November 17th Action"November 17 2000 was the first Annual Convocation for KGI. Over 200 concerned citizens gathered at Pomona College to rally, march and take action for BFS. After inspiration from the colleges' Activist Cheerleading Team, some street theatre and a performance from the LA-based "Billionaires" (an activist musical group), the protestors marched with a three person, 15 foot puppet of KGI president Hank Riggs, to the current site of KGI, where the inaugural ceremonies were to take place.
The group was met by security, policemen and supporters of KGI,who were congregated outside the tent. Several students immediately crossed over the police line to block the only entrance to the tent and keep the event from commencing. Behind them the puppet (with six people under it) crossed over the rope and was held back by police. There was a temporary impasse until the impassioned throng of protesters took strength in their numbers and swarmed the police line. With the whole group seated between the KGI folks and their party, the inaugural celebration was successfully interrupted and the KGI faction was led to a building to hold their event privately.
Protesters followed and stood chanting outside the building, with the KGI group watching and listening from windows on the second floor. When the protesters sensed that they had made their statement as loudly and clearly as possible, everyone held hands to form a large circle and conclude what was felt to be a successful protest with peace and a song.
This action was a powerful first statement by an ever-growing group who
refuses to compromise some of Los Angeles's last open space to corporate
biotechnology interests. Action will be continuing throughout the
spring and onwards from there, until this sacred land is permanently
Following the event, the organizers of the protest sent a letter to the Claremont Colleges councils of Deans and Presidents. Read that letter.
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