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CBS 2 LA: Peace Activists To March Before Rose Parade
PASADENA, Calif. (CBS) ― Peace activists said they intend to march down Colorado Boulevard two hours before the Rose Parade begins, calling for an end to the Iraq war and for the impeachment of the President Bush and Vice President Cheney.
A group calling itself the White Rose Coalition said its members intend to march past the TV camera platforms at the Norton Simon Museum at 6 a.m. on New Year's Day.
Pasadena police said they had just learned of the protest and are checking on the legality of the march. An official said the police department would make an announcement on how the protest would be handled later on Sunday.
Peter Thottam, a spokesman for the coalition, said organizers will begin demonstrating during pre-parade telecasts at 6 a.m. An Internet site operated by the Coalition says activists will unfurl a banner and demonstrate as the Port of Los Angeles float passes by the grandstands on Colorado Boulevard east of Orange Grove Boulevard, at about 9 a.m.
"Everything we are doing is strictly within our First Amendment rights, and we do not want to interrupt anyone's enjoyment of the parade," he said today. "We have made it clear to every participant that we want to be respectful."
Thottam, a lawyer and former political candidate for the Green Party, acknowledged that "there are some people who will get out of hand, and we have no control over everyone. We are a decentralized group simply trying to get our message out through the mainstream media blockade, especially about the impeachment of the president of the United States."
Peace activist Cindy Sheehan is also expected to attend.
The peace protest will take place at the same parade that will be targeted by activists protesting the human rights record of China. They have called on parade spectators to turn their backs on the Beijing Olympics float as it moves down the parade.
Peace protest organizers said that they intend to march several blocks east down Colorado Boulevard, then branch off for a rally at the Pasadena City Hall, two blocks north of the parade. The street is closed to traffic all night, but pedestrians have in years past been allowed to walk on the parade route itself until just before the bands and floats move down the street.
The White Rose Coalition includes members of Code Pink, a group that has dogged Sen. Hillary Clinton and other politicians they consider too hawkish on the war in Iraq. Other members include Veterans for Peace and members of the Green Party.
The name is taken after a short-lived resistance movement to Nazi power in Munich in 1942.
Note headline reads "peace activists" not "peace/impeachment activists."