Writog? A writer-photographer. Citizen journalist. Unless indicated otherwise all content, text and images, here at www.writog.com (C) Copyright 2006 - 2017 Luke T. Bush

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Location: Plattsburgh, New York, United States

Writog: writer-photographer.

Friday, July 22, 2011

They’re Back

Time’s up, Barack.

Almost every Thursday afternoon they used to gather on the west side of Trinity Park in downtown Plattsburgh, rallying against then-President George W. Bush's Shrub’s wars. Even on bone-freezing winter days they held up signs marked with aphorisms that challenged Shrub’s policies. -10 degrees Fahrenheit anyone?

January 2007

But the peace ralliers faded from view after Democrat Barack Obama won the White House. They did show up in January 2010 for another cold day protest against Barack's decision to continue waging the Afghani-nam war with a troop buildup. But the weekly anti-war protest lost its impetus, due in part to some ralliers deciding to give Barack a chance. After all, during his presidential campaign, he promised change. And his predecessor did have two full terms, eight years, to screw everything up.

July 21, 2011. A day for record-breaking high temps. Late afternoon: heat index 108 F. I'm walking along, half-dead from the blasting sun, when I see a familiar sight in the distance. A mirage? No. Guess who’s back protesting near the park? Same issues, different leader.

July 2011

It’s a good spot for the left-leaning group to publicly demonstrate. Next to City Hall, the local seat of government, with Macdonough Monument across the street, a defiant bronze eagle perched atop the obelisk, a symbol of freedom.

One of the ralliers, Kurtis Hagen, told me that’s he’s disappointed in Obama’s unfulfilled campaign promises. Guantanamo Bay detention camp hasn’t been closed. Besides the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq dragging on, Obama has involved the USA in a rebel conflict in Libya.

I asked Kurtis if the occasional criticisms in the Press-Republican about the peace ralliers motivated him to bring back the public demonstrations. Readers through Letters to the Editor and Speakout, the PR’s anonymous comment via email feature, had accused the group of being hypocrites. The point was that ralliers were out challenging Shrub’s war policies when he was in office but not a word during Obama’s presidency regarding the continuation of the same policies. (Apparently a few of these critics didn't notice the January 2010 protest, preferring to stay inside, warm and passive.)

Kurtis replied he was unaware of the criticism. On his own initiative he contacted the people who had rallied before, having decided that Obama was generally more of the same. He and the others decided that they wouldn't give Barack a pass; the President has had enough time to bring about some change.

The peace group hopes to return to its Thursday afternoon demonstrations, Kurtis added. For more information he can be contacted at kurtishagen@yahoo.com .


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