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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!

Peace~~
Styve
Awesome! 03.May.2006 09:51

A fan

Way to go! You rock!

totally sweeet 03.May.2006 11:42

another fan

Thank you a thousand times, thank you. I have just been inspired to make a new message for my biking cape.

Hell Yeah! 03.May.2006 13:53

yet another fan

Hell Yeah! Who needs to wait for a march anyway?
At the rate the shit is piling up and the time it takes to mobilize,
it's best to be prepared :-D

Thanks to my two fans!! I hope more people read and respond!! 03.May.2006 14:08

Styve

I also post on Craigslist on the weekends to invite people to join me in spontaneous protest, so keep an eye there(activities board), and come on out!

Let's start a movement to take back the country from this crooked, evil administration!!

Styve

You've made a fan 03.May.2006 18:44

Jody Paulson

and a convert out of me. I have a button that says "Drive out the Bush Regime", but your idea is better and more visible. It just takes a little nerve. I think I'll make that sign.

Four fans?!?! Do I hear five...five, going once...}-)) 03.May.2006 20:23

Styve

Thanks fans #3 and #4!! I like all of your spirit!! Get out there, and realize that you are in the right! I am fully ready to respond peacefully, but with truth on my side, to any turkey that denigrates what I am doing, or even has the nerve to call me unpatriotic. This is how a patriot acts, not supporting the abandonment of 230 years of American principles!!

I recently did a Burma Shave with 8 others from the War Resisters League, back on Tax Day, on the Hawthorne Bridge, and you wouldn't have believed the great support people showed!! I'll have to see if we can put up the pics, which just got developed last week.

I was thinking that maybe 2-10 people holding signs might make a similar, strong impression on passersby?! Sounds like a weekend deal, to me, but who knows...

Fight like you never thought would be necessary!!

Thanks,
Styve

ps -- If you need to get riled a bit, to just bite the bullet and let people know that you are standing up to this madness, check out  http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/ Here is a little intro, and please pass it along. I cleared mention of his blog with him, so it's all cool.
--------------------------
Unclaimed Territory - by Glenn Greenwald

For the past 10 years, I was a litigator in NYC specializing in First Amendment challenges (including some of the highest-profile free speech cases over the past few years), civil rights cases, and corporate and security fraud matters.

Sunday, April 30, 2006
Media finally starting to report the President's systematic lawbreaking

On March 24, 2006, The Boston Globe published an article by Charlie Savage reporting that the President, after signing into law the bill which renewed the Patriot Act, issued a "signing statement" making clear that "he did not consider himself bound" to comply with various reporting provisions in the law and therefore reserved the right to violate them. The article was extraordinary because it noted that the Patriot Act signing statement was merely "the latest in a string of high-profile instances in which Bush has cited his constitutional authority to bypass a law" -- and the article tied that ideology of lawlessness to, among other things, the President's deliberate violations of FISA when ordering warrantless eavesdropping on Americans.

I discussed that Globe article in my book and described it as "an important milestone," because "it is one of the first truly comprehensive articles by an establishment media outlet to recognize the fact that the president has expressly seized the power to break the law, and is exercising that power enthusiastically and aggressively, in numerous ways." Once the reality of the president's claimed lawbreaking powers starts to be truly discussed in our national political dialogue, I believe there will finally be accountability for what this administration has done.

continued~~

hey 'steyvie' 04.May.2006 09:43

or whatever ur name is

a picture is worth a thousand words eh?

Don't have a pic of myself on the One Man Parade... 04.May.2006 12:33

Styve

...but a couple of people have taken pics...wonder if they read Indy Media?! Should be posting the Tax Day War Resisters League pics soon.

Thanks,
S

Superhero Breakfast on the Bridges 04.May.2006 14:21

fan #2

I forgot to mention: there was a public-awareness action on the Hawthorne Bridge a few months ago for driving safety, in regard to cyclists. Signs such as "Look Before Opening Doors" were held. We wore superhero costumes, and the event was combined with the monthly Breakfast on the Bridges event. KOIN TV showed up and we got some very favorable coverage. Doubtful they would give the same great coverage to a politically-touchy news item, but if everyone spoke very short sound bites there wouldn't be many opportunities for them to spin it. Check it out:
 link to bikeportland.org

It would be very inspiring if this one-man crusade grew into a movement. How about it? Sign me up!

