Protest!

Day 17

We started off the day in Mobile, Alabama. We couldn’t find any LGBT activists to meet with, so we stood outside a gay bar and did street interviews with anybody walking by who was willing to talk. We met some great folks who shared with us their take on the struggle for LGBT equality in Alabama. Thanks to all who stopped to talk on camera!

We left Mobile around 2:00PM, headed toward New Orleans, where I had been organizing a protest in response to the California Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Prop 8. I realized last week that I would be in New Orleans on D-Day and, checking the website, saw that there was nothing planned yet. I really wanted to be in a city that was going to have a protest on the day of the decision, so I organized one. We spent the two hour drive from Mobile to New Orleans on the phone with local activists, press, and the police. Thanks to everyone who emailed me offering their help. Special thanks to Jeremy for helping to organize the event on the ground. And a BIG shout out to my teammates in Boston at Join The Impact MA who organized an amazing protest there.

When we got to New Orleans, we grabbed something to eat and got ready for the protest. I’m glad I brought my bullhorn with me on this trip!! We marched through Jackson Square in the French Quarter, chanting in the streets. Then we had a short speaking program near the Cathedral. Thanks to all the folks who came out to stand up against discrimination.

jackson_square

There were many great speakers that energized the crowd. I wish I had some video for this blog, but we only used the film camera to shoot, and weren’t able to set up the blog camera. I’ll see if I can grab some stills from the film at some point. Among the speakers were Clinton Crawshaw, the local MCC pastor; and Mary Griggs, local activist and Director of the Forum for Equality. It was an honor to protest in New Orleans alongside so many spirited people. We will be interviewing Mary tomorrow to get a better understanding of the climate for LGBTQ people in Louisiana. New Orleans rocks!

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