Saturday, October 15, 2011

Let there be Peace and Let it Begin with Me

 Like thousands around the world today, I went to a rally.  The one I went to had a particular focus---End American involvement in Afghanistan.  It was great.  There was a march after and the crowd estimates were 3000-4000.  There were also people on sidewalks and in buildings we passed cheering us on.  We marched through Portland downtown streets that had been closed for us to exercise our free speech rights.  We went through the Occupy Portland encampment, where I found everything peaceful, organized and clean.

There are a lot of different signs stating different objectives, and I think that might be because there are a lot of "issues."  When I marched in the 60s, it was simpler--we just wanted to get out of Vietnam.  Although I didn't agree with all of the signs, I was happy to be part of democracy in action.  For me, this was about taking the money that is going to war and putting it into schools, infrastructure, and social services for our own people.

One of my very favorite signs today was carried by a boy about 6 or 7.  He advocated "No Hitting."  RIGHT ON, my little friend!!!  Let's remember not to hit and strike out in violence.

I didn't carry a sign.  Along with my friends Nancy, Kate, Gary, and Jan, I carried a banner for First Unitarian Church.  We are "Standing on the Side of Love."  I loved the experience and still feel the glow.  Change is possible.  I am encouraged that tomorrow is the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr memorial in Washington DC.  I was also marching in his memory.