The weather was cold, the dissent was hot. I got back a little while ago from the anti-war rally. Unlike Tom Moody, who was part of the crowds that the police kept away, I made it to First Avenue. I was marching with the truly fabulous GLAMericans, including Justin Bond, Cathay Che, Mike Albo, and Florent Morillet.
GLAMericans are a non-partisan group of funky Americans committed to non-violence and its promotion through glamorous, media-savvy, cultural events. We believe in Americas potential to be a peaceful and powerful force in the world. We believe that war is bad for our country, bad for our environment and bad for our travel plans.
Among the GLAMerican chants and signs:
- Glamour not War
- Dior not War
- Makeup not War -- sounds like "Make Love not War"
- Foreplay not Warplay
- Peace is not a Fringe Movement
- War is so last century
- Resistance is fertile
- Money for shopping, not for bomb dropping
- Fake Fur Real Peace
- Peace the Ultimate Luxury
- Couture not War
- Peace is Pretty
Other non-GLAMerican signs:
- Tony Blair / Yankee Poodle
- God Bless Hysteria
- The last time we listened to a Bush, we wandered in the desert for 40 years
I heard some of the speakers, including Desmond Tutu, Danny Glover, and Angela Davis. Poet Saul Williams read an awesome poem -- my favorite line was "Your prayers between rounds".
As Tom Moody indicated earlier, the crowd control was pretty ridiculous. There could have been more people around First Avenue, but the police were really trying to prevent huge crowds from getting there. There were also no portable toilets -- the police claimed they would be a "security hazard". Of course terrorists would hide bombs in those rather than cars and trucks. I heard stuff about arrests and police using horses to charge crowds on the radio, but I didn't see any of that where I was. Go read James on this topic.
I put some photos in the gallery area. My favorite thing I saw was a group of junior high or high school kids carrying images from Picasso's Guernica.
There is an AP story that was quoted at the rally by the moderator that talks about the U.S. and Great Britain maybe backing down a bit:
Rattled by an outpouring of anti-war sentiment, the United States and Britain began reworking a draft resolution Saturday to authorize force against Saddam Hussein.
Diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the final product may be a softer text that doesn't explicitly call for war.
P.S. Last night I saw National Guardsmen with automatic rifles and camouflage (in Manhattan?!) at two subway stations.