Roughly 70 students and their allies marched 3 miles from Central High in St Paul to the Capitol. At the Capitol they joined around 400 other people in a protest against government policies, including the war in Iraq.
I arrived before the starting time of noon and saw the students unfurling bright yellow flags with red hands on them. Each one said Stop the War and also included the YAWR URL. For those of you who don’t know, YAWR stands for “Youth Against War and Racism.”
It was a great day for a march and it was long into the march that everyone began chanting. I wish I could remember some of the chants. One seemed to have a hip-hop beat and it was about Bush bombing people.
I was near the front of the group when I learned that the police had stopped two of the march’s participants. I dropped back to find out what was going on. I learned from one of the students that during the first part of the march, a driver pulled his car into a crosswalk in an attempt to block the students’ passage. At the same time the driver began yelling obscenities at the students. He reportedly said “F**K liberals,” repeatedly. Next, a passing girl kicked his car. A police officer came on the scene and stopped two male students because the driver accused them of kicking his car. After the student explained what the driver had done, the officer wasn’t very sympathetic to the driver’s complaint. There was no damage to his car and he had disrupted a peaceful event. This side issue isn’t that important, but I thought I would mention it because it’s a metaphor for the Neocons who still support Bush and his policies. What is their response to disagreements? Anger, hate, and finger pointing – and their positions are not based on data -- they are willing to say anything they need to in order to accomplish their goals. As one of my photos below points out --- “let’s stop the war on brains.”
At the capitol, the group from Central High joined hundreds of other protesters who filled the capitol steps and much of the plaza below. The program included several speakers and folk music. The event ended with some witty and vivacious cheer leaders. I talked with them after their performance and asked them to email me some of their cheers. If I receive them in time to add them to my story I will. This is a time when I wish I had brought my portable MP3 player.
Enjoy the photos. I have a few more here at pbase.com/kayakbiker. Look under recent galleries.