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But the event itself leaves a little to be desired. I'm not trying to be a naysayer here, or pick any fights; I'm just offering some obervations that you may take or leave as you will. Crossing streets continued to be an issue this week. There were just enough people that everyone could't quite make it through on the WALK signal. This gets awkward, as you know, when a chunk of a group is then stranded behind. This could be solved by slowing down the main march somewhat from the front, or just being more aware of its size. I was told that the idea of just blocking traffic to get everyone across was still an issue, and not everyone agrees on how to handle it. You know what? I'm sick and tired of people worrying about "inconveniencing" cars. The people in Iraq are pretty damn inconvenienced by the sanctions and bombing that the U.S. uses to control the oil over there to fuel the cars over here, and we're not going to have a meaningful change in the status quo if "inconvenience" to drivers is where our fear starts. Let's put the blame for being inconvenienced where it belongs -- on the drivers. People who live here should just know by now that if they're driving through downtown there's a chance they'll be held up by a protest. That's part of the damn culture here, or oughta be.
Another comment: I guess the City Council has voted to put an f'n skating rink in Pioneer Courthouse Square, which will totally screw it up as a public gathering place. One of the speakers brought this up. After talking about how lucky we are to have this space, he asked people to look into the issue and contact elected officials about it "if they decide they feel that way". It was a very soft pitch he delivered on a topic that's pretty darn important. What? They're going to fuck up the square? I mean, this is a big deal. Fortunately, a woman in the crowd said, "Who needs democracy when we can skate?" People laughed, but I don't know if the importance of the issue sank in. I'm not sure if the importance of any of these issues are sinking in, with anyone, to tell you the truth. Here we are, teetering on the edge of oblivion, and folks are shying away from interfering with traffic on public streets that we own and that are ours to use.
Case in point: On the last street crossing I stood in front of a turning car so everyone could get across in one bunch. The driver suddenly maneuvered around me and tried to get through. In front of him was a woman with a baby carriage. I jumped in front of the car. "What the fuck are you doing? That's a baby carriage! Do you have any idea how dangerous this thing is? You could kill someone with this." I pointed to his car. "Yeah", he said, "like you since you're standing in front of it."
Look folks, that's who we're dealing with here. That's the prevalent attitude. "I could kill you so get out of my way." That's what war is about. That's what we're protesting. That's what we need to stop, everywhere it appears whenever we see it. It's all around us, in our daily lives, in our families, and on the streets. Being polite and civil is not going to work. We need to be active in our resistance, loud about our dissent, boisterous with our actions. That's what's working in South America right now. I'm not talking about violence or property destruction either. (Insert obligatory "I am non-violent" statement here.) I'm talking about passion and bravery. We all have these things, and if we don't learn how to use them soon, we are all totally fucked. We're probably fucked anyway, but we might as well go out kicking and screaming, don't you think?