Thursday, October 17, 2013

Disappointing turnout at protest

First I made my sign at home.

Here I am at the east side of the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

I went to a protest today in downtown Tulsa. The site of the protest was the Hyatt Regency Hotel across the street from the Bank of Oklahoma tower on second street.

I first made a sign on poster board. See picture above of me adding crosshatching to the large letters. I got a from blocks from the house and realized I did not have my cell phone or camera with me. I went back and got those two items. (My cell phone has a camera on it, but I prefer using my Fujifilm camera.)

I parked at the Home Depot parking lot about a half mile away from the hotel. I was a couple of blocks away when I realized I had left my sign in my car. So I trotted back and got my sign. I arrived at the protest site right at 4:30 pm, the appointed time. But alas, I saw no one there I recognized. Then I spotted Ali Canada in front of the BoK tower. I went down to the crosswalk (cops were everywhere) and crossed over to the north side of the street. Ali was carrying a "We Are One" sign from a rally from a few months back. Ginny had asked us be there early to stake out a good site. Ginny, by the way, was suffering from an injury she had sustained from a auto accident a few months back and was unable to come.

While I was chatting with Ali, Faye joined us. As they say, two is company but three is a crowd. A patrolman with the Tulsa Police who was across the street came over to talk with us. The reason for the heavy police presence was a visit by former president G. W. Bush. In addition were several senators and Governor Fallin. It was a big Republican gathering.

The patrolman said that we could not stand on the sidewalk in front of the BoK tower, that an area for protests had been designated on the east side of the Hyatt. We had no choice but to move to the east side of the building. When we got there we met four others who were there for the protest. They soon left to get something to eat, saying they would return. However, they never came back. I asked Ali to snap a picture of me holding my sign. That is the other picture shown in this posting.

Before long two women showed up. Now we were five. About six o'clock, the time for Bush to speak, we decided to walk with our signs. We circled the block three times with our signs. My sign was probably the most lame of the signs. Some of the edgier signs called Bush a war criminal. (The ex-president is limited in the countries he can travel to since some countries have a warrant our for his arrest should he ever cross the border into those countries.)

We dispersed around 7:00 pm. I got a ride with Faye back to my car parked at Home Depot.

Why did not more people take part in the protest? 31 had signed up online to be there. Part of the answer lies in the fact the Oklahoma is the reddest of the red states. Every county in Oklahoma voted for Bush in the last presidential election. I have concluded that many liberals are intimidated when it comes to showing up for protests.

I am heartened by this affirmation by Edward Everett Hale found in the Unitarian hymnal:

I am only one

But still I am one.

I cannot do everything,

But still I can do something.

And because I cannot do everything

I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.

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