Anti-War Rally at Westlake Plaza


This morning the boyfriend and I went to a yoga class at Eight Limbs and then headed over to the Globe to meet some friends for a very vegan-y brunch. So, it’s probably not too much of a surprise that after eating we walked down Pine to Westlake to the anti-war rally. Talk about being your target demographic …

The problem is that as much as we might seem to fit the model, both of us are fairly ambivalent about the whole protest rally thing. Sure, there was a time when these sorts of public protests actually had an impact, but nowadays they seem almost like an easy out. My political activism tends to be very utilitarian — Does it get the message across? Is it effective? Does it do more than give the participants a warm feeling in their tummies? And, probably most importantly, does it speak to more than the narrow concerns of the die-hard faithful?

I’m not sure if the Westlake rally succeeded on any of these counts, but it sure was big and well-organized. By the time we got there, probably around 12:30, the plaza was packed with a fairly diverse mix of people. There were lots of colorful signs and amusing costumes, and a series of speakers addressing a variety of war-related issues, including a student condemning military recruiting in the schools and a American of Iraqi descent discussing anti-Muslim sentiment in the US.

We hung around for a while, but fled when a folk singer came on. (I’m all for suffering for the cause, but there are certain things I just don’t feel it’s necessary to endure.)

4 Comments so far

  1. Kelly (unregistered) on September 25th, 2005 @ 9:13 am

    This protest surprised me, not because I didn’t know about it but because how very rude people were. I was in a hurry to catch a bus on third, and people were literally standing in my way, blocking me (at times trying to physically restrain me), and generally just getting in my way and face. I’m sure I came off as callous and uncaringly apathetic, but I did have a deadline, and I didn’t have time to tell that to each individual from 5th to 3rd.

    First time that’s happened for me, and it was a strange, strange experience.

  2. chas (unregistered) on September 27th, 2005 @ 8:29 am

    yah kelly – we were just talking about you. it’s great how they have protests on the weekend here so all the white people can get in their protesting without intefering with their 9-5 corporate job. apparently unlike the protestors your schedule was a little fucked just like those two young ladies in a lexus who just couldn’t understand why honking at the procession of protestors and cops wouldn’t make them get out of her way (she was stuck behind the entire march as it cleared from westlake to pine).

    i’m sure soooo many people saw the protest with oktoberfest going on in fremont. barely anyone was downtown.

    even worse are the people driving by in cars honking their support. some people just don’t fucking get it.

    yes – the folk singer was horrible – the march was very short and boring.

    i appreciate the WTO protests seattle (i didn’t live here at that time) – but i never can figure out how it actually all happened.

    i am glad that many people showed up. it was just boring and totally seemed like a way for people to feel alright about their otherwise lack of effort to do anything about this atrocity (“i still get to drive to work and work at my corporate job and shop at my corporate free-trading store- right?”) and a chance for organizers to tell the press X,000 people showed up in seattle and stood around and did nothing but listen to the same old boring fucking speakers and then walked around the block.

    you want this war to end? protest on a monday.

  3. Liberal Larry (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2005 @ 1:18 pm

    I was going to go, but I accidentally showered that morning.

  4. craig nelson (unregistered) on February 14th, 2006 @ 4:31 am

    can anyone tell me when and where the next anti-war rally in Seattle will be? Also, ANY anti-bush type rallies or large gatherings?

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