[sixties-l] Portland Peace Power

From: StewA@AOL.COM
Date: Tue Jan 21 2003 - 09:59:44 EST

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    Portland Peace Power
    by Stew Albert

    It's a kind of secular miracle. On Junuary 18, 20 to 25 thousand peace rebels
    marched against the Bush war. It's a record for peace marches in Oregon. Even
    beats the Sixties.

    All kinds of people, carrying all sorts of signs, and chanting various and
    sundry slogans. Even a few marching bands. About 25% raised their hands when
    asked if this was their first peace march. My first, was in 1960 over
    atmospheric H-bomb testing. I've done it countless times but this one was
    special. There is no draft and the war hasn't started. The message is clear.
    Bush is single handily rebuilding the protest movement. Creating something
    that will be larger and much more varied than in the 60's. Even the wretched
    Ronald Reagan couldn't manage this feat! Boy the people hate Bush. You can
    tell from the hand made signs and the chants. One really pissed off
    participant went so far as to wear a Bush mask and a small rocket at penis

    The march was fantastic. It offered hope in a dark forest. But, as usual, the
    rally sucked. There were some good speakers but they went on for far too long
    saying things that had already been said and said again. This time, there was
    almost a rebellion. The crowd kept interrupting speakers chanting "March,
    March" and some did actually break away and start marching against orders.
    Most remained however for the official OK, but they felt like kids doing High
    School detention.

    Another problem came from two speakers who repeatedly attacked Israel,
    without condemning Palestinian terrorism or supporting Israel's right to
    exist. This brought some angry crowd comments about "this isn't why we came
    here." I know Jewish people who stayed away because they feared being exposed
    to this type of unbalanced Middle East style politics.

    I really admire the demonstration organizers for devoting their lives to
    these events but honestly, they are going to have to learn about holding
    informative entertaining and brief rallies or just just stop having them.

    One last and very strange note. There were real Nazis at the rally. Some were
    present in a stealthy way, hiding behind anti-Israel signs, but one guy
    (having a small kid present for protection) was actually sporting a large
    black swastika one a red patch, in the middle of his cap. He made it through
    the whole rally. In the Sixties, he wouldn't have lasted for a minute.

    Stew Albert
    Visit my web page: http://members.aol.com/stewa/stew.html
    Stew Albert's Yippie Reading Room

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