How to keep this post up? 05.May.2006 08:04

Styve

Fans and other folks more experienced with IndyMedia...what do I do to keep this post up near the top of the sidebar of submissions? I have emailed IMC but not heard back yet. I am considering just reposting, but that will likely not go over well.

Making a new sign - 1984 - READ IT, DON'T LIVE IT!!! / nothing yet for the back. I am thinking something about the prospect for martial law...??

Styve

wow 06.May.2006 09:41

rin

I saw you walking over the Hawthorne Bridge one day and thought to myself "that guy is awesome!". I was actually going to post about it, but I never did. I'm glad that you did!

keeping the post accessible 06.May.2006 11:36

fan #2

I don't think any post would ever be made to stay at the top of the newswire, but you can propose that a section be added to the "actions" area accessible from left bar on home page. Maybe a new one called "Downtown Sign Walk"? There is already a "protests & actions" topic in the "topic pages" area.

Thanks Fan #2!! It's on the actions/protests page!! 06.May.2006 21:23

Styve svbk61@juno.com

I found a place to get bridge traffic and Grand Ave. traffic, and hit there for an hour or so today. Funnist thing was a Tri-Met driver giving me the Italian flip-off, using both arms...I laughed and I bet that pissed him off!!

I would dig having people join me, and there is parking on Grand, right there, for weekend activity. I will keep doing the walk to and from work, as time permits. I have plenty of signs, but feel free to bring your own.

Have people heard the new Neil Young album, Living with War?? It is at www.neilyoung.com, and it is so moving and cool!! It hits the stores on Monday, or thereabouts. He made it in 3 days, and it has 10 tracks, one of which is "Let's Impeach the President". There have been 2 million visits to the site in the past 2 weeks, so this is going to be big!!

Peace,
Styve

Bush 06.May.2006 22:57

alex

More important than limiting your political thought to an ABB (Anybody But Bush) mentality, is realizing the flaws in the entire system. It's not just the GOP we should be worried about, it's the entire government. Calling Bush the only problem is too narrow a view, and while your dedication is admirable (and believe me, i hate bush as much as the next guy), there are bigger things at stake here than a presidency. Just a thought.

One Man Media 07.May.2006 17:24

Ben Waiting

I have Been Waiting for this type of direct action

Power To The Indy Media Activists

Simple Message 07.May.2006 18:07

Joe A

Thanks Styve !!


Joe...it's not voter fraud...that is what the GOP is pushing... 07.May.2006 19:41

Styve

...to justify many tactics to disenfranchise millions of voters, such as the draconian Federal Voter ID bullshit. It is election fraud, and you might want to link to Bradblog.com from your site.

Thanks for the support!!

S

I went out with my sign today in San Francisco 08.May.2006 17:27

Jody Paulson

One side says "Love conquers fear" and the other says "Truth conquers lies."

Jody...that's very cool!! 09.May.2006 17:01

Styve

A guy stopped where I set up this morning for half an hour to tell me that I was doing a great service!! I told him that I have been doing this for over a month now, and he said that he had seen me several times on the bridge, and that he was going to make a sign and hit the bridge some day this week!

That blew my mind!! It is getting more and more urgent that we motivate a massive popular movement against this goddam nut.

Gotta hit it. Where in SF are you going to carry the sign? I lived there for six years. I would think Lombard would catch a lot of traffic, or even the Embarcadero. Wish I could be there!

Thanks for the support!

Styve

Election Fraud 11.May.2006 23:23

Joe Anybody

It took me a couple times of re-reading your suggestion
Before it made complete sense.
aaahhhhh all of a sudden it clicked....!!!!!!!!!!
My topic should be "ELECTION FRAUD"
which I now have corrected here -->
 http://www.joe-anybody.com/id50.html
And added the Brad Blog too!

THANKS !!!

And how right you are about the GOP using the verbiage .....
"Voter Fraud" as a media distraction and even worse .....as they were/are disenfranchising voters at the same time!

