The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


The truth as I see it

Protest lacks usual excitement

The only difference between a protest and a riot is purpose. That’s what I believe. So what happened Monday across 75? That was not a protest; that was a picnic in heavy traffic with signs. It sucked.

But wait, you say; what about all the people? What about the message? What message. Nobody got arrested and nobody died. No impact was made.

I was affected, personally. I had to drop off some film equipment and I saw six people with “No War in Iran” signs. Five college students and a professor. Discounting it as some stupid poli-sci extra credit thing, I continued on with my day.

Until I saw the helicopters.

I have a childlike fascination with these things. I could probably build one with Legos or K’NEX and fly to China. I know a cyclic from a swash plate. So when I saw those beautiful birds hovering in the sky, my ADD kicked in as my brain locked in like the missiles that will soon do the same to Iranian insurgents and the occasional children’s hospital.

Eager to be part of a possible militant uprising, I half-assed my work and charged over to Ford stadium, where I had seen a lot of police cars. So I get there and guess what, there’s nobody there.

Well, I use the word ‘nobody’ figuratively. When you see squad cars and a Dallas Police ‘Mobile Command’ Unit outside the Ford Stadium with shooters on the roof, you’d think there’d be at least a siege tower and some dead hippies burning in their own Molotov cocktails at the base.

Nah, that’s not what happened. I wandered over to a small stage with about 30 people around it. Ten of them were police officers standing ready in three-man battlegroups. Currently speaking was some lady ranting about something random. There was a fat man in a cowboy hat eagerly waving his American flag. Another few aging freedom fighters had also kept their signs, tipping them upside down and using them like walking sticks to prop themselves up as they viewed the stage.

No longer anticipating bloody death on a baton or being hit in the head by a stray skateboard, I paced about the outskirts of the crowd. The lady went on, occasionally pausing for emphasis and being greeted by five or six half-hearted cheers.

The fat man grew tired at this point and planted his flag in the dirt, also using it to support himself.The angry lady stormed off stage, and the host stepped up and began cheerfully recounting the role of peace, love and a bunch of other garbage to the crowd. Then he mentioned the sign-up list to speak to the crowd.

I probably killed someone in my mad dash to get on that thing. The crowd in front of us stood like sheep, baying their opposition to the war on command. Someone needed to shake that soda can up and I firmly believe that it’s not a protest until someone announces, “We’re gonna burn this mother down.”

While waiting for my chance to instigate a riot or maybe have one of the police who outnumbered protestors arrest me, I conversed with the surrounding people. Turns out the group in charge of the protest wanted some SMU support. They went to the Progressive Democrats, who are too progressive to oppose Bush, and perhaps more intriguingly, the MSA refused involvement.

Apparently, the Muslim Student Association has no position on war in Iran. I guess the group counts only American Muslims or something, because when you think how many Muslims there are in Iran, you’d also like to believe a few of their buddies would have something to say about us going over and blowing a few hundred thousand of them up, possibly getting us or Israel nuked in return. That’s one of those things Muslims should be concerned about. Apparently not. I’d like to understand, but I guess it’s a cultural thing. Maybe I could become a Muslim myself and explain it to you, but I’ve already visited a church of Scientology so I’m pretty much against converting to any religion at this point.

Back to the peace rally. A few vigilantes wander out into the street and the police, practically exploding with self-satisfaction, line up and, with textbook perfection, herd them out of the street. Like sheep, the various dissidents move. Not a single bottle was thrown, and not a single person was stabbed. I couldn’t believe it.

So then I run into Diane Baker. Last year she made the front page of the Washington Post alongside the 16 to 17 police officers who took her 50-year-old ass down.

They also accused her of crossing a police line, which she could have done if the wind blew her 98-pound body hard enough. Anyway, the DA denied her request to work in a hospice for the terminally ill, which she does for her ministerial position in Dallas, and decided she could better serve the community by picking up trash.

She also was arrested for protesting Vietnam, so it’s safe to say that she hasn’t reformed a whole lot. It’s also safe to say any district attorney who assigns a lady I’d want as a grandmother to any more than 50 hours of manual labor in the hot sun deserves six hits of acid and a visit from the Spanish Inquisition.

I still hate the police. The day after my piece about cops, an officer showed up at my mom’s house to serve a warrant and arrest me, which is funny because it says I live there only in the SMU directory. The only person allowed to harass my mom is me, plain and simple.

The host stepped off stage and was replaced by a jug band or something. After that we got some bad poetry and the obligatory white guys with dreadlocks playing jazz. With disgust overcoming my love of jazz, I left at that point.

That is my fact; that is the truth as I see it.

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