Portland March of 3000 a Beacon of Sanity amidst Reactionary Urge to War

In the midst of a heavy drum beat of war and vengeance by US leadership and the corporate media, it was good to see so many people gathered in the name of sanity, balance and peace… The day certainly made many people realize there are many
more opponents of war than it appears when listening to TV or reading the newspaper both of which express only pro war sentiment and ignore the
voices who speak from a different vision.

The Peace Rally and March was a vibrant and beautiful event. In the midst of a heavy drum beat of war and vengeance by US leadership and the corporate media, it was good to see so many people gathered in the name of sanity, balance and peace.

Initial press estimates of the gathering put it at 1500+ but the numbers kept growing and by the time the march was complete and everyone was gathered back in the park, the number was 3000+.

The corporate media, long gone, missed the main part of the event. The crowd was alive and passionate as few crowds I have seen at recent gatherings and marches. There was a vibrating undercurrent, a spirit of humanity that was so good
to feel after days of seeming mass hysteria and war feeding frenzy.

Many people were already gathered at noon, and soon after the first speakers addressed the gathering. There were a variety of voices, some speaking to feelings of peace and understanding, others addressing issues such as the CIA training of people such as Osama Bin Laden.

Many of the signs carried by people spoke of the passionate plea of many that the people of Afghanistan are not seen as an enemy, that Islamic
people and people of Arabic nationality are indeed our brothers and sisters.

Indeed, the point was made that we americans must also face our own culpability in training terrorists, in arming the entire world with deadly weapons and in the US economic policies that have brought harm to so many simple innocent people around the globe.

Hatred breeds hatred, and wise people throughout the ages have understood that peace and justice will not be found in reactionary retaliation.

There were numerous groups represented, from Quakers, to Islamic organizations.

The day certainly made many people realize there are many more opponents of war than it appears when listening to TV or reading the newspaper both of which express only pro war sentiment and ignore the voices who speak from a different vision.

It was an impressive turnout considering the few short days with which to organize the rally and march.

Author: PDX Dragon

News Service: Portland IndyMedia Center – Tue Sep 18 ’01

URL: http://portland.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=3585&group=webcast