Last night, thinking I hadn't done enough to protest this week, I took advantage of the last good chance, and headed into the city at about nine to meet Joe at Union Square. From there, we walked up to 31st and 8th where ANSWER was having a rally. As soon as we had got up there, the police were dispersing the crowd and sending them back downtown marching. So we headed back toward Union Square, and before getting there, we heard synchronized shouting a couple blocks away. "Move Bush, get out the way, get out the way." A cheer, which I thought was hilirious when I first heard it on Sunday since it is done to the tune of that silly hip-hop song, and which I still found terribly amusing last night. So we headed toward the shouting crowd and of course, ran into a pack of Strand employees (Dave, Keith, Will, Erin, and Joanna). We then marched back up the route we had just walked up and down. This time, the streets completely closed off as thousands of us marched, taking up a few blocks. We marched right ahead of this really rad marching band. Once at 30th and 8th again, the police had barricaded off the streets to prevent further marching and some people sat down to protest, and rumor was that the police were going to arrest everyone in the pen who was still in it at 11:30, and so at 11:20, Joe and I left. On the way to the subway, I ran into the Radcliffe brothers for the third time that evening. I think it is so funny that in this crowd of thousands in town for the protests, I keep encountering these siblings from Florida.
I talked to one crush yesterday, Adrian, at the Strand until the owner, Nancy, scolded me for not shelving. We talked about ways of continuing QueerFist after the RNC leaves town. I really like him and am inspired by his idealism. I am inspired by the idealism and tirelessness of half of this town this week. I have had brief conversations with so many random activists, all working for change, doing so with a smile, happy people. This week has made me so happy and I think a large part of the reason for this feeling of happiness is that it reminds me, harkens back to the activist energy at New College. It feels so wonderful to be surrounded by this large mass of people progressive and proud about it. This week is probably the first time I have experienced this feeling since leaving New College. Could this also be that there is such a large contingent of New College folks here? Regardless, I am so excited that Adrian is taking lots of initiative to see that this energy extends past the convention, to continue QueerFist in other ways, to create a more radical community here in New York, where I can feel a similar feeling.
BTW, two short days, I did a brave thing. I called Scott's number after asking for it, asked him if he wanted to do something this week, and most likely will go dancing with him at Raffifi's this evening. Is this what it feels like to not act neurotic and actually talk to people you like? Baby steps, baby steps. Dr. Leo Marvin.