Occasionally, on a fine Fall day, the Wenches can be found engaging in an activity other than gardening. Quite a shocker, I know. But it does happen. And yesterday was a very fine Fall day. This post has absolutely nothing to do with gardening. It's blatantly political in nature. You've been warned. For this post Wing Nut took the pictures & Curmudgeon wrote the text.
Have you ever taken part in a protest march or demonstration? If you haven't, would you ever consider doing so?
I've participated in a few. How many is "a few" you ask? More than a couple but not so many that I can't remember each one. My very first march was at the age of sixteen when my high school French teacher, Sister J., took a busload of us Catholic school girls to Washington D.C. on a bleak winter's day. I do not recommend polyester skirts and knee socks as proper attire for a protest march in blustery weather.
When I was in France, in the early 90s, a number of Jewish cemeteries were vandalized and the tombs desecrated. In inimitable French style, the citizenry took to the streets with gusto to exercise their freedom of speech and protest such hatred. It was my students at the school where I was working who took me to my first French demonstration or manif. It was quite a vocabulary builder for me.
What stays with me to this day about my first march, and each of the other marches in which I've participated, is the energy of the crowd. Being part of a crowd that is thousands or tens of thousands strong is a very powerful experience. It's exhilarating and terrifying beyond belief--from "I can't believe so many people think like me" to "Oh my GOD! I could get trampled to death" in a single heartbeat.
Curmudgeon that I am, for me participating in a demonstration provides a reprieve from the cynicism that is always lurking, like the troll that lives under the bridge. I don't believe that a march or demonstration will really change anything. I don't believe that minds or actions will be changed. I don't think anybody "on the other side" really listens to the people waving signs and chanting slogans. And let's talk about those signs and slogans. Would a little artistic talent be too much to ask? Check out these protest signs and you'll agree that, apparently, it is.
So what did I do this weekend? I attended a protest march with Wing Nut and some friends. Why? Because I needed a reprieve from cynicism. Because I felt the need to exercise my right to free speech. Because I wanted to hear my own voice joined with those of thousands of others who think like I do. Because I felt passionately about the issue. Participating in a protest march is a fairly cheap form of hope. This weekend I'm hoping for a better future for my family.
Wing Nut was particularly moved by these two signs, held by two of the youngest protesters at the march. The kids' spelling is a little off, but the sentiment is right on. Go kids go!!
--Curmudgeon & Wing Nut