Friday, September 5, 2008
Politics, Protest and Palin
On Monday, the Matron and her family hopped on their bikes and joined approximately 9,995 other people in this peaceful protest against the war in Iraq, and Republican politics, generally. Even Merrick waved a sign, provided to him by the ever helpful members of the Internationalist Socialist Movement.
Yes, it is going to be that kind of blog post. Apologies in advance to Republican friends and readers, but the Matron has made no secret of the fact that she leans left, hard.
Before the march, there was a rally with all kinds of theater, fervor and fun! She saw elephants on bikes.
And bunches of banners with slogans that make a left-leaning girl's heart, well, just happy!
Now, here's where things get tricky. Because after the march, the Matron and her family got back on their bikes and headed home, through the city streets. Here they are! Don't they look threatening?
Since last Saturday, the Matron and her family -- and an entire city--have been living in lock down. State troopers and police from the entire state have been sitting at every major intersection throughout the entire city, not just the convention downtown.
And if that damn helicopter noise hadn't ended this morning, the Matron's head was going to pop!
So on Monday, the Matron and her children saw plenty of this:
Funny, she just heard on the formerly reliable Minnesota Public Radio that a few windows got broken on Monday because the police decided to rely ONLY on bike patrols. In retrospect, they wish they would've gotten out the militia sooner. Say it ain't so, Tim Nelson! How could you be so wrong!
Indeed, the entire downtown was packed with swat teams and police in full riot gear. She knows, because Merrick waved to every single machine-gun toting policemen he could see. His arm nearly fell off, there were that many!
This is what the marchers saw at every intersection:
Anyway, while her family was headed home, the renegade protests started breaking out all around them! The children were captivated and terrified as young people linked arms, blocked streets and started singing songs about peace. They baited police officers. People yelled and geneal mayhem ensued. The tension!!! Scarlett screamed, wept and begged to go home. Stryker begged to follow the action and chase behind every last mini-riot.
Logically, they did. Just what the police wanted, she's sure, a family of five and a burley hot on their heels.
Here's a shot the Matron took of one of the very first confrontations. Yes, there were lots of bikes! The protesters are walking behind them, in the background.
Here's about the ratio of police to protester. See that one guy in the middle? He's the threat. Good thing there are fifty police officers watching him!
The police arrested nearly 800 people, including the incredible Amy Goodman. Her crime? She asked a question. Journalists are so pesky that way! You can watch her arrest, here.
Many journalists were arrested, but the one that made the Matron angry was a 17-year old junior in high school, who was in and out of jail without a single call to his parents. That's right! The minor with the bruise in the shape of a boot on his back got kicked from jail and sent into the street without a single call to Mom and Dad.
Now, the Matron is critical, but she also gets it. Nobody got seriously hurt and the worst trouble seemed to be traffic jams and some broken windows. She's had her fair share of beer and argument with the Mayor (they fly in some of the same social circles and once, the Matron ran a Green Party campaign, opposing him!) and the Chief of Police is a member of their Zen Center. Good guys. But the police presence just seemed, well, excessive.
Speaking of excessive! Isn't it great how Sarah Palin is a big fan of the environment! The Matron is wildly relieved that somebody is finally going to get creationism in the public schools and end all this ridiculous nonsense about global warming! Thank goodness Sarah can shoot a moose from a helicopter. Finally, a gun-slinging VP with better aim than Dick Cheney!
But sexism annoys the Matron, right or left of the spectrum. And when she googled "Sarah Palin humor?" One of the first links claimed to have nude photos. She did the same for the men in the game and guess what! No such expanse of skin to be found, anywhere.
And please. When was the last time anybody asked Barack Obama who was watching his children? And don't say Michelle, because she has a high-power job AND is on the campaign trail herself. If you run for, or serve as, President, Vice or spouse, your children get less of your attention! A lot less. Maybe only a very little, in organized time slots.
That's okay, thinks the Matron. It's a different life than most people lead and those children? They'll get lots and lots and lots of other benefits that probably outweigh or counterbalance the fact that their parents have to hire out so much help to raise them.
Why pretend otherwise?
The Matron is also so happy to see how well that whole Abstinence Only sex education thing is currently working for the Republican Party! She feels very sorry for Bristol and boyfriend, gussied up and paraded out, sorta like forensic evidence. "See!? Here are my prolife politics, in action!"
Gloria Steinem never disappoints and she sums up the entire situation, here, much better than the Matron. Because Sarah Palin stands for just about everything that the Matron, doesn't.
Farewell, Republicans! She's happy to wave good-bye. . .