Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Puppet Parades, Iranian Images, Gitmo Tour, Mark Rudd

Day Two (Monday) of Denver street activity was a needed absence for me, but I came back to town on Day Three. Missed Monday night, when a small crowd left Civic Center Plaza and was tear-gassed.

Tuesday was an odd but interesting day of dispersed activity around town. Code Pink intended to do an action chiding the telecom companies and NSA over the FISA act, but I sure couldn't find the demo. Instead, my friend David and I went to Civic Plaza for the start of the Backbone Campaign's Procession for the Future. Plenty of oversized puppets, to wit:

Before leaving the plaza, we saw what looked to be an inflatable mosque, and I wondered if it was some odd monument to Muqtada al-Sadr put up by some sectarian group. It was actually a wonderful "Images of Iran" display created by something called the Manjushri Project. Images of Iranians were reproduced on enormous translucent fabrics that were printed on both sides, a new type of silk-screening recently developed.

We went back to Tent State University later in the afternoon, after a brief detour to grab cold beers at the Lion's Lair (which, incidentally, is no longer the home of Modern Drunkard magazine, as MD now has grown to hold its own convention over three bars, and has signed a licensing deal of some type with HBO). I got a tour of a mock Guantanamo cell designed by Amnesty International as part of a global awareness tour. Late in the afternoon, former SDS and Weather Underground activist Mark Rudd gave an informal workshop to talk about the difference between social organizing and personal activism. Unlike Barack Obama's Swift-style nemesis Bill Ayers, Rudd completely renounced the violent philosophies of Weather. When someone asked him, "When will the time be ripe for a violent revolution in this country?", he answered unequivocally, "Never."

The rest of Rudd's talk is here. Today (Wed.) is Rage Against the Machine and other music.


Ruth said...

I just LOVE the Manjushri Project. I wonder how many of these have been constructed, and where it will go next? The Twin Cities next week?

I thought Hillary's comment about the twins (McCain and Bush) in the Twin Cities was brilliant last night.

Sharon said...

Now that is art! I too LOVED the Manjushri Project. Really incredible and amazing getting to glimpse everything. The Gitmo presentation was really powerful too.

Good luck with your class tomorrow. I hope you get lots of receptive and enthusiastic participants.