Bracing against the wind  

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Thousands show up for Bush protest, no one notices

When I went to the June 23rd protest against Bush and his abuse of the office of President, I held up a sign that said "Why did Bush block the investigation of the 9/11 attacks?" Lots of people were there, protesting various policies, but that's the one, for me, that hits close to home, since I have lived and worked in downtown Manhattan for the last 11 years, and know many people whose lives were devastated by the attack.

The protest was large and loud - as it should be. A few thousand people showed up, but many of them could not find a place to stand in the pens that were set aside for the protest.

I was surprised and glad that many of the police joined in the protest chants, and were open to talking about the political issues involved. This was not my experience before.

About 3 out of 4 people I talked to on the subway said that the reason they didn't go to protests was because they were afraid of being arrested. That's a scary number. I mean, we're talking 75% of the people who have alternative political opinions are afraid of expressing them.

Yes, some kids got arrested, on purpose/as usual. The only people who ever get arrested are the people who want to. Usually they shout "Whose streets? Our streets!", and topple barriers, etc. They might as well be working for Bush. Maybe they just don't know that what they are doing is hurting the cause, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were paid to do it.

Anyway, after the protest, I walked to Bryant park - with my sign - and noticed that I got a lot more attention as a "lone-protestor". It dawned on me that another way to protest is, instead of all standing in one place and trying to get the interest of the news, is for everyone to simply carry a sign to and from work, on a designated day. That way more people will see the message.

Maybe the news won't notice, but, then again, the news doesn't report anything meaningful anymore anyway. I mean here's the only article I saw about the protest. It has few facts, and a misleading headline. Why give the news an opportunity to misrepresent a protest - as they always do?

I'm going to go the A.N.S.W.E.R. meeting on Tuesday and see how they feel about this new form of protest.


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