I did something today that I’ve never done before. It was something more of us should do, but if the truth were told we either think it won’t do any good, or we are just too busy. So what did I do? I (still carrying my honorary lesbian card) went to a Peace Rally in Kennebunkport, Maine. I don’t know what the final numbers were but they were expecting about 6,000 people to attend. We got there about 10:00 this morning. By then, the temperature had already climbed to near 90 and the crowds were already gathering. The pre-march speeches were underway when we got there.
It was an interesting mix of people. There were young college age students that you would expect to attend such an event, and an enormous number of lesbians. But there were also middle aged men and women of every background, senior citizens, and a kid who was carrying a sign that said “4th Graders for Peace”, babies, and a bunch of weirdos. There also every kind of liberal that you could imagine there. Socialist, Libertarians, Democrats, Independents, Green Party, People for the cultivation of hemp, Environmentalist, People who had served in the war. People who won’t serve in the military. It was quite interesting taking it all in.
As I said the speeches were already underway when we got there. The first person I heard was a soldier who had served in Iraq. He was telling it like it is, and explaining that the war had nothing to do with why he signed up to serve his country. And that in fact it goes against the very oath he took when he joined the army. He was followed by several other soldiers against the war. I might mention that there were a lot of these guys floating around and in a word they were HOT, HOT, HOT. Not that I was there to meet boys, but it never hurts to have eye candy. These guys were followed by a band playing anti-war songs. I kind of tuned them out. They were a little much for me. Then there were more speakers. And more speakers.
I hope I’m not making it sound like they weren’t interesting. In fact they all were. It was great hearing people explain why they were against the war. I guess the two highlights of the morning was first Dennis Kucinich speaking. Although, I don’t think he has a chance in hell of winning, I like the guy. He tells it like it is and doesn’t beat around the bush. (No pun intended.) He got the crowd fired up with his speech. He spoke around 15 minutes or so.
I might also point out that of all the candidates, he was the only one to show up. It was also noticeable that he had a booth set up for campaign information and materials. It was packed everytime I was near it. Barack Obama also had a booth but there was hardly anyone in it except for the people working. They were the only two candidates represented today. Should I read meaning into this?
After Kucinich spoke, he was followed by Cindy Sheehan. I know she has alienated people in the past, but I must say, she’s a great speaker. And quite funny. She told many jokes in the course of her speech, with George Bush usually the punch line. She had a great message and talked a lot about running against Nancy Pelosi in California for the House Seat. Once again, I don’t think she can win, but at least she’s out there trying to do something.
When Cindy had finished, we all lined up and the march started. It was miles long. It was people in front of me as far as I could see, and people behind me as far as I could see. Some people were chanting slogans, others were making speeches. My favorite was the Leftist Marching Band that played all afternoon. They played mostly patriotic songs which the crowd sang along to. As I said, the demographic was quite mixed as to the type of people out there today. But they all had one thing in common. They all thought the war was wrong and that our troops should be brought home now.
We marched for about 2 hours. Through downtown Kennebunkport out to the Bush compound where Bush, Sr. vacations in the summer. At least we were as close as they’d let us get. No one seemed to know if they were there or not. It was also kind of funny experiencing the counter protest. Conservative people are kind of nasty. They were chanting ridiculous things at us. Screaming that we were just a bunch of angry lesbians. Calling us terrorists. Saying that terrorists LOVE the Democrats. Saying we were going to burn in hell for not supporting our president. And that the soldiers can’t come home until the war is won. The one interesting point I made today, is “why were the 20ish year old kids who were screaming at us, not over there serving. If the war is such a just and noble cause, then get down to your local recruiter and sign up. There’s nothing stopping you. As it was said today, they’ll take just about anybody who can hold a gun and give you a $20,000 signing bonus.” There were only 50 or so of these protesters but they made me laugh. The best part was we were near the marching band as we passed them, and they played so loudly no one could really hear what was being said by them.
Eventually, we turned around and marched back to the school where we started. We skipped the afternoon rally because we were starving, and there was a serious lack of water. We were kind of bummed because the Indigo Girls were playing later in the afternoon.
And that was my first Peace Rally. I asked on the car ride home if it really made a difference. Lisa said that it did. That just by the exposure today, we perhaps changed the mind of a couple of people who were supporting the war. I don’t know if it does or not, but it felt good to be there. As they chanted today.
“What does Democracy look like?
This is what Democray looks like!”
These are pictures of some of my favorite signs. My very favorite I didn’t get a picture of but it said, “I refuse to raise my kids, to kill your kids.”
I included the following picture, because as we marched the houses got bigger and the people got richer. The house in the background is a single family vacation home. It’s the size of a small hotel.
And the last picture was my favorite house today. It’s a stone house out on the cliff over looking the water. We think it looks haunted, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to sit by the fireplace and listen to the surf.