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Sunday, February 02, 2003

Report from the Front: I've been organizing publicity for our February 8 peace march here in Ann Arbor. We've got some really cool things going on, and I think it will be an exceptionally large, visible and fun march. We are formally organizing four "feeder marches" of 1/4 to 1/2 mile that will converge on the official starting point of the march. In addition, several neighborhoods are planning on walking to downtown along busy streets to get to these feeder marches, greatly increasing the visibility. We have hired an airplane for two hours before and during the march which will tow a banner AND take aerial photos! We won't have everyone in town involved in the march, but we're going to do our best to make it look that way!

Last Friday, a few of us stood at a busy intersection near campus (Packard and State) holding signs and passing out flyers. One of the signs said "Honk for Peace!", and we got lots of drivers to honk as they went by, even bus and taxi drivers! This is a really cool way to increase your visibility, and I think that's important. With so many famous people like Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter, the National Council of Churches, and even Norman Schwarzkopf speaking out against the war, and the press starting to cover it, it really helps for people to know that there are lots of others out there who oppose the war. We even had several drivers of gigantic SUV's honk for peace! After 9/11, anyone who questioned Bush's tactics in Afghanistan felt like an outcast when surrounded by all of the flags and "United We Stand" signs. At least here in Ann Arbor, we're getting to the point where anyone who supports Bush is starting to feel like an outcast. I try not to be a petty person, but dang, it feels good!!!

An update on Nelson Mandela's condemnation of Bush: I watched the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather on Thursday night, and large parts of Mandela's speech, including the great "a president who has no foresight, who cannot think properly" line, were played as the second story of the show. They even played the applause from the crowd! I think Dan Rather vowed after CBS' pandering support of the Afghanistan war that he wouldn't again be such a tool of the administration, and I think this is a sign of that. Let's keep building our movement so that Dan can keep his job!