AZ and I were actually out in the "Indian Summer" section of that rally with some friends visiting from Bloomington. We were around the Water Tower as the police were placing themselves to block and divert all traffic to move the protesters from Oak and Lake Shore back to the Federal Plaza. So there we were, 5 pedestrians (two small children, 3 adults) walking back down Michigan Ave as the street emptied, with police in riot gear on the corners.
Anne remarked on this, and it was very true; you could gauge the intensity of the situation by the demeanor of the police. And to a man, they all appeared to be calm and polite - perhaps the quiet before the storm.
AZ further speculates that part of the police demeanor may be due to some sympathetic understanding of the anti-war position. While these means (mindless protest) don't do anything to change the hearts and minds of the American People (they end up using more gas as they idle in the roadways, unfortunately), they are a voice for some views held by a large (if not majority) of Americans. And as that voice is dismissed and unheard, the desperation to fruitless actions rises.
Nobody's Doll has and cites some further ideas on meaningful ways to move forward, which strike me as more meaningful (but more work!) than just ranting and traffic blocking. Or the similarly fruitless 'die-in' like the one cancelled at the University of Chicago for "lack of interest."Posted by esinclai at March 21, 2003 07:13 AM |