November 10th, 2002

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Peace rally update

Well, the People's Passion for Peace: No War in Iraq! peace march and rally was today and it well very well, I think.

malibran says protest rallies are pointless, I think that in fact they do have a point or really more than one point. One thing they do is give you an idea of how many people around you in your community are committed to an idea, whether it's anti-war or transsexual rights or AIDS funding. Rallies can also get media coverage, which this rally did get, at least on the local level; who knows, maybe CNN (news HQ across the street) showed a blip of it. Rallies are also great as get togethers where you meet like minds and make contacts for affiliated organizations and find out about campaigns, events. etc.

Anyway, the thing went really well. Caleb and I had gone biking over to Little Five Points after lunch and didn't get back until around 2:30. Rather than walking way over to the King Center for the start of the march, we went over to Centennial Olympic Park to wait for the troops to arrive. There were actually a lot of other people doing the same thing, walking around waiting for the march to arrive. Caleb and I ran into our old neighbor Todd, out with his dog, and we talked for a while. There was a fantastic troop of African drummers doing their thing as well as lots of families with kids and dogs.

Finally at what must have been like 3:45 or 4, the march arrived! At the head of the group was U.S. Congresman John Lewis and then came the HORDES of people. Caleb and I stood there a long time watching everybody march in with their signs and banners and chants. It was a very diverse group, including black Muslims, students, families, kids, church groups, radicals, hippies, grandmothers, clergymen, punks, and just across a whole spectrum of races, ages, faiths, etc. Eventually the head of the Georgia Tech City Planning dept., where Caleb got his Master's, showed up (he knew she'd be there) and we joined her and various other Tech people marching up to the rally area. It took a long LONG time for everybody to show up. I'm lousy at crowd estimates so I'll say there were a LOT of people. How many? Hmmm, couple thousand at least. About enough to fill the Fox Theatre I'm guessing. There were some great signs ("Behind the Bushes, Everybody Gets Screwed," "War: A Bush Family Value," "Buck Fush's War," "Got Oil?") and really I was really impressed and heartened by the number of people and the diversity. Caleb kept saying beforehand it would be all "hippies" but he was off base.

The rally started off with a gospel choir (very Atlanta!) and then a welcome, delivered by proxy, from Coretta Scott King, MLK Jr.'s widow, who delivered a strong anti-war message. After her there was a rousing speech from Rep. John Lewis, who is one of the few people in Congress who have spoken vehemently against war -- see his Oct. 10 speech in the House to get an idea of the kind of thing he said today, basically "War No More" and "Stand in the House of Peace." There was also singing led by various people. Meanwhle Caleb and I ran into yet more people we knew, including more neighbors and Caleb's boss Mike Dobbins, the former commissioner of the city's planning dept. After probably an hour, Caleb got cold (no body fat!) so said goodbye to people and went home.

That's my report.

Meanwhile, feeling a bit sterotypically liberal at the moment. Just noticed I'm eating Soy Delicious "non-dairy frozen desert" and next to me as this month's issue of The Sun. I also just emailed out my neighborhood a huge November events listing, which included restaurant openings, meetings and, oh, a protest march against CNN :)
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Gen-Xers Gettin' the Shaft, maybe for the better

Saw this article in the NY Times online today -- a short but interesting examination of the plight of Generation X, which marketers find frustrating to assess and in fact are ignoring more in favor of Boomers and Gen Y. Since the NY Times requirse a registration for reading, I'm pasting the article in here:

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