Friday, June 01, 2007

Driving home the point

We were down to three peace vigilers (vigil-antes?) at Sunset Boulevard and Capitol Highway during this evening’s rush hour. Not that our numbers have ever been overwhelming. The most I can remember is 12 or 13 waving placards at two thousand or so commuters headed home. We’ve been protesting since January or February.

Some commuters, call them Group A, must wonder what good we think we are doing. It reminds me a little of Emerson’s famous exchange with Thoreau when the latter was in jail for refusing to pay his war tax.

“Henry, what are you doing in there?” asked Emerson, to which Thoreau retorted, “What are YOU doing out there?”

It’s important to prompt Group A’s 400 or 500 commuters simply to hesitate, even if only to question our motives. At least they will be forced to think of this tragic, wasteful war.

You might say that I’m standing at Capitol and Sunset, a sign in both hands, in order to get Group A to think about something other than mowing the lawn, the weekend sale at Macy’s or the price of gasoline.

If Group A commuters pause a single instant to reflect on this war, my half hour at Sunset and Capitol is more than worth it.

And then there are all those Group B folks who obviously do understand our protest. Group B still honks and gives us thumbs up. And, like us, they too draw the attention of Group A.

Even if our numbers dwindle to one, each Friday evening from 5:30 to 6:00, the protest will still have Group B, honking and helping — driving home the point for peace.

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