Last Saturday October 25 I went to the anti-war march downtown Los Angeles. I took the subway and as the subway car was approaching 7th and Metro, I noticed who else in the car was going to the march by the signs they were carrying: a middle aged woman holding a sign and a couple youths about college age. I'm a citizen so I always go to the anti-war marches, even if five people were marching. Actually, right have the Iraq War started I went to a poet's vigil against the war in North Beach in S.F. which had six people! Six poets! That was my all-time favorite anti-war act, as we six poets tried to light candles when the big wind blew through the North Beach park trying to blow out our candles just as the big winds of war from Washington D.C. were trying to blow out our anti-war voices, so we six poets relit and relit and relit our candles. We talked Quaker style how we were against the war.
As a poet and a citizen I always have to go. I got out the subway, went up to the corner of 7th & Hope to wait for my friend Anna and get a cup of coffee. Soon Anna arrived, and we walked east on 7th to Broadway seeing more anti-war people with signs and banners--always encouraging. Then we walked down Broadway through the crowds of Saturday Latino shoppers to Olympic where there was about 20 bike police and then the anti-war crowd of thousands on Broadway just south of Olympic. On the lead truck a rapper was rapping to a crowd, but Anna and I were too far away to hear.
I think of the anti-war people as what is called in the Bible the "shomer," or guardians of democracy who never rest. Doris Lessing once said that a writer has that still, individual voice of conscience in her writing, and oftentimes she in her writing was the small voice condemning all of segragation and colonialism in Africa. Yes, it would be great if we had 100,000 rather than 5,000 here in Los Angeles today, but what's important is each of us being our own voice of conscience.
The march goes north on Broadway, with many banners demanding that the Bush regime leave Iran alone. To me even the thought of bombing Iran is horrifying. There is no proof and I mean no proof they are developing nuclear weapons. The Bush people give estimates that maybe Iran will have weapons in 10 years? maybe in 8 years? maybe in 5 years? It's all war propaganda based on speculation without facts without evidence. The most ugly kind of war propaganda to justify bombing a country that has done nothing to the U.S.
We all walked north down the middle of the street through the heart of downtown through the heart of the city between two walls of tall brick buildings. At the end of the march was a group of young Koreans banging their drums and dancing, then a group of Koreans carrying a large altar, then a group of Korean men in long yellow robes. Lastly was a group of Aztec mostly male dancers dancing against the war all the way up Broadway. Seeing the Aztec dancers dancing up Broadway for peace I felt I must love Los Angeles I mean really really love this city when the Azetc warriors do all that exhuasting dance to bring us peace up broad way!