Sunday, January 28, 2007

Antiwar Rally

The day was beautiful, 60 degrees, nice wind, lots of sunshine and small puffy white clouds. We took the bus to Austin City Hall and met the large group of people right before the march was to begin. We caught the tail end of the bolstering speech there that got everyone fired up and ready to march.

We milled around the crowd, gathering the energy of it. We overheard one veteran from Iraq say "Been there two times already, don't wanna go back." The march was under way!

We marched into downtown, where the tall buildings obscured the sun.

Fellow citizens that were not participating showed their support. We had several people honk or wave peace signs at us:

The goons were pretty benign, only coming into play to corral and keep us safe from traffic. They didn't look like they were in strong opposition like the last protest.

At the start of the march there were about 500 people. During the course of it it seemed we picked up more people along the way. Look how far down the street the crowd stretches:

The approach to the capitol building. There were some "protest warriors" wielding signs claiming Bush is protecting us from "terrorists". I got the feeling that people aren't buying this lie any more. The incompetence of this administration speaks for itself.

The bottleneck caused by the protest-protesters actually served to intimidate them, as a sea of people swarmed around them and enveloped them.

More teeming masses:

There were easily 1000 people by the time we made it to the capitol building, either they were there waiting or joined us along the way. Imagine scenes like this in cities all over the country and imagine a burgeoning consciousness not seen since Vietnam.

The protesters pushed through, spilling onto the capitol grounds and gathering at its steps.

Some more speakers gave a few speeches. One speech by an activist was about how they would go to high schools and try to dismantle the ROTC programs there, and inform students about the lies the military tells them about enlisting. Their logic was "stop their suplly line." And the reward at the end, music:

All in all, I would say it was a much more successful protest than the last one, both in terms of how many people participated and how much of an impact we had on bystanders. I don't particularly care for the whole groupthink thing, but chanting "Peace...Now!" and having the words reverberate through the chasm of buildings was undeniably powerful. Bush and his cronies will face increasing resistance from the public for his disastrous policies, thanks in no small part to large public displays of disapproval like this.


Blogger Delta said...

Thanks for the pictures. Protests serve, as you said, as a awakener of consciousness in many people and this is perhaps the most important aspect of a march. I think the second affect is to see that people not only care about the issue casually, but are willing to spend their day doing something about it, in contrast to simply filling their weekend with buying as much crap as they can before they "drop". This may intimidate politicians if they see large numbers of people doing it.

The 5th anniversary of the Iraq war is coming up in March, and I'm looking forward to the big marches that are planned then.

29 January, 2007 10:29  

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