by Roena Oesting, La Jolla Meeting
I had a wonderful time! I took the bus (with my scooter) downtown and started wandering back south and ran into Russell __ from Vet.for Peace, so he helped me find the right place. Lots of people, lots of stories.
I wandered around before the parade in the group at the children's park. Best sign:
YOU KNOW TIMES ARE TOUGH WHEN WHITE MIDDLE CLASS LADIES ARE MARCHING IN THE STREET
I was pleasantly surprised to see how many handicapped people included. 2 blind ladies, 2 otr 3 other scooters/motorized wheelchairs, 2 other regular wheelchairs, lots of canes--mostly on older men.
There was excellent security! The parade organizers had set aside probably 30 people as internal security, to escort the group, give directions, etc. Then lots of police presence, every street corner, several at the Civic Center site.
I guess I need to back up: the original plan was to start at Children's park and march to the open area at Civic Center and occupy that space. Then someone got smart and said WHOA, there's a huge Yom Kippur ceremony at sundown at Civic Center, so plan B was to march back after just a half hour or so, back to children's park to spend the night. Then back to Civic Center Sat. a.m.
At Golden Hall I did run across one very well dressed couple clearly the first folks for the Yom Kippur and they were clearly spooked. By the time I worked my way over to talk to them, they were inside Golden Hall.
I did try my best to go up to as many police as possible and say Thank You.
Anyhow, it was wonderful. I have no idea of the size, but several hundred anyway. Some chanting on the march, a festive atmosphere.
I was wearing the newer Quaker tshirt and several people asked me/commented on that. I did interrupt a yelling match that was starting between a Ron Paul supporter and a young girl; Later I caught up with her & explained that when you yell, you lose. I don't think she got it, but I tried.
I talked to a lady reporting for UT, a student reporter from City College and another from LaMesa College. Two TV vans, lots of cameras both participants and onlookers. The onlookers along the parade route were quite positive, I didn't hear/see ANY negative comments. Many just watching, some waving back.
I marched (ok scootered) up to Civic Center, back to Broadway, and then I wimped out and went over to the bus stop. There were several other marchers who were also clearly doing that as well.
I'm very glad I went and hope that those who stayed later/overnight will also let the rest of you know their experiences.
by Chuck Orr, La Jolla Meeting
There were mothers with strollers, many college age marchers, men and women my age, some diversity (much more than a Quaker meeting), and many example of peace making. . . I was touched. Most of the street reaction was positive. Yes, we are a country that is frustrated. Yet when a man started ranting on a bull-horn, a younger man approached him and asked him to be more positive and peaceful in his approach. I marched briefly (it was quite loud!) beside a man with a "Lion of Juda" drum. He said he would be leaving before sunset. There were more people marching than when we walked in support of gay marriage. More turned out than for any other gathering I have seen in San Diego. I spoke to a person who remembers marches about this size toward the end of the Vietnam War.
How do we carry forward the positive energy witnessed on this day?
Peace Crane Sculpture Unveiled
by the Website Committee
San Diego Friends meeting unveiled a lovely sculpture of a crane. Here is a link to a page with video.