Sunday, September 25, 2005

9/24/05 24th Street and Camelback Road

We settled in on the northwest corner to be in the shade. That's one of the really nice things about tall buildings, and it's why I think we need a lot more here: they make shade, of which we have too little.

The Code Pink ladies were there, some of whom are apparently of highschool age. Generally speaking most of the crowd was what you might call "older," but all ages were represented. My favorite sign, carried by a young lad, read "Kindergartners for Peace."

You have to stop and let that sink in.

A reporter from the local Fox affiliate (I think I linked the right one, but I did see a lot of faces,) asked to interview me on camera and I quickly and politely got in all my talking points, assuring that my image will be left on the floor of the editing room. I mentioned how the cost of the war would personally come to bear on her, and she said "Wow. And I just bought a house."

My spouse was also interviewed. A Code Pink lady tapped my shoulder to tell me she thought I "did really well" and I thanked her very much.

Everybody got a laugh out of the Billionaires for Bush. Some looked a little warm in their black tuxedos. They had funny signs and slogans like "Corporations Are People Too" and "Leave No Billionaire Behind."

Their humorous street theatre contrasted with the profound impression made by the Women in Black and the people carrying white crosses, one cross for each Arizonan who has so far died on the field of Bush's crazy dreams of war.

Hats off to the Phoenix Police. The city's finest cleared the curb lanes of 24th Street and Camelback west of the Biltmore as a safety precaution while we strolled down to Senator Kyl's office. (No link for Kyl, because he won't respond to any of your e-mail anyway. Well, maybe if you give him cash, but I have never done that.)

One of the bicycle policemen said "Next year!" as we walked by. "I have to retire, then I'll be with you next year."

There was a reading of the names of Arizona's war dead, and a presentation of a letter to Kyl. Can that guy even read? Or is he dyslexic like Bush?

People honked their car horns and made peace signs. The crowd stretched, in a very well-organized and efficient manner thanks to The People With Bullhorns, to the 22nd Street intersection and crossed over to the south side of Camelback, stopping between the corporate steakhouse and 24th. There a car blocked that loading-area drive (why did she stop there? I wondered. It doesn't go anywhere,) and the woman in it dared us to "touch her car." A policeman politely said she could not block the drive, and she left. In a huff.

There were still protestors waiting to leave the original corner. Both sides of Camelback for two whole blocks were lined three-deep with people and their signs.

A driver gave a one-fingered salute that seemed to just glance off me, as it looked like he was aiming it more towards the two highschool girls next to us. Weirdo. There was very little of that, actually, and when it did occur the crowd immediately responded with a loud chant of "Enlist! Enlist!"

It was all very normal. About the wierdest thing I saw, aside from the pink-tutu guy (every party has to have at least one of those!) was a Prius driver who gave us the finger. Beemers and Jags, I could expect that maybe, though most drivers of those models honked and waved peace signs too. But a Hybrid driver? That I did not get.

Many thanks to all the groups and individuals who I have failed to mention.

Veterans for Peace
Arizona Alliance for Peaceful Justice
Cost of War

And many, many others.


MEC said...

One of the bicycle policemen said "Next year!" as we walked by. "I have to retire, then I'll be with you next year."

You just cherish moments like those, the evidence that "the Establishment" is on our side. On Labor Day 2001, I was part of a crowd protesting Bush's presence at the Teamsters' Labor Day picnic (the crowd included an impressive number of people in Teamsters t-shirts). A couple of mounted police officers and a Secret Service agent stood in the middle of the street between us and the hall. Somebody came out of the Teamsters Hall and said, "It's been 50 years since we've had a president at our picnic, and as far as I'm concerned, we still haven't!" And I saw the Secret Service agent laugh.

Goddam Liberal said...

Hi dude, I wish I could have been there but I had to be somewhere else. I did manage to drive through on the way home, to honk my horn and give moral support. My favorite was the little kid with the "Stop Mad Cowboy Disease" sign. I also saw him at a vigil I attended at Central and McDowell last month. I blogged about the experience here - unfortunately my web hosting company is screwing around and the site hasn't been up the last few days, hopefully it will come back soon.

Eli Blake said...

What the people in the Bush administration don't get is that this has grown way beyond Cindy Sheehan. A lot of people wonder what we are still doing there, because every excuse they have made has fallen flat.

I've thought long and hard about it, and the only governments or organizations I can think of who are better off for our invading Iraq are Iran (everything they ever dreamed of accomplishing during the Iran-Iraq war, is now within their grasp, courtesy of the new Constitution) and al-Qaeda (free to plan, facilitate and launch attacks in the US, England and other western countries, attacks which you can be sure do not involve Iraq in the process of planning, facilitating and carrying them out.) Can you think of ANY successes that Bush has had on ANYTHING?

SassyNurse said...

I am proud of everyone who took the time to do this. It takes courage to stand up for what you beleive even when you have so many others that agree with you. Why I won't go into why I beleive your right, I just wanted to say thanks to the folks who are standing up and making their point for the ones like me that want to, but for whatever reason (sometimes excuse) are unable to.

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