[sixties-l] Portland peace march

From: StewA@AOL.COM
Date: Tue Nov 19 2002 - 11:27:37 EST

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    Portland Peace March is Big

    November 17---First, there was a 1 o'clock rally in Pioneer Sq. The site of
    numerous massive pro-peace demonstrations during the first Gulf War. I was
    surprised to see a turn out so large as to be comparable with the Gulf war
    protests. Up to ten thousand people packed the Square. They were warm and
    enthusiastic, really ready to make their vital statement. And how amazing
    their grand numbers. After all, the war hasn't quite started. The UN is still
    going through some peaceful motions that do represent a last long shot hope
    of avoiding disaster. And unlike the Vietnam peace movement of the 60's these
    rebels do not fear a draft. So their militant presence is based on pure good

    Unfortunately the pre-march rally was a disappointment. Many of the speakers
    pushed their personal grand philosophies and causes -- and it seemed
    sometimes like the impending Iraqi conflagration was just a bit peripheral to
    their oratorical interests. Such is the stuff of coalition building, every
    group wants to get their two cents on the table -- and it can make for a
    fairly uninspiring event.

    As usual, the inspiration came from the determined people when the march
    began. In such large numbers they took to the streets, with hand made signs
    and that most enduring of slogans "No war! Peace Now!" Onlookers, including
    those on city buses tended to universally friendly reactions. The Portland
    police although dressed in horrible new black storm trooperesque uniforms,
    kept their cool and did their job of redirecting city traffic. I could see by
    their facial expressions that they were somewhat surprised by the event's

    If policy makers in Washington, DC have a scintilla of sense left in their
    heads they will take note of the Portland event and treat it as a warning.
    War with Iraq may very well mean chaos on the homefront. If Americans are
    supposed to be united in a war against terrorism, attacking Iraq is not
    exactly an intelligent way of creating that unity.

    Judy and I dropped out of the march near its conclusion. She has an annoying
    cold and I a middle aged back ache. There will also be a post-march rally in
    the Square. I hope it will be a bit more politically relevant, the second
    time around.

    Stew Albert

    Stew Albert
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