Saturday, March 17, 2007

Tulsa anti-war rally

My partner and I joined my parents and several hundred other people at the Tulsa anti-war rally and march today. The event was organized by the Tulsa Peace Fellowship, along with Pastors for Peace and several other local organizations. I had made a sign for the event that read, "USA Out of Vietnam Iraq," which drew quite a bit of attention. I was even interviewed and photographed by the local paper.

The rally was held at the local Unitarian Church and featured an hour of short speeches, music & poetry. Nancy Moran, a leader in the Tulsa Peace Fellowship, emceed. She began the rally with a call and response of "all life is precious!" She then introduced Three Penny Upright, a local folk band, who performed a song called "Party All Night" that mocked war profiteers and the military industrial complex.

There was also a speaker from the so-called "9/11 Truth" movement, people who believe that 9/11 was some kind of government plot. Frankly, I think that's a little bit farfetched, and I'm not terribly happy that conspiracy theorists were invited to speak at this event.

Reverend Mary McAnally, a leader in Pastors for Peace and a noted local poet and activist, read a poem in which she imagined a negotiation between herself and the President about what words in the English language each of them could have. "You can't have any word that you can't pronounce," she said to the President, who didn't realize he was giving up all things "nucular." Her poem ended with a defiant "You can have "control" over my dead body!" There was tremendous applause.

After Rev. McAnally's poem, I headed over to the sidewalk next to the street and waved my sign. Near me were several young children holding signs from, which seeks to boot Bush out of office. The response from drivers passing by was definitely mixed, but everyone certainly took notice.

After some singing by the church choir and a rousing speech by the pastor, we followed a chorus of drumbeats out onto the sidewalk and down into a rather trendy part of town, invading the lives of yuppie revelers celebrating St. Patty's day. The phalanx of marchers was huge, and we definitely drew attention. Some drivers yelled very silly things out of their cars at us, while others gave us the peace sign and honked their horns in excited support.

I found that the number of people who supported us far outstripped the number of people booing or giving us the finger or shouting belligerently at us. We were a peaceful but vociferous crowd, a long, angry line of people who have had enough of Bush's criminal regime and its lies.

I would imagine there were at least 300 people there, if not more. I'm not very good at estimating numbers; I would suggest people look in the Tulsa World tomorrow, take their estimate, and double it.

I'll have some good photos up from the rally and march soon; I'm just waiting for them to come back on a photo CD so I can upload them. I also have photos from a digital camera but I can't find the cord to hook it up to my computer, so as soon as I locate that, I'll post those photos as well.