Wednesday, February 12, 2003

"Hard work, iconoclasm - but the only way to get at the truth."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes

It occurred to me as I hung with the idealistic chica at the Au Coquelet coffee joint in Berkeley (G's favorite coffee joint, where he hosted me when I first got here) about her plans to participate in the anti-war rally on Jan 18th.. I realized that I had never seen a protest from the point of view of the participants - from start to finish.

A group at the Acton House in Berkeley were gonna participate.

They had decided to make a fifteen foot high version of the mother goddess, with the three faces of woman - the vestal virgin, the mother, and the insane but wise crone.
Three heads and three arms, symbolizing mother earth.

So, here's the finish - at the anti-war rally...

Boy o boy, did people respond to the face of the Virgin, this woman actually came up and bussed the lips (I had her recreate the moment)

The protest march had gotten under way, so the determination was evident as they got the rig up and worked to solve last minute snags and catastrophies...

then they joined into the flow.

But it wasnt easy keeping this thing balanced while keeping pace with the crowd.

I tried to stay focused on my subjects, but with the eye candy of a San Francisco gathering.. twas hard not to try to capture some of the inspired weirdness....

Lotta 'blood on the hands' symbolism

He even had red-dye on real dollar bills in his pockets. I wanted to reach for a few of the confetti to add a statement of my very own..

But, I had a job to do.

As the march went on, camera crews and photographers rushed up to catch pictures of this. Even long after the procession was over, people kept coming over to pose and take pictures of it.

Then the procession ended.. and to paraphrase the quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes

Hard work, iconoclasm...

And they did work. They were just as tired from the work from the days leading up to the march as from the march itself...

And then, with Market Street clearing, there was subtle pressure to move on..

I may give the impression that the law enforcement presence was glowering, menacing and all that. They werent.

They were low-key and friendly. Professional.


So, they got up and moved on to the rally itself at City Hall.

An aside..

This man came up on.. roller skates (shakes head).. and gives a helping hand as they move on.

I was wondering, who tha heck...

Heh. Turns out...

"Hey! You gotta get my father in the picture!"

Heh. Oh.

As we talked, I didnt ask the questions I REALLY wanted to ask of the man.

He was proud as punch of his son and his chosen direction.

Total support.

But with that, I got a bit of insight into the situation of John Walker Lindh and his (Cali) parents.

Giving their children free reign to make their choices. Love, live and let live.

Trying to live up to the Cali ideal.

Good or bad consequences, gotta admire that.

Other random bits of weirdness were duly recorded.

And then I started getting my closing shots.

It was something. To see and participate in.

Random anti-war signage around Berkeley...

Unintended consequences, but the removal crews made these seem like a "Push button to Attack Iraq" statement..

But here in Cause Central, the sentiment is strong.