So this weekend was my first ever protest. A few of us went up to Bath for a protest with, Americans against the Escalation of the Iraq War, or something like that, because thats the nearest office of our representative, Randy Kuhl. We had about 14 people in attendance and I was even given the task of speaking to the media.
Now the reality of it and then the positive. Kuhl's office is down a side street where the only traffic was the beer truck supplying the shady bar across the street, a couple folks leaving the bar at noon, and finally the two homeless/crazy people that seemed to be alternately following and leading us. We had a poster with Kuhl's "Report Card" on the war so it was decided that we should have "students" hand him his report card. We had two very nice corning residence come who were 19 and 20 and lacking anyone else under 50 save for the organizer that left only yours truly as close enough to a student. And it was decided that I should speak first, ugh. luckily the "media" was about as intimidating as the crowd, we had one guy show up from the local bath weekly paper, the Courier Advocate. Not that I'm complaining, every little bit helps. Then we entered Kuhl's office, we wasn't in, and we all left our contact info with the secretary who was very pleasant which actually surprised me a little. We are going to have a group meeting with Kuhl at some point, that should be fun. So the protest itself, honestly not terribly impressive, but it was great and I'll explain why.
Bath is a town of about 5,000 people and its the county seat that should be enough to explain the region were talking about, this is small town stuff, AKA it might be NY but we do have rednecks. To really drive that point home we went and had lunch after at the local dinner, as soon as we walked in I noticed the "freedom isn't free" and "welcome to america, now speak english" stickers in the window, then looked up at the anti-war shirts of the two people I was walking in with and a couple dirty looks from patrons. But thats the worst we ever got a couple of dirty looks, and to be honest for all I know thats just what that guys face normally looks like. So now on to the positive we walked along the main street of the small downtown of one of the most republican areas of NY carrying signs about ending the war and we received a few honks with arm pumps of support from smiling drivers, other shouts of yeah! from cars and several people we walked passed stopped us to talk, all in support of what we were doing, this is what really gave me hope. If people who probably don't have any significant spanish only families in their community but still put up signs saying "Speak English" have turned against this war then maybe we can create enough pressure on our government to change. Of course it's sad from the stand point of even if we end this war we still have a massive uphill battle against stupidity. Hope you all had a great weekend.
Oh and this is my 800th post, congrats to me!