In downtown Portland yesterday even delivery vans were honking their horn and showing a peace sign, arm held high, out an open window. People were flashing peace signs from office windows. And this blocks away from any march or vigil of formal protest...but in plain view of police. The protestors were mobile, but hundreds of police and riot police were all over the city. And opposing the mini-police state was a diverse activist and citizenery against the war.
Since the invasion of Iraq by the illicit Bush regime, American dissent is energized and outspoken to a degree not seen in 30 years. There is the seed of a political movement here that can sweep the right from power and take the country in a new direction, away from its current slide into Fascism, in a few months rather than a few years.
Is positive change certain? No. Will there be a worker's revolt against Capitalism or a change of state along an armchair ideologue's blueprint? Unlikely.
One well known Oregon activist, a particular outpost for Millenarian, Garden of Eden theory, a pipe dreamer of Luddite nostalgia, John Z., this week advised his following to stay home from protests...concluded that they were not going to accomplish anything.
But as Bataille or any situationist or "old mole" activist will tell you, if you have feet in Practice and keep your nostrils open on the street, you can feel and smell when current conditions become electrified and practice and consciousness leaps forward.
I think that Bush's best hope for continuing in office is if the Arab countries offer a compromise and he can jump on the bandwagon. If he proceeds to destroy Iraq and its people, more and more of his deceptions and illegalities will see the light of day and, by the end of the war, if not during it, he will be impeached and many of his henchmen jailed like unrepentant Watergate burglars.
But this post is not about "futurism" or fortune telling.
As with WTO and Genoa, there is a spirit in Portland right now that is electrifying. Probably the biggest change is that even as some become frightened and seek escapism and normalcy, others are loosing fear as never before, becoming galvanized to act-up now, to support deserving brothers and sisters whom they have never met, to see what theory and tactics might really lead to change by being immersed, rather baptized, in real and urgent political struggle.
In these times some will fail to see the opportunity and retreat into their debating circle, into spectatorship or their other favorite escapism.
Even KBOO radio was playing music programming as usual during the height of "no business as usual yesterday all over downtown Portland. What kind of message of quietude and normalcy does it send out if KBOO, one of the most progressive media voices in the country, is back to "business as usual." If I got out of class and tuned in to KBOO to find out if it was worth going downtown to support my brothers and sisters, I would have to wait way too long for an "update" from street reporters.
I don't mean to dump so hard on KBOO...but yes, I think they could do even more. I think it would help their pledge drive to suspend small niche musical genres for a few days and really get political. But anyway I'm just using their programming decisions as an example. Let's find out who really wants change...and who is comfortable being a spokesman or spokeswoman for a niche left while enjoying the standard of living provided by crumbs thrown down from corporate globalism.