I've been keeping abreast of political goings-on for quite some time. Very often, it's seemed like all the major gatherings and rallies addressing the peoples' concerns have been across the state or in another state entirely. And then, I saw the date and time for today's Defend the Dream rally in Bellingham.
The wind, the rain and the chill were trying to work against us, but I brought my good friend along and we hopped on the public bus heading toward the library. Once there, we were greeted to the sight of at least 90 people holding various signs. There was a table with letters and petitions and, of course, there was an open mic for those of us lacking stage fright to speak our minds. As we listened to the various personal stories and took part in a chant or two, we relished the sense of community that sprang from standing alongside our fellow Bellinghamsters to speak our minds.
With the weather starting to really bear down on us, it was clear that the rally would be cut short. The organizer, an awesome lady from MoveOn.org whose name eludes me at present, was gracious enough to hand over the mic to one last speaker. That being me. After my preface, I began with the following statement:
"I was born in 1983. My father was an air traffic controller."
The parallels between then and the current Republican assault on the middle class were brought into a somewhat sharper focus, for me as I spoke of the personal heartbreak and turmoil my family had suffered during the last nationwide attempt at union-busting almost 20 years ago.
All in all, the rally was pretty awesome. I had a fantastic time, really got the sense that I did something truly worthwhile and I intend to do more.