Saturday, October 25, 2003

My fourth antiwar march
In a usually placid city park on a brisk American autumn day. I rode my bicycle in and soon found a group of cute kids, earnest teen/20-ish people and a magnificent hippyish grey-haired lady who'd probably done the protest thing 35 years ago when it was hip. They had some wonderful antiwar signs and when I asked if they could lend me one I found myself drafted into the afternoon's main event, a huge multi-act piece of performance art (OK, a glorified skit) acted out on a field! I got myself a sign saying 'IRAQI CHILDREN ARE BEAUTIFUL' and gladly did my bit. It seemed like a perfect seasonal festival complete with musicians (lots of percussion* - rhythm-band stuff) and costumed people with big papier-mâché masks. Like medieval miracle plays (this too was big on symbolism, this time political), mummery (in the old English sense) or Carneval in French and South American cultures. And the local little kids had loads of fun!

The big sponsors of the thing turned out not to be a Commie front group as I've become used to but a sweet-natured Quaker youth group! With a goodly number of adults of varying ages** and cute dogs.

*One instrument, an interesting antiwar touch, got my attention not only for its cowbell sound but for military-history reasons! It was the casing of a World War II 500-pound bomb, with fins, etc. - these were dropped from planes.

**If by chance you're reading this, hi, Victoria! Glad you made it home to Brooklyn OK.

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