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It Rained On Our Parade Today.........

It rained on our Parade today, nourishing the seeds of Justice lying long fallow in the American Dream.
It rained on our Parade today, germinating in compassionate hearts a resolve to further resist the illegal and immoral actions of a criminal government.
It rained on our Parade today, rinsing Truth in a flood of Community Spirit.

Thousands of people gathered together in the South Park Blocks near Portland State University in Portland Oregon today, March 15, 2008, to commemorate the 5th year of the Iraq invasion and Occupation, which began on March 19, 2003.
Despite the drizzle, the rain, the downpours and even the hail at one point, the event was well attended.

The rally began about 2:00, with the March beginning sometime around 2:30. The few speakers distilled their message down to brief presentations, and I believe the overall event benefited by this brevity.
Escorted by numerous Portland Police the crowd filled the streets for about 5 or 6 city blocks, fairly tightly packed, as they walked the 23 or so blocks through downtown Portland back to the Park blocks. As usual the street was filled with creative signs, puppets, peace cranes, and punctuated by enthusiastic chants on peace, anti-Bush and anti war themes, and the Marching Forth Band added their special dimension to the Parade.

But,thanks in great part to the many informational tents, booths and literature being handed around, the focus wasn't merely on specific peace and anti-war issues. Empire is much more than just war, occupation and war profiteering. Empire arises in a country where Community values are subordinated to Nationalistic fevers; where fear mongering displaces the natural love people have for one another, where respect for the unknown, the different, the strange are replaced by suspicion and hostility.

The Palestinians, the Iraqi, the Tibetans, refugees from oppression worldwide stood beside and in support of the Immigrant and the beleaguered American worker, victims of unfair Trade policies and Corporate greed.
Everywhere I walked there Youth stood up and out, perhaps more than I have ever seen before, as it should be. They are the hope, not the Obama's and Clinton's, the miselected Democratic and Republican lackeys, steeped in cash and Corporruption.

And too, everywhere, Veterans stood out and delivered their message from inside the beast they once mistakenly served, these brave souls who have been to the battlefields of Viet Nam, Iraq and Afghanistan, have arrived victorious from the battlefields of their own doubts and uncertainties and now rise above the derision and ridicule of hawks and chicken hawks.

America can never get back to what it once was, because it never was that, never really implemented the grand visions espoused in the noble words of its founding documents. But we are, as a nation, straying further and further away, from even that crippled and unfinished promise.

There are those who wonder why we march, why we protest, who mockingly ask what good it does. Yet, these events demonstrate that there are many who believe in Social Justice, who have faith in Human Nature, who believe in the equality of all people. If we can not live it as a nation, there must be those who demonstrate in the streets to keep this faith, this eventuality alive and circulating.

Yes, it rained, but it did not dampen the Spirit of Community, did not sour the mood or dim the Faith that the Human Spirit is equal to the task before us all: A World Without War.

homepage: homepage: http://www.PhilosopherSeed.org


just so you know 15.Mar.2008 22:08

Generation Betrayed

I cant click on or enlarge the pictures.

finally you will admit it! 16.Mar.2008 09:51

anarchofembot

You finally admit that that abomination of a "rally" was actually a parade! I have been feeling sick to my stomache since yesterday at the idea that people thought that they were coming to a protest.

Well... 16.Mar.2008 13:02

Bash

It was a parade... we didn't even chant anything. I mean look at it, a parade get's permission from the city and has large groups of people with floats and puppets and music circle around downtown, and everyone goes home giving themselves a pat on the back. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that exactly what happened yesterday? Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, but calling it a protest would be a little far-fetched.

I agree 16.Mar.2008 14:58

virago

I danced because I love to dance but I felt very empty afterwards. This rally did not have one tenth of the fire that the 2004 rally did, the last time I came up to march in Portland. It was a street party and many important components were missing: the blac bloc, the Radical Cheerleaders, radical activists in bigger numbers.
A party is good but we do not need any more lies, especially from the speakers:
" Hold on, a change is coming." What kind of change? Nothing that will effect my life or even yours.
We have got to organize for a general strike. Even in little baby steps.
That will be the start of a change.
Please do not talk to me about voting and presidential candidates.
What has that gotten us?!

What's the point anymore? 17.Mar.2008 18:35

???????????

Last year I attended to protest and after that experience I didn't see any point going this year. Numerous people were the victims of police brutality. They were simply standing on the sidewalk, and they were targeted. However, I repeatedly heard from people that they had it coming. They didn't have it coming. My understanding is that the whole purpose to these protests is to draw attention to the crimes being committed by our government, and to unify people behind the burning desire to rid the corporate elite and war mongers who profit off of killing. Yet, when crimes are being committed right in front of your faces by the PPD you rationalize it. How do any of you ever expect the majority of American's to unify behind your message when you can't even unify with the person next to you. You feel compassion for everyone involved in the war in Iraq, but you feel contempt for your fellow marchers. Innocent people were targeted by the PPD and one day that could be me. If you don't help out the others then it is really not safe for any of us to attend.

Audio Files of M15 Rally 17.Mar.2008 19:22

Jim Lockhart jglockhart@comcast.net

A 22 minute file of the speakers at the Rally on Saturday, March 15, 2008.

For a list of the speakers go to PDX Peace

M15 Rally Audio, RealPlayer

M15 Rally Audio, MP3



Wake Up 17.Mar.2008 23:03

Proud American Soldier

I have been to Iraq and Afghanistan and returned safely. I beleive we are doing what is right in the area. We were attacked on our soil by a masked enemy. Much the same as the anarchists mask themselves during your WAR Protest not peace Rally. I have seen the thanks given to us by the people of both those countries. I have see schools opened for young girls in Afghanistan and I have see them vote. They have been freed from a hatefull dictator and a hatefull regime. We have freed two nations from the world of hate and we must stay the course to ensure our peace and the safety of our children. We also must maintain the freedoms which each of you use very openly. I may not agree with what you say and do during protests. But I will fight and die for your right to do so. 911 was not an inside job. Say it was to a familly member who was killed in the planes, towers, and the pentagon and see what they say. I guarentee you wont like there response. You have a few soldiers who beleive in what you do but you have more that beleive in the cause of freedom. I finish this posting with. "I am proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free and wont forget the ones who died who gave that right to me" GOD BLESS THE USA. GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS. And may we all come home when the job is done. Hooah