While not counting thousands of votes in Florida because their names "sort of" matched ex-felons they denied them their vote and the ethics of democratic elections is abused and corrupted.
They didn't count those votes while .....they were pushing through the media that
"Felons Were Voting and they needed stiffer controls, ID cards, or other added proof before being able to vote"
The tricking cheaters had manipulated the news story That Greg Palast was exposing by publishing headlines that inferred that their was cheating felons TRYING TO VOTE, not (of course) that they were removing legit voters votes
Watch video by Greg Palast 2001 Here -->  http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/cta/progs/newsnight/palast.ram

Yet they had wiped so many voters' names from the voter eligibility list that were not felons or didn't deserve to be denied the right to vote, that it is mind boggling that not many are up n arms over this atrocity

Denied The Right To Vote! Can you believe that?
ELECTION FRAUD IS EXACTLY WHAT IS HAPPENING

Thanks Styve!


Right on Joe!! Thanks for the props! 12.May.2006 13:08

Styve

At work, so will have to be short...

Glad to help, and I dig that you appreciated my suggestion! I first learned about the sleight-of-hand the GOP is pulling with the voter vs. election fraud thing when I attended the summit conference put on by the Voting Rights Coalition at the 1st Unitarian Church back last fall. Brad Friedman was an emcee, of sorts, and Clint Curtis and David(?)Cobb spoke.

More later, but perhaps we should start an Election Fraud topic and get people motivated to work on it?!

Thanks,
Styve

Styve ... 12.May.2006 17:25

Jody Paulson

I live on McAllister, by the Asian Museum. I walk to my internship (which is on Mission Street in SOMA) with it and back. Today I walked around city hall with it (it's kind of on the way). One lady mouthed "thank you" at me. It's really kind of neat to be able to actually *do* something about what's bothering you -- it seems like such a small thing -- but big things usually start out that way. Thanks for doing what you're doing.

That's Excellent Jody!! 13.May.2006 11:25

Styve

Hey there, and Happy Saturday!!

That is great, and I wonder if using Craigslist, you could motivate people to start expressing their feelings about the destruction of the fabric of America by BushCo?!?! Craig and I corresponded when someone flagged my posting on the activities board for Spontaneous Protests on the Hawthorne Bridge, which I defended as an activity, but he prevailed. I will post on the CL Politics board and here on Indy Media.

The other evening, I started jotting down ideas for new signs, and they just spilled out! I stopped to make dinner, or something, and later counted how many I had come up with, with little effort...eerie thing...the total was 43?@?@!! I was tickled that I had somehow stopped at the number associated with Bush's disastrous presidency.

Here are the first 43 and people should feel free to use. I am thinking about categorizing them into topical areas, and maybe which will overly antagonize certain pro-BushCo sects~~

