A little bit of magic
at the Feb. 16th Peace Rally

Here is what happened to us at the Peace March we went to sunday, Feb. 16th.

A little bit of magic

[Fukin' San Francisco!  The Chinese New Year was saturday, and they -- the only of all cities participating in the peace march -- moved their peace march to the 16th so the Chinese could use the city for their own celebration!  We rock!]

Scott and I followed the peace march to the UN Peace plaza in front of the Civic Center in San Francisco.  I was drawn to the fountain in the square, and then was captured by the FDR quote inscribed on the stone in the fountain.  [I wish I could remember it -- it was lovely and quite anti-war...heart-breaking...]

Then we read the large black granite monolith that had the UN Human Rights charter or somesuch.  I wish I could remember.  We read it and it was quite moving.

I didn't know that the UN charter was written and signed in San Francisco.  That's what I get for being home schooled by scientists...no good history education... :) Ah well.

We then walked up the plaza towards the Civic Center, and towards the speakers.  As we walked, we noticed that the UN charter preamble was inscribed in stone [it is written in stone!] in chunks along the walkway -- one line for each stone.  We read each as we walked.

The weight of it, the fountain quote, the monolith...all stated things we wanted to hold dear, and which seemed like every single one had been shat upon by our dear resident...  It was heart-breaking to read them, to feel the desire for peace and respect for the human condition, and to feel that such noble dreams were being dissed by our own country.

By the time we got to this one:

to ensure by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods,
that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and

Scott broke down into tears.  We stood there and cried for a time, so angry and frustrated, and confused, and feeling like beautiful dreams were being shattered...

We came apart and looked at eachother, crying.  Suddenly, I said, "I have to put flowers on that one."  There was a fruit stand nearby and they also sold flowers.  We each bought a bunch of cheap chrysanthemums [$2 each bundle] and went to lay them down along the words.

Even before we finished laying them out, people were stopping and reading what was there.  I suddenly felt that magic was beginning to happen.

I was carrying a blanket to sit on while listening to the speakers [we were out at a party the night before until 4am! so I wanted to nap too] and we set it down for a while, just watching the reactions of the people walking by.  After no more than a couple minutes, I told Scott I didn't want to leave, I just wanted to watch the people.

People would walk by, then suddenly stop when they noticed the flowers.  Then they'd read what was written.  Many left more flowers.  Within about 10-20 minutes, there were twice the flowers we had left.

Yes, some people walked by, not noticing.  Some accidentally kicked the flowers [some even took some away for themselves.]  But others picked them back up and placed them back with the words.
>to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our
>lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and

"I'm just underlining them so people will read them!" he said.  "Did you see the flowers up ahead?" we asked.  "Oh yes, of course!" he said.  We smiled to eachother.  "Thank you for adding the underlines," we said and walked on.
We had arrived with little preparation.  No signs, not even the ones MoveOn.org offered people to print out and use at the rally.  But we came away feeling like we'd done more than just "show up."  I know I grew, finally knowing how significant San Francisco is to the UN and these world events in particular.  And I hope others grew from our punctuation of those words this weekend...

The UN is, indeed, a noble organization, one that we as a nation should hold dear, and cherish our membership in.  It was founded on the dream of eliminating war, and upholding the rights of all humans, in the same way our own constitution guarantees these rights for American citizens.  We should hold true that these rights are deserved by all people in all nations and we should work hard to enforce peace on this planet.


Some photos:

Here's some pictures taken by our friend Dan Foygel from his Ofoto site:

Rose closeup Roses

Here's a pic on someone else's site [click on the pic and scroll down to the bottom -- lots of other fun pics too!]:

Another flower pic

Here's the Civic Center -- we were in line with the plaza, but just off the edge of this picture:

Civic Center from the air