Saturday, October 27, 2007

Report from the Seattle Oct. 27th demonstration

The demonstration was very good. It's a shame that MORE PEOPLE DIDN'T SHOW UP to appreciate it. Interesting speakers, more youth oriented than other marches, ultimately successful in what these things are supposed to do psychologically, which is to say get people to a point where the things that they've privately felt about the war are expressed publicly and echoed back from the speakers. That way a great deal of the sort of alienation that people with dissenting views feel is cut away, empowering people. A lot of smaller regional rallies don't really accomplish this. The best rally that I ever experienced this phenomenon at was one of the big ones in D.C., but that was due to the speakers literally being the people whose articles I'd read on sites like Commondreams and agreed with. If you can feel a sort of sense that you're in it with other people and that you're not isolated in your opinions it seems much easier to be able to do more activism. Cutting through alienation again.

The only really negative thing I have to say is really minor and only happened in the section of the march that I happened to find myself in: a chant that was used. "Whose streets? Our streets!" is a great chant if you're marching through a downtown or something but the organizers had rightly put the start of the march and the route to the end in the African-American and Vietnamese/Chinese sections of central Seattle. Having a huge number of white people marching through a black neighborhood, or an asian neighborhood chanting "Whose streets? Our streets!" seemed to be in pretty bad taste. Not quite the sentiment you want to send to people who you want to get on your side.

But in general, well organized and interesting.

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