Thursday, May 04, 2006

Viva La RevoluciĆ³n!

Monday, May 1st, having nothing better to do (the job search continues), I went down and joined the huge "Day Without Immigrants" march from a church in the Central down to the federal courthouse. All in all, it was a strange and fantastic experience. As someone who's never really been to a march or protest before (except unwillingly of course; I did live in Eugene), I came to see how the entire affair could become addictive. After all, you're there, surrounded by a large group of people who more or less vehemently agree with you. Sort of heady.

On the other hand, I know well that such things rarely work, which has been the main force keeping me from ever attending political rallies and so on. My education in such methods took place in the halcyon days in the wake of the WTO protests here in Seattle. Eugene got more than its fair share of credit for the affair due to our contingent of "anarchists" (I use ironic quotes since I can't really take them and their ilk seriously), and the effect was a ratcheting up of political activism, particularly on the anti-globalist front. The 1999-2000 school year saw the infamous anti-sweatshop protests against Nike, during which our fearless college political elite arranged photo-ops of themselves getting arrested for trespassing by staying in the administration building after closing; all in all a sad and depressing affair that reached its zenith when former Black Panther leader Bobby Seals made an appearance before an adoring crowd. The administration's response? Concede to the protestors' demands and then, over the summer when the kids were gone, slowly back pedal.

And so really, who'd want to be part of that?

But I have to give it the immigration reform movement here. They've organized and made their demands clear, and furthermore, they're fairly reasonable demands. Plus, my own experience working with likely illegals back when I was struggling through my college years working at McDonald's gave me some first hand appreciation of these guys (and gals, to be fair). So I was happy to lend a hand. The only troublemakers were the extreme left hangers-on, a blow horn wielding communist group of some sort and some annoying college socialists, one of whom implied that all the pictures I was taking (see above) were of women's asses; I couldn't tell if it was a joke or not, because if it wasn't, my assumed voyeurism didn't deter him from his proselytizing, and if it was, that seems a bit risque for a lefty who embraces every cause to come along. Surely pictures of women's asses must somehow offend the delicate sensibilities of bleeding heart college radicals. But I digress.

Aron and I had a fine time marching in the hot sun (though the day was pleasantly cool due to a nice breeze), but we missed the end rally at the courthouse to sojourn to the J&M Cardroom and Cafe down in Pioneer Square for beer and steaks.


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