LOS ANGELES -- The Rose Parade has long been a magnet for protesters looking for global attention for their causes and grievances.
Native Americans once threw a balloon filled with red paint onto the parade route to represent the spilling of Indian blood. AIDS activists interrupted the parade by staging a sit-in. One year, a Pasadena mayor wore a "Tournament of Racists" T-shirt to protest what he saw as the parade's lack of ethnic diversity.
But this year, Tournament of Roses organizers and Pasadena police are gearing up for something different as Occupy protesters, fresh from their encampments across the country, plan to converge on Pasadena. Like activists in the past, they are hoping to widen their impact with an estimated domestic TV audience of 50 million people and about 700,000 people along the route.