Does the word that just popped into your head show up here? Find out:

03 May, 2008

Mayday Mayhem

I hightailed it out of Seattle on the afternoon of May 1, just as a big downtown march threatened to slow traffic.

And maybe also raise awareness
about immigration and the war.

Since early that morning, the Longshoremen had been on, um, not a strike, but whatever you call it when people stop working for political reasons. Most west coast ports were shut down because the union wanted to protest the war. This was reported on Seattle radio stations, but I'd be interested to know whether any of you heard about this. And if you did, was the story about people who gave up a day of pay and risked worse, or was it about the economic impact of an illegal maneuver by radicals? [NOTE: A week after this post, nobody has indicated that they've heard about this.]
I'd like to think that it was a persistent strain of American freedom-loving waterfront action, a la Boston Tea Party.

Here in Olympia, our protest ended in rocks thrown through bank windows and arrests, as you can see here:
This uncivil disobedience included anarchist graffiti in the capitol. Ironically, one of the banks hit was Bank of America, which drew much conservative flack last year for allowing non-citizen immigrants to open accounts.

So what did this accomplish?
A half-dozen activists now get to feel the chill of felony charges (none shipped to Gitmo yet, I believe).
Several dozen people took note of anti-war protesters unwilling to just pace about with placards.
Several hundred people took note of the arrest of vandals.
Banks paid rush-job rates to replace windows, and may face higher insurance rates. (Clever anarchist ploy #27: Make the Capitalist machine turn on itself.)

And this result as well. One blogger suggests that despite what you hear in the news media about the importance of the economy, the fact that people are now sacrificing their freedom and their pay to protest the war suggests that It's The War, Stupid. We are distracted by the diarrheal bursts of "economic numbers" without context, encouraged to worry about our household economies, and not the deathly quagmire overseas. The most amazing thing is the audacity of the propagandists, who blame high oil prices on everything from China and India to hedge-fund-hogs and Nigerian 'terrorists.' Everything except the horrendous instability of the Persian Gulf region wrought by our Iraq misadventure.

A poster In Olympia last Saturday

No comments:

Post a Comment