Get Activist - One guy's tale, "One Man Parade"
One man's answer to the question, 'What can I do to stop BushCo's dismantling of our Democracy for his Imperialistic fantasy?' How one guy calls hundreds of Portlanders to action each day, as part of his regular routine...
About 3 weeks ago, I decided that I'd had enough!! I have grown tired of feeling voiceless in the face of the GOP scandals surfacing weekly, the threat of nuclear war with Iran looming, the undermining of the integrity of our elections, our government's moral bankruptcy on the various human rights issues facing the world, and the utter dismantling of the civil rights guaranteed to Americans through the Constitution. I felt the need to try to stimulate more political consciousness, and more ACTION, among fellow progressives, and even conservatives, who believe that NOW is the time to ACT.
I decided to carry a sign wherever I go in Portland, essentially becoming, as one passerby dubbed me, a "one man parade." My aim is to try to make people think... "Wow, if this guy is so committed and so passionate that the Bush Administration (hereafter BushCo) is destroying the USA, he is carrying a sign and waving a peace sign on the way to and from work, maybe I should be doing more, or at least something... because I, too, am disgusted with the stuff that is happening to this country, under the leadership of a cadre that doesn't believe in Government!"
My signs say, "NO MORE BUSH WAR / IMPEACH," "BUSH LIED, 2400+ DIED", "BUSH WILL NUKE IRAN - IMPEACH," "JUSTICE... MEET W," "CALL CONGRESS - 1-888-355-3588", etc. Not very creative, but perhaps enough to motivate people to take some initiative, to stand up for our country and start fighting back against the Neocon and Far Right extremists that have overtaken the US Government, to remind people that this is our Democracy, and to thereby shake them from the brink of despair and resignation.
Each day, I take the bus to a stop on one of the many bridges into Portland, get off mid-bridge, pull my sign from my bag... and walk across the bridge. I don't need to upset the conservative management of my company, and I figure 200-400 people have gotten my message, so a block from my office, I put my sign back in the bag and go to work.
At the end of the day, if it is still dry, I will walk home, over the same bridge, sign brandished, and hopefully expose another few hundred people to my idealism and optimism for a turnaround, and an eradication of the BushCo Culture of Corruption.
As noted, this all started a few weeks ago, in earnest. However, I have been carrying a two-sided sign in my bag for several months, for use whenever the opportunity arises. What I have not mentioned is the amazing support I get from drivers, pedestrians, bike-commuters and even more serious cyclists. It is very encouraging, yet simultaneously heart-rending to hear the honks and the shouts of encouragement, to see the peace signs waved with enthusiasm, and to see the fists raised high amid shouts of thanks, and "Rock on, Dude!!"
Equally cool is when I stop to face the traffic, holding the sign and proudly waving a peace sign with the other hand... and I see the people's eyes and their smiles, as they ride, run, walk and drive by... and what really strikes me is what seems to be a joyful gratitude that I am saying what they are thinking.
I had some free time a couple of Saturdays back, so I hit the bridge with the NO MORE BUSH WAR / IMPEACH BUSHCO sign for an hour plus. A couple in their 50's stopped to talk as they were crossing the bridge, and after reading both sides of the sign, the man said he has a son serving in Iraq. I explained that I support the troops, and that I am outraged that they are risking young lives and limbs in Iraq solely because of BushCo's lies. He smiled, nodded and thanked me, and as he and his wife turned to continue across the bridge, he too, flashed a peace sign. That has made me want to "parade" on weekends, too!
The reactions I am getting each day make me think the extra 20 - 60 minutes to and from work is well worth it. Daily, I am seeing in Portland commuters the same hope and optimism I feel every day, that we will correct the wrong that has been inflicted on the country! Until that flicker of hope is extinguished, and I decide that it is indeed time to leave the United States of Fascistic Theocracy, I will continue my "One Man Parade"!
Maybe people will join me, or maybe I will have inspired them to develop their own, more creative ways to incite other citizens to loudly reject the fraud that is being perpetrated on America! Either way, let's each strive to make Portland the center of a movement to stop the madness of King George and his imperialist, corporatist, torturing, dishonest and deceptive ways, and send him back to Texas before 2008!
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