I went to the Austin Gay Rights protest today. There was about a 1000 people. I called my friends in New York City and San Francisco from the rally and talked to them at their respective rallys. I thought it was interesting that the protests were all coordinated so that they started at the same time across the United States.
It was quite odd for me to be in Texas and protesting against a California Initiative. It was also quite odd to see Texans protesting against a California Initiative. The majority of protesters were young and many of them were straight.
In Front of Austin City Hall
There were about 4 speakers and afterwards the crowd kinda morphed into a blob that hung out along the street waving at cars and such. Eventually a few people in the blob yelled out "March to the Capital Building". And so began our walking tour of Downtown Austin.
We're Off to Go Somewhere
The amorphous blob started wandering toward the State Capital building about 10 blocks away. All the years of barking orders came in handy as I became one of the defacto "chant leaders" yelling out "What do we want......When do we want it?", repeated ad voice hoarseum. We mixed that one with some others including "No on 8, No on Hate", and "Gay, Straight, Black or White, Marriage is a civil right".
When we got to the State Capital building, nobody seemed to want to cross onto the Capital grounds, so the amorphous blob stood in front of the gates, turned around and chanted at the passing cars for a while.
Amorphous Blob in Front of the Texas State Capital Building
After about 30 minutes of doing that, a few people decided to direct the group back towards downtown Austin so we once again did a walking tour of downtown Austin. I tried to get them to do some chants from the 70's, including "Civil Rights or Civil War, Gay Rights Now" but the only one that really caught on was "We're here, We're Queer".
We wandered about downtown Austin for about a half hour a bit aimlessly. I had no clue where we were going. When we all started bunching up in front of a parking garage I think everyone else started realizing it was a march looking for a destination. Luckily, we soon passed right in front of my hotel so I bid the crowd adieu at that point. The last I saw of them they were still marching down 6th street. I don't know where they were headed.
Bidding the Crowd Adieu as They Passed By My Hotel
The local media was there and they followed us around a bit. As we wandered around downtown, a bunch of cars honked in support. We only had one person who yelled at us from his car, but the group drowned him out. There were no cops to be seen anywhere.
There are a few more pictures I took at my Flickr page. http://www.flickr.com/photos/cop4cbt/sets/72157609149649075/