Monday, August 30, 2004

A Grand Old Party

Some lite demonstrations at Union Square on Saturday... Good to see Blimpies is representing...

Followed by the cacaphonous "Ring Out" at Ground Zero. This seemed like a great idea, and it was insomuch as it got people to openly express both their grieving over the WTC and their grievances with the Bush regime. But musically? My buddy, Mike, was there recording sound for a docudrama film project (see smiling sound guy pict). I'll get some recording and post that at some point, if you can't already imagine what hundreds of hand bells (most of which were the small free ones they handed out) would sound like ringing in disaccord.

The big march on Sunday had a rally on the north side of Union Square, which represents a good diversity of issues people want to air in a public forum. Maybe not so united here, but the anger was palpable.

And then we marched. Actually shuffled is more the pace of it, with at least one "traffic jam" keeping our group stationery for nearly 45 minutes after our triumphant march one block west of union square. I was marching with my friends Ben, gina and sharon and we all got separated for a while, so I squeezed my way onto 7th Avenue to find the sidewalks along the march pretty free and easy from the outside.

After reuniting with my group at a restaurant along 7th Ave, we took a break from marching to have a beer and water. The restaurant was shockingly empty considering how crowded the streets were. Then we resumed marching up in the streets with traffic getting slower and tighter up near MSG. Around this time, Ben started to panic and he bolted from the march, convincing police to let him and Gina through on 32nd street in spite of the blocks in place. I kept pace with the crowd, getting into the chants and rants: a lot of anti-fox news sentiment, anti-bush sentiment and anti-rich assholes at the msg sentiment. Fortunately, not too much anti-cop stuff going on, and the police were always OK with me taking pictures of them along the route.

Unsurprisingly, there were some rows breaking out on 34th st. in front of Macy's where some of Bush's supporters decided it was a good idea to hold up signs of military symbols and messages of TRUST JESUS on display. The most exciting action was the silly string being sprayed by some of the protesters at the GOP supporters, which raised the ire of the police trying to prevent any fights from breaking out. Really, my opinion of how they handled themselves was reasonable and smart and I witnessed no arrests during the whole march, which was four and a half hours total from my end.

I was considering heading up to central park for the potential rally/chaos on the great lawn, but I was tired and was out of memory on my camera. There was one group nice enough to offer free food at the end of the journey in Union Square, but after looking in their bins, decided I'd fare better on my own... i went home, grilled some burgers and got drunk on woodchuck pear ciders. Life was good.

Benjamin also has pictures up from our adventures Sunday - he's over at

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