If I could have found duct tape (there's a shortage, I hear), I'd have written out WAGE PEACE on the umbrella. But since it's a black umbrella, and the only thing I could find in the house was black electrical tape, I went with the flowers.
Seattle Center can hold a lot of people! The police estimate was 8-15 thousand. The organizer's estimate was 20 thousand. That usually means it's somewhere in between.
Sherman Alexie (author of The Business of Fairydancing) opened the speeches. I loved his story about how, after 9/11, he was crossing the street, when some white man, in a big pickup, flying big american flags, yelled at him to "Go back to your own country.". He says he didn't think of it until the man was halfway down the block to yell back "You first!". (Sherman Alexie is native American).
Pramila Jayapal and Jim McDermott didn't disappoint either.
I'm really glad that we went. I think that the world is reminding Mr. Bush that he's a little out of touch, and that peace can be a patriotic act.
I forget who it was who said that being anti-war didn't mean that they didn't support the troops (I think it was Alexie). He said "I do support our troops. I want them all to die of old age, at home, surrounded by family and people they love". I'm really annoyed with the rhetoric of being pro-peace doesn't support the troops. And that many of the pro-war rallies are draped in the clothes of being "supporting our troops". I just can't imagine that anyone, with family in the military, would want to see them go off to a war.
Anyway, I'm rambling. It was good to be part of history today. It might not have been much, but in my own little way, I helped make a difference. This was my act of patriotism--supporting those who say that war
(I should plug Noam Chomsky here, since his speech "The Journalist from Mars" on the nature of terrorism has really helped define a lot of my feelings about it. You can get it at www.alternativeradio.org.)