Thursday, January 08, 2009

Human Rights Activist Ann Lau is given the9th Annual Thorny Rose!

Beacon Media: The 9th Order of the Thorny Rose has spoken once again. Ann Lau, a leading critic of last year’s China float in the Rose Parade, is the 8th recipient in 9 years. Former city councilperson Paul Little has been a back-to-back winner of the prickly prize. Lau is certainly best known for her political theater in front of the Tournament House portraying the harvesting of human organs from unsuspecting corpses, fake blood and all. She was promptly removed by the Pasadena Police Department.

Each year the Thorny Rose is awarded to Pasadena’s most controversial citizen, by an anonymous committee of local socio-political observers. Winning individuals have previously been distinguished by their brazen, often, confrontational style, indifference to public decorum and Lone Ranger bravado(a). This year’s awardee is no exception. Ann Lau, who’s also head of the Visual Arts Guild, has routinely prodded, scolded and harassed city officials to take a stand on China’s human right’s violations. On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Human Rights Doctrine, Lau, along with Guild members, Amnesty International and the local Falun Gong, lectured city council on current abuses against political activists there. Although the Human Relations Commission encouraged an official statement, City Council declined their recommendation.

The inaugural Thorny Rose was given in 2000 to Charles “Chuck” Cherniss, former salty columnist for the Pasadena Star News. Subsequent winners have included Paul Little, Roy Begley, Mary Dee Romney, the West Pasadena Residents Association, the entire Pasadena Unified School District Board and local gadfly Wayne Lusvardi.

As is the tradition for Thorny Rose winners, Lau will given an invitation to receive her award and be driven along the route of this year’s 32nd Pasadena Doo Dah Parade. Doo Dah takes place Sunday, January 18th, stepping off at 11:30am in Old Pasadena. Excluding last year’s awardee, Wayne Lusvardi, no Thorny Rose winner has ever passed on the invitation. Mr. Lusvardi was replaced by a 6-foot chicken.

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