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A Rag Tag but Spirited Protest in Chicago

A very small group of us gathered at the police infested Daley Plaza tonight to protest the TABD, WTO and War. We are the people we are fighting for!

I have just returned from the protest that began at 4pm at Daley Plaza today and was still going strong when I wearily trudged homeward. At age 50 I get somewhat more tired than I used to at these manifestazione (protests).

We were a very small group (tops 300 people), primarily young people, with card board signs but lots of good drimes and noise makers. We were rag tag in even the costumes some of the folks wore. There was none of the elaborate puppetry or street theater and as always in USA demonstrations, no good music (we need brass bands, Manu Chaou and hip hop and gospel and political punk out there).

Tonight's protesters were not from ANSWER, the ISO or even local groups that I could identify other than Food Not Bombs. I did not see any of the usual crowd of lefties or liberals or the usual suspects of leaders and handlers. We, like our brothers and sisters around the world who sincerely take to the streets from Argentina to Chiapas, are the poor and working classes for whom we fight and take a stand against the imperialist greed machine.

The police were still out in droves but with much less riot gear than yesterday and they were relatively subdued, most of them on bikes. I noticed one cop chanting with us "whose streets, our streets" as he pointed at us saying "your streets"...ironic but true. The most spirited moment for me was when we pointed at the police chanting "this is what a police state looks like" and pointed at each other saying "this is what democracy looks like". Honestly, some of the police looked sheepish and guilty as we called it for what it is...a police state!

It was not the 20,000 protesters the police and papers were predicting. It was never going to be that many. The outreach, planning and organizational back-up was not there and,lets face it, the TABD is not the G-8. When I was told months ago by a student of mine that the CPD were all jazzed about these protests in November and that they were gearing up for it big time, I warned him that they were going to be dissappointed. Well, actually, they looked somewhat relieved out there.

Thanks to my students who came out tonight...all first timers! Bravissimo!



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