Occupy protesters take cause along Rose Parade route
PASADENA, Calif. – The 2012 Tournament of Roses brought its flowery floats and strutting bands to a worldwide audience Monday under clear blue skies, and in its wake came a scruffier parade – hundreds of anti-Wall Street protesters.
The 123rd annual New Year’s Day event, with the theme “Just Imagine,” flowed along downtown Pasadena to the cheers of hundreds of thousands of sidewalk spectators.
There were 10 arrests overnight as thousands of spectators staked out viewing places along the route but that figure was down from the previous year, police said.
“Everything went very, very well. We’re very pleased,” police Lt. Phlunte Riddle said.
On the heels of the two-hour parade came anti-Wall Street protesters in a pre-arranged demonstration.
The thunder of the retreating marching bands mingled in the air with chants of “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out” as the Occupy the Rose Parade demonstrators retraced about 1.5 miles of the 5.5-mile parade route before veering off for a rally near City Hall.
They carried a 250-foot-long banner that said “We the People” to represent the U.S. Constitution.
Occupy the Rose Parade organizer Pete Thottam estimated the crowd of protesters at 5,000, although police said it was around 400.
Police, parade and city officials held numerous meetings with the protest organizers to ensure that they did not disrupt the parade.
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