Monday, January 19, 2009

Peaceful Protest

This weekend my boys & I went to Balboa Park to watch a puppet show at the Marie Hitchcock theater and afterwards we walked over to the botanical gardens. On our way, we encountered a protest that was going on down the esplanade. There was a mixture of American flags and of another country, which I didn't recognize, and hundreds of people carrying banners and posters. Judging from the signs I guessed that they were protesting the war in Gaza. There was someone on a loudspeaker relaying a chant and then the crowd was repeating after her. There were police walking alongside the protesters and officers on horseback as well. My sons and I stood under an archway and watched these families march by as they waved their flags and shook their banners. My oldest asked what this all was and I explained that it was a protest, that when there is something you don't agree with you are able to peacefully protest in a public place. He asked what they were protesting and I said that I think it was the war in Gaza. At that moment I felt so sadly out of touch, not able to give him a more knowledgable answer about exactly why they would be protesting. I mean, I've seen brief bits about this on the news and online but I really don't know enough to explain it. My son wanted to stand and watch the entire protest. After the crowd had passed we went into the botanical garden, the sound of the passing crowd quieting as they kept walking.

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