awkwardly

Monday

The vigil/protest on Sunday was better than I thought. 3 people had signed up online, including me, so I was worried whether anyone at all would show up (including me). When I drove up about 11:05, there were about 30 people walking around the park with signs. I just walked up and asked how to join, they gave me a pre-fab sign and I walked around with them for an hour. The guy from the Kucinich campaign last year was there, and he asked to trade signs with me. So I got a kind of corny one, "Grieve with us the many we have lost" and he got "Give peace a chance." But nice seeing a 73+ year old guy there, making the effort even though he has obvious health problems.

Mostly people in their 40s, a few old ladies, probably church-goers for the most part. There was a reporter from the Jackson Citizen Patriot and a camera man from Channel 10. [I assume those two links will crap out within a few weeks. Sorry.] There were also three men standing across the street. I kind of wondered whether they were reporters or counter-demonstrators. Didn't realize until I read in the Cit-Pat article this afternoon that those three were counter-demonstrators with no signs or anything that I saw. According to the article in the paper, one of them had a sign that said "War protestors give aid and comfort to the enemy" or something like that. The article also mentioned that one of them had worked as an independent contractor in Iraq.

At the end, the organizers of the vigil passed out slips of paper with names of Michigan soldiers who had been killed, plus a few slips representing people from other "Coalition" countries and Iraqi citizens, and we stood in a circle and read their names.

There were no confrontations that I saw, only a few cars that honked and waved at us, and a few pickups that revved their engines while they were stuck at the stoplights. I swear there were three that either revved their engines or peeled out when the light turned green, and they were all pickups, one of them a jacked-up 4x4. So apply whatever interpretation you want to the kind of people who own pickups and rev their engines to express themselves.

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