portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary portland metro

community building

Report from Esther Short Park, 11/03

Yesterday's gathering
Yesterday there was to be a peace and justice rally and/or vigil in Esther Short park in Vancouver at 2:00 pm, as was announced on KBOO and listed on indymedia. What happened was that 5 people showed up, and one of those was just passing by. The event was in some ways national, and was partially cancelled due to lack of noticeable election fraud right away. In Ohio, there was still apparently some rallies or demonstrations planned.

So five area dissidents gathered for about an hour to discuss the mild form of fascism that the U.S. has wholeheartedly endorsed--mild at home, brutal abroad. Actually, two of the people there were there just in case anybody did show up, so that they could tell people that the event had for the most part been called off. Myself, I expected there would be 20-30 people, if not more, being Vancouver and all.

Due to time constraints, I can't go into detail here, but I will say that I'm still numbed by the election results, and that I believe the best explanations are psychological--that is, there is a unique collective impulse that compelled people to go out and vote for the Bush ticket. And I must say that I believe this impulse is based on sympathy for the man, who appears to be very much struggling with himself and the things around him, in a psychological sense.

Also, the two ladies there discussed the Margaret Atwood novel The Handmaid's Tale, which I haven't read but which sounds good. And of course this made me think of the really big issue which we all have to consider: are they going to try and mandate what a woman can do with her body? This may be the crux of the next four years.
Problem 04.Nov.2004 14:20

gk

I have a problem with a meeting posted that MIGHT happen. It was contingent upon others nationwide calling it. They did not. Therefore, a Vancouverite, I got a message from Vancouver for Peace sent at 8 am that day that it was cancelled (not "partial") or postponed. Now for people who work or are not on that list, they didn't get the message before they left home for the day or didn't get the message at all.

Then to report that there was a meeting, after all, is irritating. People who were planning to come, but didn't because it was cancelled, didn't have any input. When events are called, they ought to be either have them or don't call it, but don't have this in-between stuff. Life is complicated enough.

While this was a ridiculous way to schedule and not schedule, I still commend people meeting and talking. Yes, the next 4 years are going to be hellish with the Shrub. We'll go backwards even more, so we've got to organize and fight in solidarity.

They agree with him 06.Nov.2004 02:48

Dorothy

"there is a unique collective impulse that compelled people to go out and vote for the Bush ticket"

You can discuss and analyse exactly what it is they agree with. You can discuss and analyse the number and relationships among the many its they agree with. You can discuss and analyse the qualities of the its and of the agreements. Indeed you must if you wish to change their opinions.

However, you must begin with the basic, indisputable fact that ninety-nine percent of enfranchised US citizens agree with whatever it is they think Bush and Kerry stand for.

If you wish to change their opinions, you must also concede that, no matter how false their premises (in your opinion) and how flawed their syllogisms (in your opinion), they arrived at their opinions about what is best for them, about what Bush/Kerry stands for, and about agreement, through reasoned consideration.


One of the indexing terms you used is "community building". That is "community" not "machine", and "building" not "conscripting". People, not ants.

It is a pity so few of your comrades showed up. You might have benefited from a frank exchange of opinions, amongst yourselves, instead of waiting to lead the gathered masses in all directions.