Sunday, December 10, 2006

WE told them so!

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on Friday recounted an "honor roll" of celebrity politicians who opposed the invasion of Iraq from the start. The title of the column was "They told you so."

Frankly, they didn't tell a lot of us anything we didn't already fervently believe.

We were doing our own "telling."

So let's praise our own honor roll, which is too long to recite here. Thousands marched and chanted peacefully through the streets of downtown Portland to protest the invasion, both before and after the tragedy.

Here in Hillsdale, as early as the fall of 2002, a group of us marched every Sunday from Hillsdale and back. Our most senior walker was in her 80s. Several children joined our walks.

The "Peace Walkers," as we called ourselves, were heartened by dozens of motorists who honked encouragement. The children took particular pleasure in counting the honkers. "That's 76!" "We're up to 93!"

Of course we endured a handful of pro-war drivers, some of whom actually stopped in the middle of Capitol Highway to rant at us. I sometimes wonder what they are thinking now.

After the invasion, we laid plans for the 2004 elections and started "Hillsdale Votes!" to register and turn out voters here. We did so regardless of political affiliation, although the large majority were Democrats.

The surge in registrations from 2004 carried over into 2006. Obviously many who registered to vote for Bush in 2004 used their power this year to vote against the war and for a new Congress controlled by the Democrats.

The photo shows some of the placards we carried on those walks. They are a reminder of just how much work needs to be done.

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