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So how did the Peace Parade at the Rose Festival go?

questions
So there was an announcement here about a "Peace Parade for Military-Free Rose Festival" that was sposed to happen on Saturday. The article got a bunch of comments talking about different ways to protest the military there that day:

 http://portland.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=12030&group=webcast

I don't live in Portland but I was following the discussion at that post and am wondering what went down, if anything. Anybody got photos or anything?
My Rose Fest Experience 10.Jun.2002 17:53

emily

I meant to write something up about the protest, but, you know, got lazy... So now that you asked, here's what happened:

About 50 of us met at the Salmon St. fountain by the waterfront at 3:00. We huddled under trees while waiting for a drum corps member because it was POURING, and many of us, including myself, were totally unprepared. Once we started marching, the sun came out (yay). We marched by the Pepsi Corporate Fun Park (or whatever they called it), led by the rockin' drummers, and chanting away. We were told to be quiet when we passed by these poor little ponies who were attached to one of those rides that goes around and around - our noise scared them. So Chris, the Chant-Meister, led us in some whispered chants til we passed.

Walking by the park I noticed a ride called "Squadron", which was painted all red white and blue and had little bomber planes flying around - great way to indoctrinate the kids! Someone on the march told me about a giant blow-up marine in the park, where they were giving out Navy stickers and that kind of thing. Hey kids, war is fun!!

After marching by the park, we split up into 2 groups and went onto both sides of the Morrison Bridge, where we hung 3 banners and held our signs for passing traffic. The banner I was helping to hold read: MAKE ROSE FESTIVAL A MILITARY FREE ZONE. The one next to me said something like: MONEY FOR BOOKS AND FOOD, NOT BOMBS. My sign said: TERROR LIVES IN THE WHITE HOUSE. We got a lot of honks and peace signs from drivers on the bridge.

Our presence felt fairly confrontational since, standing there on the bridge, we were facing one of those mega war ships docked in the port. Many men in uniform passed by, some of them vigorously shaking their heads No. Reactions from the crowd varied. A lot of people basically gawked at us, like, their jaws dropped, they had never seen anything like us before. We saw some parents explaining us to their kids, but could only speculate as to their words ("Don't worry, honey, we have laws now to protect us from these crazy terrorists.") Many people smiled, waved, and gave us the peace sign. One girl, about 10 years old, held both hands up in peace signs and danced as she passed us, a big smile on her face. We tried to get some of the kinder folks to bring us up some fried dough and coffee, but no luck.

Fortunately, there were several cops standing by to help us. The reporter from KBOO (the only media present - go figure) informed us that there was one cop for every 5 protestors. I sure felt safe.

We disbanded around 4:30 - no arrests, no mayhem. Overall I felt like it was a successful action - great exposure for the peace movement, reaching out to people not normally exposed to such far-out radicalism.

how...nice 10.Jun.2002 18:24

gosh...

signholding is not far out radicalism.
peace signs will not stop the war.
the police were not there to keep you safe. (i figure you were kidding about that.)
thanks for the story.

Why Gosh ? 10.Jun.2002 19:28

By Golly

OK Gosh tell US your great plan. Don't just sit there saying public demos don't work. You're talking about my friends. So what did you do Saturday, what ever it was it didn't seem to work yet?? Tell us, the whole world wonders?
What is your Radical thunder?

thanks, emily !! 11.Jun.2002 01:12

not 'wondering' anymore

Wow, thanks for the report. I didn't know if I'd get anything at all by making that request, and I'm sure glad I did. Indymedia rocks!

Sounds like a great action there. Making statements like the ones you did at such a well-attended mainstream gathering are very important. It forces people to remember that what the media tells them is not true -- we are *not* united in favor of this war, or in a belief in the official 9.11 story. There are dissenters and doubters, and by expressing ourselves in public, we help make some room inside people's heads for them to entertain their own dissent and doubt. This is *vital*. We can't let the corporate propaganda machine work alone. We must offer an alternative.

Luckily, people really are smart and imaginative inside. They know cubicle-life sucks, that paying so much for "health care" is f'd up, that killing people abroad is not going to help anything, and that the gov't lies to them. They just need validation for these ideas, and we've got to give it to them.

Inside everyone is a seed, planted in the soul, and when it roots what rises up is Truth. Nourish it and it will grow. This is how all people are made.

Thanks for the report, but thanks more for being nourishment to the world.

IF..THEN 11.Jun.2002 09:55

the jheri curl kid

'peace signs will not stop the war'

IF war-mongers see 'peace signs' and experience a change of heart and mind which causes them to not monger for 'war' or participate in such activity

THEN 'peace signs will not stop the war' is a false statement.

also, your negativity ("xyz", "gosh", WTFE) can create positive change as well, say, if someone reading such psy-optic comments decides that they will not let negative BS get in the way of reflecting 'positivity' either on the newswire or in the world.

Public Witnessing is essential 11.Jun.2002 14:31

hopeful because of you

Public witnessing is absolutely essential,and more powerful than any violence. To paraphrase Samuel Adams, who knew all about resisting corporate authority, remember that it only takes a small group of irate people constantly agitating to start the brush fires in people's minds. Good on you, Portland! Keep it up!

Thank You to the Portland 50 11.Jun.2002 18:47

Zorro

To the 50 who showed the rest, what Portland's best, those who beleive in and practice Peace, look like Thank You. I could not be there, I'm sorry. Last weekend I helped a friend in need. To those big of mouth that belittle demos, think again. Any good demo can use a big mouth, come on down. If there is to be a future it rest in Peace. The other choice, War will only end the human race. So this one's really easy, on to nothingness or on to Peace.

just for the record 11.Jun.2002 19:53

emily

Just for the record, my comment about far-out radicalism, like the comment about cops making me feel safe, was a joke. I guess irony doesn't get too far these days...
Although - the truth is, I have the feeling our protest did seem pretty far-out and radical to a lot of people there. It's all relative.

good action 11.Jun.2002 20:21

pinky

You rock Emily!