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!

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