Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Rally

The rally was much larger than I expected, though truth be told I had no idea how many people were expected to show. The estimates were around 1,400 people. This apparently was at least the same in all the other 49 state capitals on the same day. A site JoinTheImpact got things started and it took off from there in just 4 days!

I forgot my camera, but luckily A Captured Image's photos are available at Flickr, including this one with some of the many, many signs.

We gathered at the legislative building and had several speakers. The rain held out until the politician (who was it?) and then it opened up the skies. He stayed on with his speech, the rain let up and we marched around the capital and protested in front of the governors mansion.

This was the first real protest march I've been in. I did march on washington back in the 90's but that was more of a huge festival. This was local and did one thing, protest. The organizers were Wes Elliot and Tom Greene. I know of Wes through his monthly gay happy hours around town, but Tom is new to me. I suspect however that this isn't the last time we see him.

There was one identifiably feature about all of the people gathered. They were all people of pallor. When I first noticed that I took a good look around and found only one black man. I can't say that I was looking for latinos but I don't remember any. Mostly it was youth or middle class.

There were no counter protests, I guess they didn't have time to organize. Or, since all the ones we seem to get are from out of state, they had others capitals to pick from. As we rounded the capital building a white bus with darkened glass went past. How they got around with the snarled traffic I have no idea, but when we came to it again several black men were jeering out the back windows. Wes stood opposite and kept everybody moving along.

Afterwards I was supposed to meet with the ski group. But along with forgetting my camera I also forgot my wallet. So I popped home, picked them up and went back. They were meeting in the Flying Saucer, but when I spent 15 minutes at the bar trying to get his attention I finally gave up and went to the Burrough instead. This was at least an hour after the march had ended. Wes & Tom both were there along with a couple of friends / organizers getting a burger. No big party, no huge todo, they were decompressing before heading on...who knows maybe there was a party waiting for them elsewhere.

A week ago nobody was even talking about protests, and in just a few days all 50 capitals. Not too bad!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rally to Protest Prop 8

It looks like there are going to be a few protests across the country this weekend in protest to proposition 8 that passed in California. As a matter of fact, a few rally just in my neck of the woods itself.

There are two rallies, one at Duke University in Durham and another on the Capital Steps in Raleigh. I'm going to the political one in Raleigh. The dates for them are:

  • Captial Rally: Saturday 11/15, 1:30 to 3:00 p.m.
    NC Capital Building, One East Edenton Street, Raleigh, NC
  • Equality Conference on Saturday at Duke

The Equality Conference is something already planned with several speakers at symposiums I guess. It just seems that the Capital one will have a lot more energy. Plus I don't think the University folks are really me.

Have you ever watched Queer as Folk? In season two or three there was the lesbian and gay center that really did not like Brian. They were the folks that did good thing in the commmunity. Thats just it, all good. Thats what the conference feels like. I'll join Brian and his buddies in the state capital.

This looks like the real rally across the country. Winston-Salem is getting something started. Charlotte, well....they do their own thing, not part of the state really. Initial rally attempts to rise up against the Mormon Church fizzled, thank god. We're not at war with holy people even if they are with us sometimes. I'm a karma kind of guy, it just fits.

I'll try to take pictures.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hiking Hanging Rock Park

Sunday was a day trip out to Hanging Rock State Park, just outside of Danbury, NC. It was quite a day, and I was whooped at the end, but it felt good. We came away mostly uninjured, one person came close to knee problems, another just got beat down. But the rest of us, 15 total, came through fine.

Here are a few pictures from the hike (larger resolutions on clicks). We did around 10 miles with ascents of 650' to 750'. The weather was nice though, getting to around 60 and mostly sunny. But let me tell you that it got cold when we made it to the watch tower and a cloud wafted by along with a breeze!

This is the valley looking north westerly. Off in the distance is Pilot Mountain, which for you Griffith folks you may have heard of as Mount Pilot
One of the several rock cliffs we scaled
Lunch time
The lookout tower, our final destination and the stone steps leading up to the lookout tower. We ended up only going down the steps since we came around the back way. Walking down steps is harder than you think, especially these ones....
This is most of our group, and as you can see most of the leaves are off the trees. I was hoping to catch the fall foilage but it peaked last week, dangit!

It was a fun day, and quite tiring. I can promise that dinner last night tasted especially good!