altercation / 2004-08-17
Name: Brian Thomas
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
I’ve been out on the streets of Portland, Oregon five days of every week registering progressive voters.
Today I met up with Portland’s most famous author and anarchist, Ursula K. LeGuin (The Dispossessed, The Left-Hand of Darkness, The Earth-Sea Trilogy, etc.) while she was buying movie tickets at our Fox Towers theatre complex. I asked her the same question I’ve asked
thousands of our citizens:
“Do you want George Bush out of the White House?”
Ms. LeGuin flipped her purse around to reveal a Kerry/Edwards button.
“Wow, I’m thrilled to see an anarchist wearing a Kerry button. All my best anarchist friends are voting for Kerry, but they’re not ready to wear buttons.” And then Ursula smiled broadly as she became the first person I have ever heard utter these words:
“Anybody but Nader.”
Now, let’s get to the real point of this letter. Whether you like it or not, some of these just mentioned Portland anarchists and assorted other activists (including this liberal) are coming to your town next week. Don’t believe the lies you hear on Fox News.
Although we will not be looking for trouble, we will be looking for Central Park. Here in Portland, Oregon when we have grievances to redress we gather in our central town square or in one of the central parks that run through our city as Central Park runs through New York City. Our concerns about war becoming a first choice, not a last resort are central to what we are as a people and so we meet in the center of our city as we will be meeting in the center of yours. Last Friday, in Portland’s Waterfront Park, 50,000 of us met to hear John Kerry. Only a few score of policemen were on hand to direct traffic and keep the park from overflowing with people. Another world is possible.
Your colleague at THE NATION, Naomi Klein’s article “Ditch the Distraction in Chief” was a big hit with my friends. However, we missed your buddies Todd Gitlin and John Passacantado’s words of wisdom for us protesters as they appeared in the subscribers only portion of THE NATION. Any words of wisdom or tips on cheap places to eat you wish to send my way will be shared with all the anarchists from Portland who will soon be descending on your city.