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September 26, 2005

Got Democracy?
Posted by Lorelei Kelly

The march on Saturday was excellent and hugely gratifying. It looks like 100,000 people showed up (that's a conservative estimate by the DC police chief) I marched with friends from the Community of Celebration, a Christian community outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a mime, a poet and a novelist with her foot in a cast. The marchers were diverse, lots of military families, religious groups and American flags along with assorted anti-globalization activists. Mostly, though, I saw families, parents with their kids from toddlers to teenagers. Here is a list of my favorite signs:

End the Yee Haw Jihad!
Stop Mad Cowboy Disease!
Practice Abstinence, Pull Out Now!
Go Solar, Not Ballistic
Republicans for Impeachment!
Bush: Category 5 Disaster!
The Emporer is Buck Naked
Yee Haw is NOT a Foreign Policy
No Iraqis Left Me on the Roof to Die
Katarina Survivor, FEMA Victim

The anti-anti war protestors lined a good portion of Pennsylvania Avenue. The procession of marchers--as far as I could tell--just waved and gave them the peace sign. The pro-Bush crowd were so outnumbered, many of them looked shell-shocked.

The spirit of the march was so encouraging. What a great weekend. AND to top it all off, the Patriots won their game. Perfect.


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"AND to top it all off, the Patriots won their game. Perfect."


Thanks, Lorelei, for giving us a snapshot of the mass demonstrations quite unlike the one many of us have seen or read about elsewhere.

It is, of course, possible to be deeply patriotic, sincerely religious, and either for or against the war.

Jean Bethke Elshtain is an articulate supporter of the pro-war position. She is also a critical patriot and clear-eyed philosopher with roots in the Christian tradition.

I would be love to see her invited to a dialogue with an equally articulate supporter of the anti-war position. That might actually be you.

Don't be surprised if you get a phone call to that effect.

Any comments about International Answer and much of the blatant anti-semitism I heard? A friend of mine who was there and saw it and is EXTREMELY anti-war said she was disgusted and would never attend another one of these marches...

I actually didn't see much of ANSWER. But that's because I didn't make it to the mall for any of the speaking. I marched for nearly the entire time and my group (which included someone in a foot cast) got really tired at 4:30 and I ushered them back to maryland via metro. I'm sorry your friend had such a lousy impression. I do think, however, that the organizers got a sense of the dismay in not keeping tighter control over the participants and the message. We'll see if that changes anything.

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