Saturday, October 20, 2007


Caution: woman armed with tambourine!

I sang my heart out and beat my knee black and blue with my tambourine to drown out the absurdity of it all.

When I arrived at the corner of High and Market, the pro-war counterprotesters were already gathering in front of the courthouse, as they have for the past month or so, waving huge American flags. Some dressed in khakis, others in denim jackets liberally decorated with flag patches. I must confess that I never thought the sight of my own country's flag would frighten me, but the war supporters just have a way of brandishing it like a weapon.

When Karen got there, she calmly led our group to the corner diagonally across the street. The spokesperson for the pro-war group is bragging that they succeeded in "taking" the courthouse...but they were not able to silence us or stop us from holding our vigil. Volunteer observers from the ACLU were also present. I'll be interested in reading their report.

Our little rag-tag quartet --consisting of guitar, mandolin, flute, and tambourine-- stood behind the rest of the peaceniks, who effectively absorbed the noise emanating from the boom box that the pro-war group was blasting on the other side of the street. Occasionally some of the counterprotesters revved their motorcycles too. We raised our voices in songs by Neil Young, John McCutcheon, Woody Guthrie, and others. Someone requested "Let There Be Peace on Earth," and singing that one, as well as "We Shall Overcome" raised my spirits.

As we stood for our closing moment of silence, someone across the street thundered at us that every time we marched we killed another American soldier. Funny, we've tried to put ourselves in their shoes, imagined how we must look to them.

I wonder if they ever do the same.

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