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.