Saturday, April 11, 2009

hartford rally

today i drove the old S-10 up to Hartford in the rain to join in the "A New Way Forward" rally, calling for the government to take a stronger hand with the banks. i had gotten an e-mail from "," one of the several generic addresses i have been getting since volunteering for Obama's campaign in early '08 in New Hampshire and Connecticut. usually i do not open them, but this time i did, and was interested. i signed up to the rally on the campaign's website. the 90 signed up had dribbled away in the rain to 20 or 30, which was not very encouraging at first. but it was still a good experience, talking to some of my fellow sign holders and chanters (hey hey ho ho, where'd all that money go?). i offered to share my umbrella with a couple of young guys, but they seemed to still be of the age when they thought needless discomfort a sign of valor (maybe it is, at that). one guy dressed as a banker in tie, bright neon sneakers, suit, and fake gold watch chain. another was a british Bobbie with a pair of hand cuffs. i found he was a rightist finding common cause with us. there was a preternaturally calm, collected Chin-do dog, maybe the first i've ever seen (a breed native to Korea). only the two organizers were from hartford -- many had driven a good ways, like me.

anyway, i am on another email list. it feels good. even symbolic actions are actions. and we got some honks.

i also went to an amnesty international meeting this week at the town library, and that too was good. i want to see what AI does about prison reform in the US. solitary confinement is, in my view, cruel and inhumane and tantamount to torture. yet it is dispensed to hundreds of thousands without any particular reason (those states using it most do not see fewer violent acts in their prisons, for example). again, it is an example of this country's dark attraction to punitive cruelty done for no reason but itself: vengeance against our many enemies (in this case, criminals).

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