designated free speech area

BushUN.JPG
View of the UN from 47th Street and 1st Avenue on Tuesday


Only about two dozen people found their way to the designated free speech zone a block from the United Nations yesterday. From where we stood we had a view of the tops of the buildings and a number of media vans and mammoth, rock-filled dump trucks some distance away. Exciting.

I'd like to think that everyone who wasn't there knows that Bush's days are now numbered, but it may also be that the administration's strategy has succeeded: Dissent is wrong, but if you insist on pursuing your little perversions you may do it where you will only be shouting at the cops and other security types.

The few (10?) anti-regime boobies gathered in the rain in Dag Hammarskjold Park were even slightly outnumbered and clearly out-shouted - ok, rather shamed - by the organization and enthusiasm of a group of Indonesians demonstrating for justice, human rights and a free Aceh.

Maybe America will survive if even with our own civil rights so threatened and compromised it can still inspire such courage and hope in her youngest sons and daughters, or her newest visitors. Many of these people may have much to lose with their activism - one modelled on our own best traditions. I hope we will remain worthy of such tributes.

The media yesterday? I only saw a Telemundo crew in almost two hours, but they lingered in front of us for quite a while, especially in front of the young Indonesians. There was some interest in my own waterproofed sign, which read, intending to direct an indictable Bush, "THE HAGUE, NOT THE UN." The few diplomat-types which walked by kept straight faces, unless they made eye contact, which broke the facade and the response was then a warm smile.