I chatted with folks, had a coke, walked around and sat in the shade under a tree. There were lots of kids and very peaceful folks, I was enjoying myself immensely.
I began to get hot and tired, though – it was very hot here yesterday – and didn’t relish a long bike ride home while exhausted. I figured it was enough to attend the rally, I really didn’t need to participate in the march to the Xcel center.
Gerry was volunteering for www.freepress.net doing sound and teleprompter at the convention last night, and called to tell me that Amy Goodman at Democracy Now had been arrested.
That was the first hint I had that any violence had broken out. The more I read, the more I think the catalyst may have been the masked group that I passed, in all the shots I’ve seen of folks throwing things they’ve been dressed like that group.
I know that everyone I’d met had been passionate, but very peaceful.
But they did seem very pumped up, enervated, a different feeling from the rest of the group back at the capital. I’m not saying they were wrong or right (I wasn’t there) but – as we all know – in heightened tension situations, it’s possible for provocative behavior to get out of hand.
Did that happen here? I don’t know. I was struck by how friendly, restrained and patient the police had been (riding around on bikes, chatting with folks) in the early part of the march.
But it also seems that 284 folks being arrested is a bit insane, given the peaceable spirit of the rally before the march. Oh, and I disagree that there were only 10,000 – I know there weren’t 50,000, but there were many more than 10,000.
See what happens when I leave you kids alone?