1.15.2005

january 20 approaches

I've decided against going to DC to protest the inauguration. I think it's a great thing to do, and I hope hundreds of thousands of people turn out, but I can't be among them.

I love big marches. I love the powerful feeling of unity, the comfort of being part of a huge crowd of people who all feel strongly enough to demonstrate. I love the spirit of community it fosters.

It can be a very emotional experience, as when the mall was blanketed by the AIDS quilt, the last time it was displayed in its entirety. (It became too big.) Allan and I were both overcome with the enormity of it, each square representing a life cut short. Not usually given to public displays, we could only stand and hold each other.

And it can also be a joyous experience, as when we reclaimed our city streets from the Republican convention, then reclaimed our park from government hacks.

But now I am so angry. So angry and sad and sometimes despairing about the fraudulent election and all it implies. And all the horror that will be visited on the world from it. I feel I can't go to Washington in a wholly negative state, all seething fury and grief. It will just make me feel worse. And because I'm so angry, I don't have the energy for it.

Some years back I would have felt guilty about not joining my fellow travelers at the barricades, but thankfully I've grown away from that. We can't all do everything. What counts is that we each do something.

5 comments:

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

Bush isn't a normal politician though. He seems totally oblivious to protests and doesn't even do the traditional waffling to avoid decisions and lose votes.

His supporters aren't normal either. They're fanatically loyal to him no matter what he does. Bush could probably pull out a gun and shoot Jacques Chirac in the middle of a crowd and the weirdos at Free Republic would cheer him on.

L-girl said...

Freepers: right you are. Great image. :)

But we don't protest the inauguration - or any of Bush's policies - to speak to him. We know he's not listening and doesn't give a shit what we think. It's more to raise a voice against him/them, to show that he is not acting in our names. I think that's a form of resistance.

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

True, but he should be listening. Usually a government goes on the defensive when you have massive protests like this, and usually the media goes on the offensive. Regardless of whatever bias the media itself has, usually they're always looking for the government to slip up. At least, that's how it works here. Even the Globe and Mail would go for the Liberal party jugular if it smelled blood. A flailing government is news, and the media is far more loyal to the dollar than it is to any political preference.

But somethings gone wrong south of the border. The media is now trying to defend and explain the government's actions, which seems opposite to what they're supposed to do. It seems wrong to have the media in bed with the government, regardless of what your political preferences are.

L-girl said...

You're absolutely right that he should be listening.

But he didn't listen when millions of people around the globe begged him to not invade Iraq, and we know he won't listen now. And the American media ignored that massive protest. "Liberal" (ha!) CNN acted like it hadn't happened, just continued to report on the Lacy Peterson trial, or was it JonBenet Ramsey...

L-girl said...

P.S. I couldn't remember the name of that poor little girl. I googled "father accused of killing daughter Colorado". We love the internet...