Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Peace Vigil


There was a peace vigil this evening, organized ostensibly by MoveOn.org. It attracted a couple hundred people who obediently gathered below the Hawthorne bridge.

Candlelight/flashlight vigil to support the troops
A candlelight/flashlight vigil "Lighting Their Way Home" will be staged Tuesday, Aug. 28, from 7-8:30 p.m. on the Hawthorne Bridge. The event is sponsored by MoveOn.org and Peace/Civic Orgaizations. [sic]

Announced online at Portland Indymedia, curious minds wanted to know more...

What end of the bridge?
I realize it is several days before the event, but you might want to give details, lest you lose people who think it will be a MoveOn.org disorganized event.

Where should people congregate on each side of the bridge?

What kind of signs?

Any bullhorning, or chants? ...that sort of stuff

There was a fair amount of speechifying before the actual vigil got underway. Senate candidates Steve Novick and Jeff Merkley addressed the crowd. It was the closest thing to a debate between the two since Novick's challenge a month earlier. It was a pity that Merkley had the time to talk about demonstrating against the war, but had to leave right after his speech while the regular folk went up to actually demonstrate. But as his media guy told all over at his blog BlueOregon:
"Candidate time is the scarcest resource any campaign has," Kari Chisholm. (ie. Time is money!)

Kari had a point, so as the sun began to set i joined a few dozen demonstrators who felt their time was better spent doing what they were called here to do. And with time, most of the people below at the MoveOn choir practice joined us.

As the many cars passed in each direction over the bridge, there was no mistaking the general public support for both ending the $2 billion/week US occupation of Iraq. There were also many signs calling for impeachment which seemed to draw even more honks.

I was particularly pleased to see Steve Novick taking part in the peace vigil. (So glad he had the time!) He supports the immediate, orderly withdrawal from Iraq of US forces. Should the current Democratic leadership in Congress fail to end this costly occupation, Novick has pledged he will as US Senator "begin work immediately on withdrawing our troops within six months."

"I would also push for the new president to take up the Baker Commission's recommendation and try to re-engage the regional and international powers that are critical to any effort to reduce violence and stabilize the country. I believe that new leadership in the White House, coupled with the clear signal that the Congress will no longer support an indefinite military commitment in Iraq, will create a real opportunity for regional diplomacy to rebalance the burden of reconstruction."

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