Two Police Roadblocks, Just Another Day at UCLA
Yesterday, after manning my writers' group booth at a UCLA arts event, I encountered a police roadblock in Westwood Village at the edge of the UCLA campus. Something was happening atop a large wagon. People were making speeches. Folk musicians were playing. A crowd had formed. Some of the people wielded handmade banners. According to the signs, I had stumbled into the International Women's Day protest, where I could "[j]oin women of Iran and Afghanistan in their struggle against the woman-hating Islamic Republic of Iran and the imperialist U.S. empire."
As I walked a couple of hundred yards down the street to acquire a most imperialist badge, an icy coffee beverage from a soon-to-be global corporation, I ran into another police roadblock and pedestrian barricades hemming in a much larger crowd. There was orange everywhere -- orange carpeting laid out in the street, orange signs on the building, orange t-shirts. Had I tripped over the latest orange revolution? Quite the opposite. It was the ultimate in male-dominated, imperialist U.S. export fare: the Horton Hears a Who world movie premiere.
I did not stick around long enough to experience the anti-abortion demonstrators crashing the premiere. Apparently, the demonstrators placed red tape with the message "LIFE" over their mouths. Good thing the demonstrators didn't use orange tape, or the spectators would have thought it was some cutesy part of the premiere.
Maybe at next year's UCLA ArtsDay, I'll teach a seminar on the importance of toting one's camera everywhere.