The People. capital letters. They didn't seem to know really why they were there. Taking to the streets. The people didn't know why they were there, except that they were unhappy, and they remember that there was a time when people were unhappy, and talked loudly about being unhappy, and things changed.
The media was there. A local radio station anchor was using a cell phone to deliver a real-time report. A TV anchorwoman lingered; maybe even loitered, with her camerawoman. "What do you think of all this?" we asked her. "It's free speech," she said. "But why are they here? are they right? What do you think about what you see?"
"Free speech," she said, "gives me a job."
How can someone make money off of something free?
The aristocracy was there: one secret service agent was seen at the barricades. The police were everywhere. unsurprisingly, Bush didn't show up to give his side of the story.
The people claimed lots of reasons for being there; "stop the war!" they say, without saying which war. Signs indicate afghanistan, pakistan, Iraq, the world, america. Bush is a thief, they say. He's not responsible to the people, they say.
So what do you expect to happen when you march in the middle of the street? Only the city notices, and the city is already on your side. Honest; they have to live here too. whoever "they" are. Bush will not change a thing because there was a crowd outside his window. The media will show the public outcry, they say: but there are so many signs flying that portray mistrust of corporate media. If they're as bad as you say, why should they help you? They're only around because free speech gives them a job.
peaceful protest, in which you shut down city streets and give way when the police push you, does nothing. Yet there's no reason to stand against the cops: no obvious objective, no real purpose to standing on this particular patch of ground at 6th and yamhill.
And so it was pointless, on both sides. Pointless atrocity (an infant, obviously less than a year old, screams as "activists" try to flush pepper spray from his face and eyes), pointless movement (a 17-year-old skate-punk sits on a bus-stop sign, beating arhythmically with a stick. Is he trying to break it down? I think he is making noise for noise's sake. The steady hum of people and traffic have beat him to the job, though.) Pointless talking (cops talk to protesters, protesters talk to cops. Neither is sure what to say, because neither is sure what the presence of the other really means; instead we see only waves of blue armor and waves of dirty hair).
A protestor gets in an argument with a driver, accidentally stuck in the middle of everything on his way home from work. Only the protesters parting shot is heard: "this <i> is </i> my day job!" Everyone did their job. Everyone played follow the leader, follow the job description, follow the ideal.
Another protest in which no one "won" because there was nothing at issue and nothing at stake.