Highlights from an antiwar protest (on the anniversary of the launch of “major combat operations” in Iraq) stumbled onto while visiting Chicago last weekend included:
A truly impressive police presence. Cops in helmets, cops in riot gear, cops on horses, cops in helicopters, cops in prison buses. More cops than I've ever seen.
The “Pink Bloque,” a group of girls dressed in pink dancing dissent giddily to “Hey Ya!” by Outkast.
A marching band of flowerheads leading thousands of protesters down Clark street.
Lots of creative signage.
And a massive crowd chanting “Drop Bush not Bombs.”
One funny moment — Jill was visiting from Norway so we had to cut out early in order to accomplish at least some of our tourist agenda in addition to our political one (I still owe her a visit to the top of either the Hancock or the Sears Tower). As we crossed out of the crowd, a young police officer nervously confronted us: “Where do you think you're going?” “Uh, to Giordano's — for lunch.” “Oh, okay. Carry on then.” There were a lot of odd interesting moments. Many of the peaceniks in the crowd were in their fifties and sixties, folks who'd been there in 1968 but who had gotten jobs, paid taxes, driven volvos and retired in the interim. Not a lot of molotov-cocktail tossing anarchists, which is what the police in riot gear seemed prepared to handle.