March 21, 2003

Jason DeFillippo mentions the Chicago protests here from last night (the first protests for Chicago?).

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.

The Chicago Tribune has coverage, of course. Certainly distinct from '68 (the hackneyed by obvious comparison), and apparently less traumatic than Mike's WTO experiences.

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 |

I read there was going to be a followup protest today same time and same place. You know anything about that?

Posted by: Jason D- on March 21, 2003 08:42 AM

A colleague who lives downtown reports she was unable to get home for about 1.5 hours last night, due to the protesters and police blocking access to the side streets. More people in the streets of Chicago than she's ever seen, she notes.

Posted by: Anne on March 21, 2003 08:54 AM

nationally, the Chicago protestes were being reported as involving at least 10k people, and appearing to be spontaneous, which is the part i thought was most interesting - the 2000-person core picked up nembers from people leaving work, they were saying.

The large scale bombing is underway in Baghdad.

Posted by: mike on March 21, 2003 12:30 PM

Apparently the police aren't all that sympathetic either, so my theory was just wishful thinking. Apparently they were pretty derisive with the protesters, my coworker says.

Another theory shot to shit, as the Minutemen say.

Posted by: Anne on March 21, 2003 04:02 PM

"I keep thinkin' of World War Three! I keep thinkin' 'bout World War Three!"

course, the next part's a little off, nowadays.

Posted by: mike on March 21, 2003 05:24 PM
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