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After about 60 protesters took part in a demonstration outside of Anaheim Police Department headquarters startng at noon today, at 1:30 p.m. the majority of the protesters began an apparently unscheduled march to Disneyland, bringing out police on horseback and motorcycles, and in vans and marked and unmarked cars. About eight horses came off of a side street to follow protesters southbound on Harbor Blvd. at approximately 1:35. [Update: a protester on the scene reported a little after 4:00 that the protest had ended peacefully with no arrests.]
Saturday’s planned protest against police excessive use of force in Anaheim brought fewer than ten people to the Harbor Boulevard entrance of Disneyland. Around 40 protesters made it to Disneyland today, carrying signs and mingling with tourists. No signs of trouble was seen at the entrance, where the monorail track comes closest to Harbor. but I personally saw at least six police on motorcycles and four unmarked cars and vans, along with several more marked cars, coming into the area between 2:00 and 2:20, several of them entering the gate area itself.
The protest rally at Anaheim P.D. had been notably quiet until 1:30, with occasional chants of “no justice, no peace — no racist police” and waving signs at passing drivers, but no Disney-themed signs and only one sign aiming profanity at the police. While I was informed by other protesters that there were unmarked cars in the area, there was no sign of police on the roof of the Police Department or other nearby buildings. I saw only two police standing near the entrance to the police station itself, which temporary fliers indicated was “closed until further notice.” A good number of the protesters were sprawled out on the grassy area near the visitors parking lot (which was open), talking among themselves as if they were at a picnic. Family members of shooting victims were also in attendance; among the few people remaining at the police department when I drove by it around 2:30 on the way home were three women who were holding a large banner seeking justice for the initial shooting victim setting off these weekly protests, Caeser Cruz.
At this point, I am not aware of arrests having been made, but the police presence was sizable. I am also not aware of whether there is any argument that protesters were breaking the law. The march was a surprise to both me and to my source John; we were just discussing (across the street from the police station) as the march began that we thought that the rally, while smaller than the previous week’s, had gone well and that we were both glad that Disneyland had been left out of it for now. Any tactical difference we have with protesters notwithstanding, we agreed that if they weren’t breaking the law they should not be arrested.
Photos should be up within the half hour; video as soon as possible thereafter. These will be accompanied by a timeline of what I saw from 1:30 on.
The scene approaching the rally at about 12:35. One might even call it “chill.”
The Police Department had makeshift signs out saying that it was closed. That raises more questions than it answers.
It didn’t seem like much of a rally at first …
But when the march began and the horses cantered up alongside, that changed.
Police on motorcycles had rolled out by 2:03.
… and soon blew past it in formation. After I pulled in behind them, they executed a right turn from the left hand turn lane onto a side street, then a u-turn where they waited.
Police in an unmarked car came out (there were other such cars as well), turning right onto Harbor from the lane to my left. The photo showing that they were police didn’t come out. I’ve blocked out the license plate.
By now, protesters had arrived at the entrance gate on Harbor.
And the signs are out. I believe that the one in the middle said had the red circle and slash over “Bad Cops.”