Activist Drops Manure at DNC Hotel

Sunday, August 13th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An activist dressed in a pink pig costume dumped four tons of animal manure from a truck Saturday in front of a hotel housing guests attending the Democratic National Convention.

Elsewhere, anti-abortion activists and immigrant rights advocates organized small protests, the first in a week of demonstrations expected to draw thousands during the convention that starts Monday.

At the Wilshire Grand Hotel, about 10 people from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals stood on the sidewalk as the activist dumped the manure in the hotel driveway. Some wore the same full-body pig costumes and carried placards that read, ``Meat is murder.''

Police impounded the truck and arrested the driver, Sean McKinney Diener, 20, of Layton, Utah. He was booked for illegal dumping, a misdemeanor.

City workers and hotel employees cleaned up the 5-foot by 10-foot spill with shovels and trashcans.

In February, the group performed a similar stunt outside a restaurant where Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush had just eaten breakfast.

In other protests Saturday:

— Nearly 30 anti-abortion demonstrators marched around the site of the convention carrying poster-sized pictures of aborted fetuses.

— Activists protesting U.S. immigration policies set up 553 white crosses in a church parking lot to commemorate people who have lost their lives crossing the U.S.-Mexico border since the 1994 inception of Operation Gatekeeper, a crackdown that pushed illegal traffic to more remote and treacherous areas.

About 50 people, nearly a dozen of them dressed in ceremonial Mexican outfits, danced and marched in a protest outside Vice President Al Gore's downtown office.

The National Chicano Moratorium Committee sponsored the rally about three blocks from Staples Center, where the convention will take place, to call for undocumented-worker amnesty and a stronger Hispanic voice in government.

Rudy Pisani, 61, of Los Angeles, held a banner that read, ``Democrats and Republicans — Executioners of Latin Americans.''

Other protesters prepared for demonstrations outside Staples Center by making banners, picket signs and large, satiric puppets at their headquarters near MacArthur Park.

A day earlier, a federal judge ruled that police could only enter that building if they had a search warrant or during an emergency. The decision came in response to the American Civil Liberties Union's complaint that the headquarters, named the Convergence Center, had been a target of police harassment.

The department earlier was ordered to shrink a security zone around the Staples Center to allow demonstrators to be nearer to delegates.

Police Chief Bernard Parks joined activists Saturday to pay tribute to children slain by violence and to call for greater restrictions on guns. Parks and his wife, Bobbi, added a pair of ballet shoes belonging to their 20-year-old granddaughter Lori Gonzalez, who was gunned down outside a fast-food restaurant, to more than 200 pairs of shoes from young victims of gun violence.

``When people say guns don't kill people, they're not being truthful,'' Parks said. ``Guns do kill and they kill at a very high rate.''