gasp! I need some air, and was searching for it at - of all places- on google, semi-geek that I am, when I came across this website. Not quite what I was looking for, but refreshing nevertheless.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

anti-war rally, NYC

I spent the morning making phone calls and cooking - two things that go very well in the multitasking domain. Just as I was ready to sit down for a brunch and a movie, I saw what looked like hundreds of people walking down (rather, up, since they were going north) 6th Avenue with anti-war posters on display.

I rushed to the roof to find most of my building mates already there, and a professional photographer. What started looking like a few hundred people turned out more like thousands, then tens, and now that it's over, I think about a hundred thousand people crossed in front of my apartment.

I don't have political preferences - heck, I don't even know enough about politics to open my mouth. What I was enjoying is the sheer energy of this city and the people within. We had put up a couple of speakers, and had Michael Jackson music blasting away towards the crowd from the roof. People were wonderful - they waved to us, and were taking little dancing breaks as they crossed down below! I don't know words that can accurately describe the feeling when you have hundreds of strangers dancing and waving at the music you are playing from your apartment!

And what a rally it was - from people with protesting slogans, to what looked like professional performers, and Chinese(?) dancing bands, and bands with panpipes and "kanshor ghonta" - in brief, I have never seen anything like this before, not even in NYC.

Then the cops came up. They said they had a problem with us being on the roof of our apartment, and they could have us arrested. To make it clear that they were talking business, one of them even pulled his gun out and pointed at my building mate's dog. That sent the message home - didn't want to get shot or arrested, so we all came down.

We still had the music on from within the rooms for another half hour or so, until the last of the protesters walked past and a blockful of cop cars forming the rear rolled by.

At the end, what started like another slow weekend turned out to be a show exploding with sheer human energy!