After positioning myself on the median along Harbor Drive near the very front of Sunday’s Martin Luther King Day Parade, I watched the entire event and took over 160 photos of the marchers, floats, bands, and collections of people participating.
And I can say this without hesitation: the Martin Luther King Day Parade is dominated by law enforcement and the military. There were more of these groups than civic organizations, churches or sororities.
The San Diego Police Department, the Border Patrol, the Harbor Patrol, ICE, Homeland Security, the San Diego Sheriffs, the ROTC marchers, and even the FBI marched in this parade that honors a man of peace and justice. I mean the FBI persecuted Martin Luther King to the hilt – its leader, J. Edgar Hoover believed King was the most dangerous man in America. The Border Patrol, ICE, and Homeland Security all routinely violate peoples’ rights.
The San Diego Police and Sheriffs have been involved in cracking down on San Diego’s Occupy dissenters. This attack on San Diego protesters has been an unprecedented assault on American citizens’ basic and fundamental rights, the right of assembly, the right to freedom of speech, the very right to protest and dissent where cops are arresting protesters on the most flimsiest of excuses.
The Parade, annually set, has gotten away from King’s original ideas and values. Someone said that King would roll over in his grave if he saw what was done in his name.
In the meantime, there were efforts by folks to reclaim the Parade, what with Veterans for Peace, Occupy San Diego demonstrators, others promoting King’s words of peace, justice and tolerance.
And there were all the sororities, high school marching bands, great floats by local colleges. Of course, the politicians were there: Mayor Sanders near the front of the Parade, with mayoral candidates Bob Filner and Bonnie Dumanis not far behind.
Here’s our gallery of the marchers, floats, cars, and banners (click on small version for a larger one):