yesterday was not about Kerry or the Democrats

Whatever it was, Sunday's massive protest (and even less so those which preceded it and those which are still to follow this week) was not a rally for John kerry or the Democratic Party

Sure, come November 2nd these angry New Yorkers, and their equally pissed-off friends who travelled from all over the country to be here during the Republican Convention, will vote for Kerry - unless they are registered in states in no danger of attaching their electors to George W. Bush - but right now and almost certainly going forward into the next administration, and even the one which will follow that one, they are and will continue to be voting with their feet and their bodies against the bankrupt policies of what Gore Vidal has called ". . . the one political party in the United States, the Property Party, with two right wings, Republican and Democrat." Even if he should win this fall, Kerry should take little comfort in what is happening on the streets of New York right now; in the most fundamental way, it's not at all about the man whom many of us call "Bush light."

There were plenty of Kerry t-shirts out on the streets yesterday, but they were merely undershirts, covered with, heavily armored with, props and signage representing dramatic imagery and insistent demands which have almost nothing to do with Kerry or his campaign. Neither Kerry's name nor his policy plans were the cry of the day. In fact, the ideas and practices condemned by this crowd's signs and their chants are associated with the cautious Democratic standard-bearer almost as much as they are with the execrable Republican incumbent.

Should the junior senator from Massachusetts be promoted two months from now, he will find that the larger national constituency represented in microcosm by the anger and determination exhibited by hundreds of thousands taking to the streets up and down New York this week is not going to remain any quieter for Mr. Anybody-But-Bush than it would for his disastrous namesake.

Despite our Police Commissioner's plan to "arrest a thousand a day," the police acknowledged that twice as many marchers as were expected demonstrated in NYC against war.

I congratulate the marchers for their bravery in facing a heavily armed force, their potent respect for the 974 American dead in the Iraq war, and their continued personal courage in working toward peace.

The many thousands of us who were kept from protesting this time (on the literally melting and steaming new tarmac) -- by the threats of our own Mayor -- will be out next time.

[After the protests on 8/29/04, Police Commissioner Kelly complimented his police on their restraint.]