Sunday, September 25, 2005



Mrs. Auguste and I went to a candlelight vigil tonight on the Hawthorne Bridge. It took place on the three central bridges, actually - not for nothing is Portland called "Bridgetown" - but we chose the bridge that means the most to us. Estimates are up to 1700 total for a very underpromoted event - but there was a ton of support from the traffic.

One of the things about living in Portland - not only did the majority of cars honk and wave the Stalinist salute peace sign, but I saw not one "W" sticker during the hour we were there. We were really preaching to the choir.

It was an interesting protest, though. The organizers requested that there be no speeches, no chants, and that the signs be limited to "NOW is the time to end the war; NOW is the time to bring them home!" The last wasn't quite followed, but the "Impeach Bush" and "Thanks for the money, sorry about your kids -- love, Halliburton" signs were fairly scarce. It was an interesting contrast to today's Washington march, or your average Portland march, for that matter. There was a real unity of purpose - no flamboyant costumes, no Black Bloc types, just a lot of good feeling, a lot of candles, and a lot of lighter fluid used relighting candles after buses went by.

Speaking of buses, I was immediately struck by the fact that almost every bus driver honked and waved or flashed two fingers. Nothing like watching a guy risk his job - technically, at least - to show his support. But what really got me was something I wasn't even sure that I saw. It seemed impossible until I read this post at Indymedia: A police van drove by and the officer in the passenger seat gave the peace sign. That's right - the Portland Police.

In Portland, at least, Bush is so far over the shark he's coming around on it again. I fully expect him to name this guy as the next head of the FDA.

Other things I saw:

A guy carrying a candle in a wineglass. (Mrs. Auguste was quite jealous as she was trying to light her candle for the 482nd time.)

A man in a sport coat carring a "Vietnam Veteran Against the War" sign who kept appearing on one side of the bridge, then the other, even though I never saw him cross.

A baby in a stroller with a sign taped to it that said "Please bring home my Uncle Shawn."

A lot of kids and a lot of dogs.

Puddles of candle wax all over the sidewalk. Is candle wax biodegradable? I hope so.


So that was my Saturday night. I can't wait to hear from Mykeru. I doubt if his day was as calm as mine...

Update: Apparently the local paper of record, the Oregonian, claims there were only 100 people there. Considering I walked past more than 100 people just to get a quarter of the way across the bridge, that angers me. In fact, I imagine if one were to count one could find more than 100 people just in these pictures.