Thursday, November 11, 2004
"I wasn't there at the Tuesday night demonstration in Westwood, but I did do some follow-up investigation this morning about the two armored vehicles.
Turns out the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration was having a Veterans Day parade and celebration this morning (Wednesday). I drove over and walked in to the WLA VA to look around at 10:50am.
Lots of marching middle school ROTC 'cadets' (including 11-to-14-year-old boys and girls from Mt. Vernon Middle School all in US Army uniform, some shouldering parade 'rifles') and a high school band and antique cars filled with VAFW members. And two USMC Striker armored vehicles complete with 6 or 7 Marines in fatigues and body armor giving junior high ROTC kids and adults tours of the vehicles.
I talked to one Marine with one of the 'Striker' vehicles. He told me they had driven the vehicles up from Camp Pendleton the night before (Tuesday) on the freeway.
Getting off the 405 Freeway going north, they would have passed Wilshire and Veteran where ANSWER had called a rally to protest the attack on Fallujah in Iraq.
I asked him if he was 'rolling around Westwood' Tuesday night. He said, 'Yeah, and we drove past that anti-war demonstration. We was lost. We're not from L.A. We didn't know where this place (WLA VA) was. We were trying to find it.'
'Did you drive around the block twice?' I asked. 'Yeah, we did. We stopped to ask them (the protestors) directions, but they weren't very nice.'
There was more conversation, but that was the gist of it from the Marine side concerning the armored vehicles. For what it's worth. I've also been receiving emails from friends who were at Tuesday evening's Westwood demostration. They report that the LAPD officers said they had no idea why the two armored vehicles had appeared and then disappeared."