May 2, 2006

"This is What Democracy Looks Like"

Images and notes from the Seattle Immigration demonstration, May 1, 2006

[Images expand when clicked.]

The Unhuddled Masses Yearning to Breathe Bush-Free Air and Doomed to Hold Their Breath Until 2009

Then there were those to whom the holding of the breath always seems like a good idea.

"No" in America -- for sale as usual and just as cheap as usual.

In Seattle, the arrival of our local Nazis...

... requires the presence of those equipped to keep the peace.

But the great thing about real American Nazis showing up is that it allows their counter-part, the real American Protest Junkies to begin their traditional dance of Protest Ecstasy!

The ecstatic protest chanting begins with the traditional "Call and Response" motif derived from members of long forgotten chain gangs, "No Nazis in See-at-tell!" This is repeated over and over until the other maidens clustered about the Nazis like fluttering doves pick the chant up and echo it back to the leading dove. She then bats it back to the flutterers with added emaphasis until the air is pink with potential ecstasy.

As the chant spirals around the now corralled Nazis, the heat of the moment, the perfection of the protest ("Get yours while its hot! Real chants, led by a real woman, in a real Mexican flag, about real Nazis.") stimulates many of the maidens into a moment of pink intensity that they have not felt since they last spent a long evening contemplating the collected works and image of Andrea Dworkin. But meanwhile..... back at the real protest....

There are some groups who got the memo about the flag-thing: "Ixnay on the ExicanMay LagFlay HingTay....."

...some who read and shred the memo about the flag-thing...

... some who decided to effect a compromise solution...

... and a few who decided they wanted the whole enchillada after all.

Duelling points of view with, evidently, the same lack of graphic skills in signmaking, were overshadowed....

by guys who, through long practice on cars and abs, could make really sharp signs with traditional home-boy fonts that won "Best of Show" going away.

But even the crudest home-made sign beat out the "Bush Step Down" slickness passed out by Answer. Here one's been handed to a hispanic family. Rather I should say, since I saw it happen, that it was forced on them. I know enough Spanish to know that they had no idea exactly what it said about Bush and they seemed a bit uncomfortable holding it. It didn't matter to Answer. This family was just so much more fresh meat as far as they were concerned.

Elsewhere in the crowd, sincere and moving sentiments were on display everywhere.

Some even asked questions that a basic education in American History could answer: "Why, yes, they were legal. They had a Compact and many other items commonly associated with the concept known as "The Law' ".

And when you stopped looking out across the crowds streaming down Second Avenue and looked down within it, you saw -- everywhere -- that the future had come with them.

And sometimes the future looked up at you and then passed on down the avenue...

The future, along for the ride: "Where to, Papa? What next?"

Towards the end, a group came through with a new chant, "This is what Democracy looks like." Say what you will about their cause, you have to admit they've got that right.

Posted by Vanderleun at May 2, 2006 12:33 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

I like the (almost certainly unintended) irony of the sign in the last photo-- that Jesus (and not ANSWER or Code Pink or the other usual suspects) is the answer.

Posted by: Connecticut Yankee at May 2, 2006 4:22 PM

You are correct in assuming that the march yesterday was not long on irony.

Posted by: Vanderleun at May 2, 2006 4:36 PM

Towards the end, a group came through with a new chant, "This is what Democracy looks like." Say what you will about their cause, you have to admit they've got that right
I beg to differ, aliens who have crossed our borders illegally in massive marches demanding we enact laws that THEY insist on is not what Democracy looks like, it is what Invasion looks like,

CITIZENS marching demanding action from THEIR government is what DEMOCRACY looks like.

Posted by: Dan Kauffman at May 2, 2006 5:06 PM

The illegals don't seem to realize they are breaking one of our most sacred rules - which is best expressed as: THERE ARE NO CUTS IN LINE!

Posted by: moondog at May 2, 2006 5:55 PM

I cant tell if Im watching a protest against something or a celebration of finally having the right to say something.

Posted by: frank martin at May 2, 2006 6:26 PM

Dear Mr Vanderleun,

Nice pictures.

My comment is off topic, but you should see the full page ads the National Geographic is running in support of the Judas book.

THese ads fully confirm your perceptions.

The ads ask if the man portrayed as one of the greatest criminals in history is not, after all, one of history's greatest heroes.

They are indeed promoting the idea that treason is virtue.

War is peace.


Newspeak is here and our culture is under attack.

Our very survival is under attack.

All the best,


Posted by: Gandalin at May 3, 2006 3:22 AM

Good pics.
I'm glad Ft. Lewis wasn't blocked off.
Believe me when I say, I am sooo thankful I don't live in Seattle. :^)

Posted by: Ben USN (Ret) at May 3, 2006 4:36 AM

I believe you are incorrect about the Pilgrims and other early White settlers coming to America legally. With a few exceptions they simply invaded and secured territory by means of force.

The paradoxical thing about the Hispanic and Chinese immigrants and the hostile reaction of American right-wingers is that most of the immigrants are old-school conservatives, especially about social issues. Most of them can relate to, if not practice, traditional Christianity. They're willing to work and fight. They left their intellectuals, artists and radicals at home. They're you're kind of people, and you don't want them!

Posted by: Anarcissie at May 7, 2006 11:22 AM

1. They come from countries that cannot provide them with decent jobs or with any acceptable opportunity- countries that are essentially failures- and then too many of them refuse to embrace the culture that offers them jobs and opportunities. They should be speaking English every chance they get, they should be stomping on the flags of their countries of origin and they should loudly be denouncing the way things are done in their countries of origin.

2. Some people who have said the Pilgrims did not come here legally. O.K., let's assume the Pilgrims didn't come here legally, even though the continent didn't have laws at that time and it was the Pilgrims that brought the rule of law and even though that was the 17th century when such things as slavery were common around the world- I'm saying it was a different world! How would the Indians have possibly protected themselves from the illegal entrants?

The lesson to be learned is that the Indians should have slaughtered every European the minute they set foot on shore. No deals, no sharing how to plant corn. They needed to use every ounce of strength they had to massacre the invaders. That would have been the old way the Indians could have protected their culture and civilization.

Applying that lesson to illegal immigration today, we should be using lethal force to defend the border. And we should be deporting all of these people back at gunpoint or worse.

Remember, the Europeans only came to North America to make a better life for themselves, and they were very hard workers!

Posted by: Sacha at June 20, 2006 6:04 PM