|BUSH == WARMONGER
||[Jan. 28th, 2003|09:51 pm]
Today Eric, Dave, James and I joined the war on the war against Iraq. We went to the protest on the South Congress bridge. I thought it would be nice to go clad in suits, just so that we could do our little bit to show that all protesters aren't pot-smoking hippies. This turned out to be a MUCH bigger deal than we expected. Reactions ranged from scowls to bemused laughter, to complete misunderstanding. Also, some folks from Austin Daze took our picture, so we may be appearing in some future publication.|
Honestly, though, that wasn't why we were out there. We were there for the same reason everyone else was... because this pending war is freakin' ridiculous. There's barely even been an attempt at a justification, and the fact that we're using the deaths of those who perished in the towers as an excuse to attack whomever we want makes my stomach curl.
The turnout was phenomenal. It was already getting crowded when we arrived at 4:00. We quickly realized that without signs we just looked like a bunch of jackasses who were out for a good show... so we left the bridge for awhile in search of sign-making material. We eventually wound up in a local copy shop, and they gave us some big paper and loaned us a marker. Properly accessorized we journeyed back to the bridge. The crowd had grown huge.
We tracked down James's (former?) co-worker Ellen, and took our places. I still have my doubts about how effective protests are... but it's better than nothing. And the REALLY encouraging thing was the sheer number of people who drove by and honked to show their support- all different types of people, too, including yuppies, truck drivers, cabbies, aging hippies, sorority girls, and families.
My favorite types of protestors were the ones like me... the ones who seemed vaguely embarrassed to be there, but who felt that they had to show their displeasure with what we're doing... the ones who were out there because they were angry, and not because it was part of their lifestyle.
At some point a large group of people tried to stop traffic by standing in the road. It was silly and unnecessary, and luckily was put to an end quickly by smarter protesters and the police. In the end those that wanted to be arrested were- about 3 people. The police themselves did a great job from what I could tell, and stayed largely invisible unless something stupid happened. For instance, as Eric and I were leaving, some guy stood atop a building waving a flag. The cops took issue with that.
So it was good. I came away impressed that the crowd wasn't filled (completely) with strange folk from the fringe, and a sense that there's a lot of support in the general populace for those opposed to the war.
Then I went to go host Nummy Muffin Cocoa Butter with Nicole, which in a way is our gift of pure joy to a world fraught with troubles.
Kudos to you for joining a protest. I wish one would happen here in Tuscaloosa. Guess I can start one. Everyone I know opposes this war. I hear every day about protests like you describe, the huge size of them, etc. Yet all we hear on any source of corporate media is that the "president's" approval rating is still 55%, and that people will rally behind the "president" when the war comes. I'm officially creeped out beyond belief.
When people ask how Germans in the 1930's could buy in so easily to Hitler's propaganda and extremist views, might I introduce exhibit A, the callers to the Republican line on C-SPAN's after state-of-the-police-state address. Oh, and exhibit b, Fox Fake News Channel. Wait, can't leave out exhibit c, the Tuscaloosa Obvious-Agenda News. On and on.... all owned by about 5 companies who know war brings ratings.
Everyone needs to have your realizations about protest. Peole need to stop being afraid of being an "outsider" and not on the "winning team" as they see it. A huge majority of the country sees this coming war as idiocy, and a turning point in American foreign policy--a turning point for the much worse. We all need to start saying that.
And now I shall look for supplies to make a "PROTEST IS PATRIOTIC" sign for my car rear window. And don't get me started on civil rights under Emperor Bush...
As far as the Nazi party goes, no one protested and it just got out of hand. It was normal people that made up the rank-and-file of the German army. No one was willing to question what was going on, and they were just swept up in it. We have the advantage of being able to look back and see that.
Wearing suits was an awesome idea! I bet that really got the message across.