Peace Activists of many colors came together in Triangle Park in Ashland today. Gathering at 3 PM were Labor & Environmentalists, Old & Young, Rich and Poor, a wonderful coalition of community assembled and made a huge statement.
The march to the plaza downtown is about 10 or 12 blocks and we strung out for many of those blocks as we marched and chanted our way. Horns honked and there were "thumbs up from the many who passed us by.
Earlier, very early--like 5:30 AM--two vans full of Ashlanders had headed south for San Francisco to support A20 in the city by the bay. Our group in Ashland met in support of them, and of folks in Eugene, Portland, Seattle, Salt Lake City and D.C. and everywhere else where we are standing up together to say There is a better way.
When we arrived in the Plaza, a number of speeches were made from people aged 20's to 80's and in between too, and then we sang songs. And finally, there was much wonderful drumming. It all flowed together really, really nice.
A woman came up to me, down in the plazza, and identified herself as a US national who resides in Germany. We spoke for awhile about the waking up of the peace movement here, but then she started talking about the feelings of people back home in Europe. She said she could never remember before the critisizm of the US being at the level it is now. She said it had been growing very strong this last three weeks. We ended our chat with a recognition that we have some signs here that are similar to pre-world war two. Those from Germany can recognize red flags pretty damn well, it seemed to me, as we ended our chat and I headed off my way.
Seems it was around 4:30 PM or so when I took off walking the 10 blocks back (and uphill). There were still 150 or 200 people, still vibrating with the drums in the plazza. I walked back in the center strip--right down the middle- of Siskiyou Blvd. (two lanes each way) waving a big US-Peace Flag all the way. Many, many honks for this one man march back the other way... Made
Then... about an hour or more later...I drove down to the store with Poindexter (my dog-i tell all) and also drove around the plaza to reflect of the big rally we had just had. Guess what I saw?. Big signs were left in the plaza for the shakespeare theater tourists and everybody else to see. Propped up in the Lithia Water Fountain was a big "STOP THE OCCUPATION OF PALESTINE" sign, and right in plain view as you leave the park was "BUSH=WAR+MONEY." What a site!
I'll end by saying that next time we need to take it to the street. We had enought people. And it is our street.
from s.oregon for imc