From: "radtimes" < email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2002 1:28 PM
Subject: Thank You, Portland Patriots
Thank You, Portland Patriots
By: Lisa Thomas - 08/26/02
Supposedly, every voice that cries out represents a thousand too reserved to do so. In such case, the Portland Protest on August 22, garnering the presence of about 2,000 participants, represents at least 2 million of us.
Thank you, to each activist who cared enough to leave the comfort and distortion of tv coverage, who was brave enough to stand before faceless, formidable riot police whose photos make us shudder with the knowledge of 1939 and what happened when there was no one to protest. Without you, August 22 would have passed, simply another day of George Bush appearing to adoring fans to raise money for his party and his agenda. Without you, the media would have had nothing to show but blindly adoring blank faces standing at the ends of driveways with signs saying, "We love you," as the Bush motorcade passed by. This is all the world would have seen.
In addition to the rage, the oh-so-justifiable rage, there is a kind of love in it by those who would face the spray, the rubber bullets, the humiliation, much of it for the unaware people at the ends of their safe driveways with their approved "I love you" placards. No danger for them, as you have absorbed it in your prayer that they too see what is happening.
We cannot afford to let this protest slip by. You have begun an awakening, and as an old Vietnam war protester, I see it happening. At first they completely ignored us. Then the public saw us on television. It became a swollen determination, so hardened by the passion to put truth before the blind that it went on to become a fierce movement the world will never forget. It went on to result in Kent State. But mostly, it went on to end the horrors of an unjustified and immoral war.
We won, if one ever wins after so many deaths. We won because there were those with the spirit and bravery of last week's Portland Patriots. Without those voices forty years ago, the death tolls in Vietnam would have continued to rise. Boys who came home to join "Veterans for Peace" would have returned in body bags. Without these voices now in Portland, the country would know only what the right wing tries to portray, sky-high popularity ratings and support for a man who is at the moment the most dangerous person on earth.
May we all gather courage from what happened in Portland. May our numbers swell and fill the streets until our people take their fingers out of their ears and ask questions before walking to the end of protected driveways with safe placards of support.
Thank you, Portland protesters. It is YOU who can save hundreds of thousands of lives.
Lisa Thomas is a contributer to Liberal Slant, Online Journal, and political columnist (The Raven's Nest at http://www.practicalradical.com)