Day 3: Tikkun, and the scene on Causeway
[AAAA, sorry to be so far behind. I am generally behind on life right now. Hmm, I ought to catch up. Day 3 refers to my third full day in Boston, which was Monday.]
First things first: I renewed my driver's license. Excellent. Then off to an event mainly sponsored by Tikkun, featuring Medea Benjamin, Cornell West, Michael Lerner, and others. Something about how Kerry needs to be tough and not adopt the Bush or AIPAC agenda. That's great and all, but Tikkun was just so spiritual and depoliticized that the event -- or as much as I heard of it, since I mostly had to be tabling outside -- was rather slow. They're not big into hard politics, but rather into spiritual and feel-good long speeches. Michael Lerner is not exactly the most exciting guy on the circuit, though the older audience did seem to appreciate him. Cornell West was the real show, though. I don't remember what he said, either, but at least he was exciting.
After that, I spent a few hours in the early evening outside the Fleet Center, both on Causeway and Canal streets and in the Free Speech Zone (FSZ). The Palestine rally was scheduled for 5-7, and I was there for most of it. The scene was very small -- maybe a couple hundred at the peak. Then pen was very pen-like. Two layers of fences, and one of them with netting on it. Bad scene. A majority of the delegates, I believe, came in by busses, which dropped them off in an area behind the pen, but of course separated by those fences. All the delegates who came by taxi or foot, though, walked the gauntlet down Causeway street, though, where anyone was free to solicit them or whatever. I wandered around the area. On the street, there were chalkings -- from the first amendment to anti-abortion stuff. Yay chalk. A small crowd gathered around where delegates were entering by foot, but not even that large a crowd. Many of the delegates gave sympathetic looks to the protesters, including a few anti-war folks, who were there. They didn't appear angry at the protesters.
In the rally, the speakers were either way too loud, or inaudible, depending on where you stood. The speakers were a mixed bag, but the venue didn't help it all; it didn't have that much of a rally feel. The emphasis was heavily on the situation of the protest itself, which was hard not to think about.
As things in the pen winded down, my mom and I left. We stopped by the NLG office, where a few young volunteers were at the ready for phones that didn't seem to be ringing much, and then it was home for burritos. Then Aerob came over and we went to a bar up the street. :)