Sunday, August 29, 2004

Will they be ignored tomorrow? 

For hours, I have been glued to C-SPAN, watching decent people marching peacefully in the streets of New York City, exercising their constitutional right for a redress of grievances.

From across America they came -- young and old of every race and ethnicity -- to tell George W. Bush and the Republicans what they think of them and their wars, imperialism and injustices.

Four hours have now passed and a sea of humanity still fills Seventh Avenue, which runs past the Garden, as far as the eye can see. In the sweltering heat and humidity of a New York August day, the spirits of the demonstrators are still high and good-natured, even when confronted with handfuls of taunting Bush supporters on the sidewalks; Bush supporters protected by police.

Currently, a procession of people carrying flag-draped coffins -- representing the coffins of the fallen troops Bush did not want Americans to see -- is moving up Seventh Avenue toward the Garden, where the Republican National Convention will convene tomorrow.

From my vantage point, this has to be the biggest street demonstration the Big Apple has yet to see. But will it make a difference or will the Bushies and the GOP brush it off as a meaningless “focus group,” the way Bush brushed off the demonstrations that preceded his illegal invasion of Iraq? Will it be back to business tomorrow for the Republicans in the safety of the fortress atmosphere that will surround Madison Square Garden?

Will people across America see any of this if they aren’t watching C-SPAN? Will it make a difference if they do? Can we rid ourselves of Bush’s lies, fear and hate?

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