There’s a long and venerated history of demonstrators at the end of the Rose Parade, and the 125th Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2014 was no exception. Veteran parade-goers stay to watch the antics of the peaceful protestors who flock to the street after the last float goes by. It’s a sort of Rose Parade after-party.
Protestors are generally well-behaved and mingle with the crowds exiting the parade without incident. Hundreds of folks follow the parade holding up signs about Jesus that are less than beatitudinal, brightly colored “floats” protesting big business, messages about the environment, and whatever may strike the individual as important to promote.
Noticeably missing from the post-parade activity was PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), who had been very vocal over the past 2 ½ months regarding the SeaWorld float entry that depicted frolicking Orcas. There were 15 arrests of PETA members prior to the start of the parade, out of range of the media cameras; an article and observations are here.
Our photographer, Ramona Monteros, was stationed about 30 feet high on the photographers’ tower for the 2014 parade. She said that the PETA demonstration took place out of camera range.
“I feel that the Rose Parade historically has always given protesters a voice and a place. There have been peaceful protestors at the Rose Parade my whole life,” she said. “As a photographer, I happily take pictures of protesters the same as I take pictures of the floats and performers. It’s all part of the show.
“If PETA wanted press coverage, they should have stood where we could see them, because I was certainly looking for them.”
Also missing were opponents en masse of gay marriage, who mounted at least two Facebook protests and called for a boycott of the Rose Parade for including a same-sex wedding on the AIDS Healthcare Foundation float. Other than the usual number, marriage equality foes failed to show up.
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