I expected to feel tremendous dread and fear on Monday as I anticipated W.'s announcement and its aftermath. Instead, I felt tremendous hope. Why? Because on Sunday we attended a peace rally that had been poorly advertised (I saw one flyer when I didn't have time to stop and read the whole thing, and then I couldn't find another flyer anywhere or anybody who knew about it, so we had to guess at the time and place) but hundreds of people turned up. Lots of young adults but also families w/kids, grandmas, all types. We brought cookies and went around offering them to people and taking food they offered and striking up conversations w/these kind, good people who simply will not let this war happen in their names.
After the speeches, we marched without a permit. Not only was nobody arrested, but the police politely directed traffic around us. When we did march around stopped cars, many drivers indicated their support, very few yelled anti-protest sentiments, and nobody tried to run over anybody. Many of the people looking out of their windows or encountering the march spontaneously held up peace signs or cheered or blew kisses. Some of them ran out to join us.
Some anarchists who were marching stole a dumpster from an apartment building and overturned it in a street. Within one minute, other protesters had turned it upright, refilled it, and started rolling it back to its place. They didn't yell at the anarchists, just set an example of gentle behavior.
We marched for two solid hours. It was exhausting, but there was a beautiful, joyous, exhilarating spirit pervading the group. At least 200 people stuck it out to the end.
I'm horrified at the actions of my government and the attitudes of some of my fellow Americans. But so many people have built up so much positive energy opposing this war that I feel certain we will prevail.