Anti-War Protest

I attended the Minneapolis anti-war protest Saturday, in solidarity with millions of other people on seven continents (including Antarctica) opposed to Bush's unilateral war. With up to two million protesting in each Spain and the UK, the total for the protest could be around 10 million people. I think this world-wide outpouring for a single cause is unprecidented, and really encouraging.

The protest was great. We gathered at Lagoon and Hennipen, near the Library. My group got there at about 12:30. I bought one of Women Against Military Madness's "SAY NO TO WAR WITH IRAQ" signs (what can I say, I'm too lazy to make a sign). People honked as they drove by to huge cheers. Some cars were filled with protesters looking for a place to park. Other's hurled epithets: "War is God's will!" shouted one. But most were positive. I tried to get a feel for the number of people by getting up high, but it was hard to tell. There was this one guy from Veterans for Peace shouting obsence things about Bush. "I didn't serve 5 years on a nuclear submarine fighting the communists to have the right wing turn into worse than communists!" He was pretty cool. There was another Veteran for Peace who wrapped himself in plastic and duct tape.

I did see a couple of counter-protesters with signs that said "Liberate Iraq" and "Peace through Force / Support the U.S.M.C." But they were quickly overwhelmed and I lost track of them.

Somehow, the word went out: We're marching! Everyone poured into the street, trapping cars who were still going by. I was sure we were going to get harassed by the cops for this -- did we even have a permit? But nothing happened. I didn't even see any cops until the end of the march. The orgainizers herded us into the right two lanes of the stree so cars could get by going the other way. Even though we caused a massive traffic jam, people were still honking for us. There was a fire truck driving around with a sign on it that said "My Government, Not My War". We cheered and waved at that.

When we got to the free way underpass, I again tried to get a sense of the size of the crowd. The road slopes down there, so looking behind me I could see a mass of people carrying signs. It was awesome. Our protest may not have been as large as those in NYC or LA, but it was ours, and I was proud.

The march ended at Loring park and sort of petered out. A lot of people milled about in the street celebrating and dancing. Others tried to listen to the speeches at the rally, but there were too many people to hear. We lsitened for a while. It was the usually lefty stuff, but there was a good speech from a lawyer from the Minnesota Bill of Rights Defense Committee.

Media coverage for our protest was positive. Star Tribune: Thousands in Minneapolis take to the street to protest war.

Favorite signs

There were a lot of really creative signs. I wish I could remember them all. A lot of really funny signs used duct tape, satirizing the Department of Homeland Security's advice to stock up on it. There were peace signs made out of duct tape, signs worded in duct tape, people duct taping signs to themselves. Just more proof that duct tape can be used for anything!

Duct Tape Bush

Draft the Bush Twins

Draft SUV Drivers

Atheists for peace

No more Bush It

Lick Bush, Stop War

George Bush: Rendering political satire obsolete since 2000

How can we pick the Iraqi government if we can't pick our own?

I came up with a chant that some people thought was funny:

Bush cannot enunciate / How could he diplominate?