The peace rally in Seattle this weekend was wonderful. There were only a few thousand people, but they really cared. pdx42 was the first speaker after the MC and Congressman Jim McDermott. pdx42 gave a great speech and really had the crowd fired up. Unfortunately, unlike him, many speakers were awful. A local union leader was screaming at the crowd. He didn't seem to realize that he was putting them off. Then he said he was going to lead them on chant "3 times". He did the chant 4 times and really threw off his tempo.
A minister who was a great speaker yet seemed somewhat disinterested ignored the fact that he was going over time and finally when the MC gently touched his arm the minister said "and in closing I'd just like to say..." and then went on for another few minutes and started focusing exclusively on "God is on our side". Ignoring the fact that many in the crowd were atheists, pagans or held other beliefs that didn't necessarily walk hand-in-hand with his God, the minister finished a good speech by alienating a number of audience members. And, of course, "God is on our side" is the rhetoric of the other side. It reminds me of the time Rush Limbaugh sat in for Jay Leno and discovered that normal people don't appreciate his brand of humor.
Other speakers tried to educate the audience but due to limited speaking time, they tried to pack too much information in to too little time. The audience couldn't follow along and process the information. You could see when the speakers would lose the crowd with this. Side conversations sprung up and people got bored. I guess that many speakers didn't understand what it meant when they were notified that they were to motivate the crowd, not educate them.
The actual peace march went well. I only saw one counter protester, so that was a nice change. Many drivers stopped, honked and waved in support.
Later that evening, we went down to a local "goth/industrial" night at Noc Noc. Though the fliers say "Ever Saturday - EMB, Synthpop, Industrial", my request for Pigface was turned down because "we're only EBM tonight". That was a shame. The club was nice. The crowd was great. The music was bland.
I must say that Seattle is gorgeous. If I ever find myself in the position of having to move from Portland and I'm not going back to Europe, Seattle is very tempting.