dressed in riot gear -- billy clubs drawn -- could be considered an inducement, we suppose, for being on one's best 'protestor-like-behavior'). A report on a local news channel suggests that the walkout was organized, in part, by postings on several myspace.com sites.
When Hollywood Thoughts contacted the Dean's office at LA High, a school official confirmed that student's had taken it upon themselves to organize the walk-out against the administration's wishes. Hmmm... a demonstration put together by a group of passionate teens... or a huge ditch day the likes of which haven't been seen since Ferris Buehler sang 'Twist & Shout'? The answer, we think, lies along the lines of gender...
When the coeds were questioned about their motives for marching, we were given serious and thoughtful responses. The males in the group, however, tended to reply with answers along the lines of, 'We're outta school all day, bro!'
To be honest -- and politics aside -- we're just happy that the word, 'Bro' is still in use among America's youth (regardless of their indigenous or immigrant status). Anyone got a Maui & Sons tee?
Hollywood Thoughts wonders how much of an influence the currently running HBO film "Walkout" is having on the demonstrators? Do we have Washington to blame for the mass truancy... or Edward James Olmos???
The high school walk-outs are happening all over the country today, and come on the heels of massive demonstrations throughout the nation this past Saturday.
Here's a thought that isn't exclusive to Hollywood: Why isn't the media giving serious coverage to these demonstrations? Protests these big rival any seen at the outset of war in Iraq... yet are being pushed to the back pages of our largest newspapers. In Los Angeles alone, over 500,000 protestors descended upon the civic center. Based upon the 2000 census, that's over one-third of the city's entire population; doesn't that qualify for better, more consistent coverage of an issue that concerns such a large portion of our society?