April 6, 2007

In Defense of our March 18 Rally

Recently the Transistor newsletter carried an article criticizing the Northland Anti-War Coalition for holding its most recent protest during the weekend. The article poked fun about how the Federal Building, the site of the rally, was closed, as well as how the protesters weren't sacraficing as much as Civil Rights protesters in the 1950s who were attacked by police dogs were. Below is a response written by Mike Rogge, one of the speakers at the March 18 rally.
In response to the article about the anti-war rally on March 18th:

As the author of said article alluded to, the anti-war rally on March 18th was a way to commemorate the 4th anniversary of the war in Iraq. In hindsight, perhaps we should have had the text on our picket signs studded with blue topaz, the gemstone used to commemorate 4th year wedding anniversaries. I can imagine the words "no blood for oil" all the more powerful with a sparkly blue hue to it, as it blinds passers by. Gaudiness aside, it would have been incredibly relevant, as blue topaz is also the Texas state gemstone.

But then again, perhaps it is a good thing that we didn't. As it turns out, the federal building was closed that Sunday, as it is on every Sunday! All of that time creating those works of art would have been for naught, as there would have been no clerks, police officers, or judges on staff to see the fruits of our labor. Yes unfortunately, upon arrival at the federal building, the protestors only then realized that they had to wait until the next day, Monday the 19th, to pay their new found parking tickets nestled comfortably under their snow free windshield wipers. I'm certain that at the next anti-war rally, this tremendous oversight will be remedied.

The 4th anniversary of the invasion happened to be that following Tuesday, March 20th. We decided to hold the march on the preceding Sunday, because most people work during the week. The federal building was simply a symbol. We had no mandate to deliver to the clerk of court, we were simply excercizing our democratic right to assemble. I'd also like to point out that the details of these rallies are democratically decided upon by the rank and file of our organization at our monthly planning meetings (2nd Sunday [except Sunday the 8th] of every month, 2pm, at the Chester Creek Cafe). So, anybody who does have a strong sentimental attachment to any particular day of the week, could bring said sentiments to said planning meetings.

And the fact that we weren't clubbed to a bloody pulp by counter protestors certainly wasn't our fault.

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