So Archie and I wandered out to Central Park a few Sundays ago (for a walk and a cigar respectively) and we found ourselves in the midst of a political rally. Or rather, in between two political rallies.
The first and larger group was an anti-war rally. The second was a smaller (yet louder) pro-war (and decidedly anti anti-war protester) rally.
A few notes from the rainy sidelines:
- The anti-war protest was much more organized — they reserved and paid to use a field in the park; they set up small knee high stage set up for speakers; they had numerous small but identical signs amongst the protesters.
- The pro-war protest was really just to protest the anti-war rally. They had more flags and were certainly louder, but were consistently told (and escorted) by the police to move away from the anti-war rally.
- A nice story from an old women on the anti-war side: She was on the subway heading to the protest and was sitting with her sign. It read, “Arrest Cheney” in white letters on a black background. A person on the subway read the sign and yelled out, “What about Bush?” to which she merely flipped the sign over which read, “Arrest Bush,” on the other side. The subway erupted in laughter and cheers.
- The pro-war protesters had lots of chants which we’re loud but mostly just strange:
- “Casey was a hero, Cindy is a zero!” (bashing the mother of a dead soldier seems like a bad strategy if you’re pro-war)
- “War freed the slaves, war saved the Jews, anti-war racists go home!” (comparing peace activists with racists also seems like a bad strategy — especially given the history of the Republican Party and the Southern Strategy)
It was about this time that the rhetoric, the nicotine and the rain became too much for us and we took off.
Is it any wonder that we’re divided?