Since I first posted about Anonymous Vs. Scientology I’ve been following it rather closely which you’ve probably noticed. When the Feb 10th call to action I knew things were getting interesting. Then Newsweek picked up the story and photos started trickling in from other protests around the world this morning. I’ve been following the coordination efforts and planning to attend the protest today to take photos and see how many people would actually show up. In fact when I posted asking how many people you all thought might be there the response seemed to imply that most people thought no one would really show up. As Mack posted this morning that was pretty far off, and from my count over 300 people were there. I got there a little earlier and stayed later and have a bit of a different take on the whole thing that he did. I also took a ton of photos. All that after the jump.
Mack noted that he saw “No sign of an opposing army of blue-clad Scientologists with video cameras” however in the few hours I was there I definitely did. There were security guards threatening protesters saying things like “you are not allowed to be here, you’ll be arrested if you don’t leave” of course the LAPD was there and no arrests were made as the protest was completely legal and peaceful. And of course there was no shortage of documentation on the Scientologist’s part as well.
This guy filmed me, as you can see, and when I went up to him and identified myself as press and asked him how useful the footage he was getting might be since all the protesters were wearing masks he wouldn’t answer me, just kept filming:
As soon as people started taking photos of the truck it left, but really you’d think that with Hollywood being so close they could have called in a prop guy to hide that a little better.
There were also people in cars, some with Scientology bumper stickers, driving around the block repeatedly with cameras filming everyone, especially the people without masks.
A lot of people had signs with one of the numerous L. Ron Hubbard quote’s about how if someone wanted to really get rich, they should invent a religion. These of course predate the founding of the Church of Scientology.
Most of the protesters seemed to be talking about one of several high profile situations where the church has reacted against people trying to leave their organization or spoken publicly against them, or asking if the Scientology “Tech” can really save the world, why the church charges such high fees for it. There also seemed to be some people promoting Free Zone Scientology that is using the exact same teachings of the Church of Scientology, but without the membership fees. For the most part the protesters seemed to be taking it all rather light heartedly. My entire flickr set of photos I took can be found here, but here’s a few more as well.