The movement calls your name
Last Friday evening, my girlfriend, my other girlfriend and I were hanging out in front of a Williamsburg art gallery to celebrate the opening of an installation by a friend for whom I have written several expensive art-book introductions. We were discussing our unease about the upcoming war, and also the rise in poverty and how terrible that is. From time to time, we'd sip our beer or wine, and then once in a while someone would break out a little red plastic bag and we'd blow some uncut Peruvian. It was a very typical night out in Brooklyn until the cops came calling.
Sure, we were guilty of the crime of standing four feet outside of a gallery's door with open bags of coke, along with a small group of other people. So what if we were blaring very loud electroclash music into the night, punctuating our consumption with glorious chants of "WHOOOP! WHOOOP! WHOOOP! WHOOOP!"? It was early evening in a warehouse district, and all the working people had gone home to their sad partyless lives. But these three cops apparently didn't care. They patted us down. They took our driver's licenses. One of them went in the car and got on the radio. They filled out a bunch of forms.
Finally, one of them took me aside.
"You'd better not touch me," I said. "Through my work as a radical journalist, I know many human-rights lawyers."
"Buddy, I don't want to touch you," said the cop. "I want to give you this."
It was a flier, advertising an October 6 National Day Of Action against war in Iraq. "Most of the NYPD secretly believes that President Bush has gone too far," said the cop. "We do not want our government to commit acts of senseless violence in our name."
Obviously, I told him, you've seen my anti-war writings, both in print and on the Internet, and you want me to speak at the rally you're organizing. Well, I said, I'll do it, and I'll even waive my usual $10,000 fee.
"Never heard of you," said the cop. "We're just handing out fliers."
"Oh," I said.
"You mind giving us your girlfriend for the evening?" he said. "We're heroes, and we're lonely."
"Sure," I said. "She needs a real man. Just have her home by dawn."
So instead of having a three-way coke orgy, I went home to read the flier and the Internet links listed on it. The more I read, the more I felt committed to "The Movement." Since 1998, we've shut down the World Bank and the IMF, stopped the 2000 Republican AND Democratic conventions, ended capitalism, and freed Mumia. At least in our minds. The government must understand that it cannot break the will of The Movement. We are out there, by the thousands. We already have Marisa Tomei and Ossie Davis, and now the NYPD is behind us as well. We will not let the US Government wage continual war in our name. Also, we need $10,000 by Thursday, or they won't let us use the stage in Central Park.
For more information, or to help, contact Day Of Action head organizer Andrew Sullivan. The anti-war movement has no greater friend.