Monday, March 20, 2006

Peace Protest: how's your glass?

Yesterday's peace protest in Portland (say that 5 times fast) yielded just one arrest and was reported as nonviolent with a well behaved crowd of 10,000 to 13,000.

I couldn't go because my weekend was filled with parenting and family duties. But I've been viewing the photos today..and reading the responses throughout the blogosphere.

Some bloggers took the glass is half empty approach by linking to a photo of a few jackasses burning an American flag--and declaring Portland "leftists" to be stupid and incapable of attracting "moderates" to their side. Nevermind that the vast majority of the protest was completely peaceful and nonviolent. We wouldn't want to focus on that, right?

I don't think flag burning is going to pull people in, either. If I were there I'd certainly speak up about it. This rally was about ending the war in Iraq. If that doesn't "attract moderates", then nothing will.

Other writers noted the New York Times glaring omission of Little Beirut when discussing the numbers of folks who came out to protest. Portland had a great turnout:

Oregonians outside of Portland had good turnouts too, as noted over at Corvallist and greenink.

These calls for peace aren't just anniversary markers or one time show events. Every week the Washington County peace vigil meets across the street from Beaverton Library every Wednesday at 6:30. They have been for months. Oregon Peaceworks sponsors and holds events all around Oregon.

These don't get the splashy media coverage..but they do get noticed.

Maybe not by the "glass is half empty-ers". But the rest of us pay attention.

Update: For some really wonderful photos of the rally, check out David VanKeuren's blog.