You Say You Want A Revolution. . . .
by Jack Faust
Note to Reader: As a philosophy major and general acerbic critic I found writing an article that is relatively devoid of stark areas of complaint problematic and foreign. For me this piece has the awkward but endearing quality analogous to the first time I had sex; it was overly passionate, over quickly, and maybe too whimsical. In fact the only substantive difference is this article did not stain the upholstery of my car. As a writer it was new territory and although praise is not something I am good at (yet), I am glad my cherry was popped via this specific event and subject matter. Please forgive any clumsiness and overly sentimental utterances; I will always remember this as my first, so please: be gentle.
Shortly after high-noon on March 21st 2009, hundreds of war-protesters marched, strutted, and danced their way down 6th Avenue in Tacoma; carrying everything from banners bearing anti-war slogans to George Bush effigies which were later devoured by flames in what was undoubtedly the City’s largest demonstration in recent years. The march denounced the seventh anniversary of America’s illegal invasion of Iraq; which, since its inception, has cost the nation trillions of dollars, thousands of lives, and whatever slim vestiges that were left of her soul.
The protesters themselves were the quintessential representation of diversity. Ex-soldiers, students, children, men and women, gay and straight, spiritual and atheist, socialist, democrat and republican alike all marched united under the shared idealism of peace, and courageously pierced the heart of this gloomy city with the hope of a better tomorrow; a tomorrow less violent; a tomorrow free from imperialism; a tomorrow that any American could be proud of.
Structurally, the demonstration was a testament to the power of grassroots organization. It began with a student from the University of Evergreen Tacoma networking with various other organizations via the internet and word of mouth (The University of Puget Sound’s Students for a Democratic Society, Tacoma’s Socialist Alternative, Planned Parenthood, the Methodist Church’s Micah Project, Soldiers Against the Iraqi War, just to name a few). When speaking with some of the main organizers of the protest, there was an undeniable tranquility about them, an aura of idealism that I personally found infectious. The march was strategized over a year in advance and its magnitude was the greatest the City of Destiny had seen in recent memory. Despite the fact that the A.C.L.U. had to get involved because the local government attempted to bureaucratically thwart the demonstration, for the activists it was a jovial time and an opportunity for the voice of liberty to resound with magnificence.
Surprisingly, the demonstration which lasted for hours, halted the progress of the main artery of Tacoma, inspired the participants and observes, and had a police escort some twenty officers strong, was not deemed a newsworthy event by Tacoma’s (perhaps ironically titled) News Tribune, The Stranger, The Tacoma Weekly, The Volcano, or any local television news station for that matter: KOMO, KIRO, or the notoriously trite, Q13. It seems the only events covered in our affectionately titled news sources are: where to eat, what to buy, where go on the weekend, who got killed, raped, maimed, ( either at home or abroad; on wall street or main street) and how the police confuse a toy with the label ‘bomb’ on it for the real thing.
I would like to congratulate everyone involved in the protest, for whatever that is worth. You are the last iota of intelligence and morality in this county that has forgot the definition of both those terms. But moreover, I would like to chastise all the above mentioned media outlets that are no more than gaudy consumerist propaganda under the flimsy guise of public information channels. If only they removed their finger from the black anus of commercial interest, they might put it on the pulse of the community and facilitate a long overdue American revolution.