As I briefly mentioned, Saturday night Caleb and I found ourselves in the middle of a huge anti-war march smack on Michigan Avenue in Chicago.
I had seen people riding CTA with placards and buttons and stuff but didn't realize there was going to be a march until our bus was rerouted due to street closures. We walked over to some fancy mall so I could look at Nordstrom and when we came out the march was going right by. We went out to watch and, by sheer fate, wound up right next to Caleb's friend Peyton, who were originally going out to eat with, but who had cancelled due to other plans, i.e. the march.
Peyton was done up as part of a protest group called Billionaires for Bush, nicely highlighted by this Chicago Sun-Times article
-- with a picture here
. The article gives the crowd estimate at 7,000. Must say it seemed bigger but what do I know about crowds? There were thousands of people singing, chanting, stomping, waving signs, handing out leaflets, and even a marching band. Caleb and I wound up followed Peyton's group as they rushed over to Daley Plaza to make a stand and get media attention at the final rally.
Oh, and amid all this, there were more cops than I have ever seen in my entire life -- long lines of them running along the whole side of the parade and lining the edge of the plaza. All of them were carrying those 3-ft. wooden truncheons, face masks, and those plastic ties used for rounding up people quick.
There were about 10 counter-protestors that we saw. Also, at one point we were crossing the street and this woman yelled at the Billionaires, "I'm American and I support our troups and President Bush." To which the Billionaires responded, "Oh, we love Bush, too! He's making us all rich!"
More on the protest: here
, courtesy of the Chicago Independent Media Center.