On March 19, we went down to the corner for the local antiwar riot, oh whoops, I mean the Iraq War Candlelight Vigil sponsored by Moveon. It lasted from 6:30 to about 8:30. At 7, I counted 80 people, but then lots came and went. For half an hour, we counted the number of cars who beeped in support, and stopped when we got to 150. Moomin’s response to that was “Sure is a lot of beeping! Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of people don’t like the war!” He didn’t notice that most people drove by without beeping, yakking on their cell phones & thinking about dinner.
It’s tough to explain the war to him, what to say other than I don’t understand it much myself? “When you were 3, our country’s government decided to start dropping bombs on this other country, and have been killing thousands of people ever since, and we think they’re wrong, and we don’t want to be part of it, so we have to speak up and say we think it’s wrong. Also, p.s., our country’s president is a giant liar and a jerk and stupid.” That about sums it up.
Three teenagers walked by our streetcorner and asked me, “Are you guys hippies or something?” I said we were not particularly hippies, we just hate the war. “Dude we hate the war too but what good is this going to do. No one will listen.” “Okay dude if enough people talk then they will have to listen, that’s the whole point.” The grey-haired hippie chick next to me said acidly, “It’s your ass we’re protecting, if they start drafting you you’ll be glad someone’s speaking up.” Of course we don’t have to draft anyone — we can just force more of the population into poverty and cut off working class jobs and educational opportunities, isn’t that just as good as a draft to make military service seem like the only option?
I wonder if Moomin was listening to those three young guys, and what he’ll think about being taken to these kinds of rallies and protests? Another young kid was at the rally, a 6th grader who was very passionately antiwar and had written a report at school against the war. I hope my son will be more like that. I took Moomin to 2 rallies when we first started bombing Baghdad, the big ones in San Francisco, knowing he wouldn’t remember it, and that it would be a huge pain to haul him around in such crowds. But I thought he might like to grow up knowing that when “we” our country was dropping bombs, “we” me and him and his dad were in the streets protesting as best we knew how.