In honor of July 4, I decided to be patriotic by exercising my rights that have been fought for and won through loss of limb and life. With a group of like-minded activists, I stood in front of the Florida capitol where two of the busiest streets in town intersect and, holding a sign saying "Bush lied, people die" in one hand and a burning sparkler in the other, protested the war in Iraq.
The protest has been ongoing since before the war officially started and is normally a twice-weekly event. Protestors have been hassled a couple of times by the cops - once when a guy was out there acting like an idiot in a GW mask (the cops made him take the mask off) and another time for no reason other than the supposed fact that the protestors weren't allowed to stand on that strip of land. The protestors didn't budge. The cops backed down. They had to. They didn't have a leg to stand on.
Most of the people who drive by our demonstration honk in approval of our stance. But some of the motorists express their disapproval with their middle fingers and verbal cries of "Fuck you!" "We love Bush!" "Pussies!" and, most often, "Get a job, hippies!" Funny. I wasn't aware we were all hippies. And, as far as I know, we all have jobs. One of us is even a lawyer.
It felt good to get back out there Tuesday. I haven't been in a while. I've decided to get back out there, though, and keep being a patriot. After all, dissent is patriotic.