Down Broadway we went, with people honking in support and with SDPD motor officers making sure the march remained safe.
Once we reached the Midway proper we walked into an area with a small glen, where headstones with the names of every casualty of the war from this region was placed. It was a small memorial, with flags in front of each one of them. There, one of our Occupiers, Chaplain Ron, knelt to say a prayer, among the "headstones."
Anoki Casey by Nadin Abbott
Anoki Casey, one of the members of Occupy San Diego, and one of the two puppeteers, told me "The process is not doing what it is meant to do." He even added "Politicians were relevant in age of horse and buggy, but that today we should do things by consensus."
Casey gave me the example of Balboa Park. The people want one thing but City Council is doing whatever they want. We spoke a little about Councilmember Todd Gloria, who represents the district that includes the park. Casey said that his opinion of Gloria depended on what he did. "Todd Gloria made a verbal promise to save the World Beat Center, to give them the twenty five year lease. This is one of the few multicultural institutions." In Casey's mind his opinion of Gloria depends on the Council Member keeping that promise.
Later, and before the rally proper started, I asked Congressman Bob Filner (D-51), and current candidate for Mayor of San Diego, what was his view of this anniversary. He told me that it was "a sad anniversary. We should not be there. Casualties are not being reported. It is time to bring the troops home."
We had a minute to talk about the five-dollar fee to come to Balboa Park. Congressman Filner said that he was opposed to it. He also feels very confident about the coming election.
Then the Congressman was introduced to the rally attendants. He was once a civil rights marcher. As he climbed the stage and took the microphone he repeated what he told me, that this was a sad anniversary. He also told the audience "one million vets have shown up to the VA from this war"there is a deliberate attempt to mislead the people" as to the true cost of the war.
Filner was also emphatic, "as a historian if Alexander the Great could not do it, the Soviets could not do it, the British could not do it, how can we do it?"