1. BUSH WAGES WAR ON USA

2. BUSH HATES THE
US CONSTITUTION

3. BUSH - WAR CRIMINAL

4. FASCISM IS HERE,
BUSH MUST GO

5. BUSH HAS DONE NOTHING POSITIVE

6. DON'T NEED NO MORE LIES
--Neil Young

7. BUSH LIED,
SHOULD BE TRIED!

8. BUSH IS A LIAR,
SHOULD BE FIRED!

9. BUSH LIED,
JUSTICE WILL NOT ABIDE

10. WOULD YOU DIE FOR BUSH'S LIES

11. NEXT ORWELLIAN MISDIRECTION -
IRAN

12. NEOCONNED --
THE END OF THE USA?!?!

13. FAR RIGHT IS SO FAR WRONG

14. REALITY REQUIRES
BUSH BE GONE

15. NO HONEST REASON
TO ATTACK IRAN

16. HOSTAGES - 1979 - 52 IN IRAN
2006 - 130,000 IN IRAQ

17. WHAT HAS BUSH DONE
FOR YOU... EVER?

18. WHY SUPPORT EVIL?

19. IT'S WRONG TO
SUPPORT CORRUPTION

20. King George Bush (KGB)
WHERE'D THEY GET THIS GUY?

21. AS IRAQ BEFORE,
IRAN WILL SUFFER BUSH'S LIES

22. IT'S NOW OR NEVER -
MARTIAL LAW IS NEAR

23. IRAQ, TORTURE, KATRINA, NSA SPYING
... PISSED YET?!

24. CALL CONGRESS NOW!!
888 - 355 - 3588

25. BUSH HAS A SERIOUS
NAPOLEON COMPLEX

26. BUSH MEETS ALL
14 POINTS OF FASCISM

27. IS BUSH'S BUNKER
MOMENT SOON?!

28. OPEN YOUR EYES TO EVIL

29. ENABLING IS NOT
PATRIOTIC

30. OUSTING BUSH IS
TRUE PATRIOTISM

31. IT'S OUR DEMOCRACY!!
FIGHT FOR IT!!

32. DISSENT IS PATRIOTIC;
NOT THINKING IS NOT

33. BUSH NEEDS TO FEEL

34. BUSH NEEDS A SHRINK

35. BUSH IS PSYCHO

36. BUSH IS GAMING AMERICA

37. BUSH IS THE BADDEST...
OKAY... CAN WE END THE GAME?!

38. BUSH IS HELLA CHRISTIAN ??

39. BUSH WAS AWOL - HOW DARE HE?!

40. ARE YOU BUSH'S BASE?
IF NOT, HE CDN'T CARE LESS!!

41. SEE NO EVIL (key-draw line thru "NO")

42. WILL AMERICA RECOVER?
BUSH DIDN'T

43. UNITARY EXEC to
SOLITARY CELL... nice!!

Peace,
Styve

I don't know if you still read this, Styve ... 25.May.2006 17:44

Jody Paulson

(I couldn't find this post except by using the "search" option)
... but I went out with a new sign this morning, walking down Market St. several blocks to the Embarcadero and back:

IMPEACH
FOR
LYING,
TORTURE
AND
SPYING

I just want to let you know I've been sticking with it. When I read about stories like this  http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/crime/article570949.ece it just makes our free speech seem all the more precious and urgent. This is a great idea and we need to let more communities in on this.

I will look for you. Which briidge? 27.May.2006 20:45

susandiego

You go guy~!

Jody...I will repost...thanks! 28.May.2006 08:44

Styve

I need the post visible, because it is being noticed and inspiring people. I am working with a group proposing the Portland City Council adopt a Resolution for the Impeachment of Bush and Cheney, and a commissioner we talked with last week knew of me and my "Parade" effort, and he seemed touched by the commitment and pleased to meet me.

The leader of the group just sent me a note on the issue, and though I have not heard back from IndyMedia on the issue of reposting, that seems to be accepted protocol (e.g., the Schumachers' fur protest is posted about every week?!?). She said, "Last, please post that great essay on being a one-man parade on portland.indymedia—and with a byline. I filed it to PEN. It's a dandy, Styve, and will inspire others, as you'd hoped."

I like your sign!! My most recent one is a play on FDR's fear comment..."NOTHING TO FEAR BUT BUSH HIMSELF".

Peace,

Styve

san diego one man parade 28.May.2006 11:15

sandiegowoman dswalker33@sbcglobal,net

Let's hook up, I was on the corner where freeway 94 pours into downtown last Tuesday morning. It was great! My sign said BUSH BETRAYED THE TROOPS. WE CAN DO THIS!

Way to go, Styve! 04.Jun.2006 01:13

happycratic

Way to go, Styve!

What more can we do than put aside our fear of ridicule or retaliation, and broadcast where the censors cannot shut us up, or the police cannot pepper spray us?

Speaking of the "United States of Fascistic Theocracy", the following link is pretty graphic in its clarity.

 https://israel.indymedia.org/newswire/display/4667/index.php


Certificates are expired on links above... 06.Jun.2006 07:40

Styve

I appreciate the kudos, but the links have issues. Why the middle east allusion?

Styve

Mentally Ill??? 01.Sep.2006 03:29

Richard

Are you mentally ill? Sometimes, truly ill people will end up in the rain with politically motivated signs, ranting at the powers that be, and without even knowing that they've lost their minds.