Sunday, February 16, 2003

by Jessica Delfino

I went to the Anti-War Demonstration today. It was very intense. There were about (I’m guessing) 3 or 5 million people there. I felt almost guilty, because I just went to watch, and brought no hand made “Bush Shit” signs or self-written protest chants. I wouldn’t say I am in favor of Bush starting war with Iraq, but I am not exactly opposed to taking Saddam out of power. So, If you’re wondering, I guess my official standpoint on war with Iraq is either undecided or not sure.
The protest was neat, because they set the rally up a lot like a Grateful Dead show, so I felt quite at home, except for the time there were a few hundred people pushing me into a few hundred other people, and I couldn’t breathe and started ‘freaking out’. In keeping in theme with the whole Grateful Dead analogy, that part was what I’d like to refer to as the ‘bad trip’ of the incident. I did see Jerry Springer in the crowd, however, and I also heard that Harry Belafonte spoke at the podium. At this juncture, I would like to describe to you, the reader, how I, the writer, found the protest to strongly resemble a Grateful Dead show.


-You knew which way to go ‘to the show’ because there were hundreds of freaky looking people and college kids to follow.
-Everyone was carrying signs that could have been either vaguely understood or easily misinterpreted.
-There were a lot of socialists and communists selling pamphlets, books and chocolate marijuana brownies.
-Much like at a Grateful Dead show, there were way too many children there with their parents and I was confused by that.
-Everyone was dressed up as trustafarians, hippies, and/or pilgrims. Also, a few people were wearing costumes that sort of scared me, specifically a “(M)an”gel of Death and Lady Liberty but with the face of a scary monster.
-Everyone who’d been stupid enough to try to drive through that mess was stopped in the middle of the street locked inside their cars, looking scared as peaceful protesters danced on the hoods of their cars.
-Some guy was trying to sell mushrooms, who knows if they were ‘real’ or not? There was a crappy drum circle band being led by a white girl with dreads.
-When I told people I was going to the protest, the looks they gave me strongly resembled the look my dad had given me when I told him I was off to see a Dead Show which was blindingly similar to the look he gave me when I told him instead of going to Yale, I’d be going to Art School.
-A lot of old people were present, vocally reminiscing the war protests of old and their disappointment that the war protest of ’03 wasn’t as ‘hip’ as the one of ‘63.
-Lots of fat lesbians were screaming incoherently, and it made me glad that I am not gay.
-The cops weren’t really fucking with anyone unless “provoked”.
-A few people had pitched tents.
-Every so often, you’d see a juggler.
-Random scaliwags were on the prowl, trying to pick up some rich, white, lady ass.
-I thought I was going to die on two or three separate occasions when the crowd became very dense and I couldn’t escape the city-block sized mosh pit.
-Only the bravest store owners left their doors open for business, selling their wares and snacks at inflated prices.
-No one was crowd surfing, but EVERYONE was dancing.
-In-state plates? Not a one.
-I was on acid, and I saw god, again. It’s getting boring how many times I’ve seen god. If I see god one more time…

Well, I hope you liked my comparison of the Anti-War Demonstration to a Grateful Dead show. Tune in next time when I will compare the impending chemical attack to a road trip I took in ’96 to see the Vermont Reggae Festival.

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