I was pleased with the turnout for the recent ft. Lewis demonstration of support for Watada. There were at least 1,000 people at the first main rally, while we also maintained a continuous presence at the overpass and main gate.
I would estimate around 2000 to 3000 people circulated in and out of the demonstration throughout the day. Not bad for a cold, foggy, Monday in the no-mans land outside of Ft. Lewis.
There were a relative handful of counter-demonstrators at the rally. They expressed their opinions without incident, except for a report of some 'white-power' hoods showing up after most people had left, who were reportedly harassing people.
Aside from 2 main park rallies, there were two group processions to the front gate. The second procession included Bush, Cheney, Rice, and Rumsfeld in chains and stripes.
There were many passionate and moving anti-war and anti-racist speakers at the rallies, and Sean Penn even stopped by to say some encouraging words.
It was a hopeful event.
I think the mistrial is the best news possible for this week's trial. The media just finally stopped ignoring this case, expecting a lynching, and now they will have a harder time ignoring the issues that Mr. Watada raises.
Portland packed a near capactity charter bus to the demonstration. We watched "Sir, No Sir" on the way home- a must see for peace wariors.
If there is a new trial, I hope to double our presence at the gate. Thank you to all who supported this event.