Tuesday, November 19, 2002

On Sunday I went up to Vancouver, BC for a large march and peace rally. Despite the overcast skies and rain the crowd was in a festive mood. Organizers estimated the crowd at over 10,000. I carried a sign reading “Another American against the War” and received many smiles and positive comments from those reading it.

I few weeks ago I had a conversation with a friend who tried to argue that protestors at the recent rallies were making a “political” but not a “moral” statement because they were condemning US actions but not Saddam Hussien. Of course this friend had not attended any rallies. At Sunday almost every speaker made a point of condemning Saddam’s actions. The last speaker was an Iraqi-Canadian. He said, “We are against Bush, but we are also against ‘the enemy’ (Saddam Hussien). We are against war.”

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

I spent about an hour yesterday supporting a group of people that did a small protest at our local armed forces recruiting station. You can read my article about the action on Seattle Indymedia. There was also an article in the Bellingham Herald (link expires after two weeks).

While the police were talking to the three women blocking the entrance I talked with a couple of bystanders. The conversation revealed to me just how misinformed some segments of the American public are. One woman insisted that Saddam has rockets that could reach the U.S. Not even the most hawkish people in the Bush administration are making that claim! Also disturbing was her obvious ignorance of the Arabic world. She seemed to consider all of “them” to be terrorists.

The bystanders I talked to also questioned the basic tenants of what we were doing – nonviolent civil disobedience. I asked if they had read Thoreau’s essay on Civil Disobedience. Only one of them had and she said it was “boring.” It is a same that one of the most influential documents in American political thought is either unknown or considered too boring to be of any worth.