Friday, September 19, 2008

Pssst... pass it on!

(Passed on to me from a friend... I am not thrilled with either candidate, but I definitely have issues with the lady from Alaska).

The Alaska Women Reject Palin rally was to be held outside on the lawn in front ofthe Loussac Library in midtown Anchorage. Home made signs were encouraged, and theidea was to make a statement that Sarah Palin does not speak for all Alaska women,or men. I had no idea what to expect.The rally was organized by a small group of women, talking over coffee. It made mewonder what other things have started with small groups of women talking overcoffee. It's probably an impressive list. These women hatched the plan, printed upflyers, posted them around town, and sent notices to local media outlets. One ofthose media outlets was KBYR radio, home of Eddie Burke, a long-timeuber-conservative Anchorage talk show host. Turns out that Eddie Burke not onlyannounced the rally, but called the people who planned to attend the rally "a bunchof socialist baby-killing maggots," and read the home phone numbers of theorganizers aloud over the air, urging listeners to call and tell them what theythought. The women, of course, received some nasty, harassing and threateningmessages.I felt a bit apprehensive. I'd been disappointed before by the turnout at otherrallies. Basically, in Anchorage, if you can get 25 people to show up at an event,it's a success. So, I thought to myself, if we can actually get 100 people therethat aren't sent by Eddie Burke, we'll be doing good. A real statement will havebeen made. I confess, I still had a mental image of 15 demonstrators surrounded byhundreds of menacing "socialist baby-killing maggot" haters.It's a good thing I wasn't tailgating when I saw the crowd in front of the libraryor I would have ended up in somebody's trunk. When I got there, about 20 minutesearly, the line of sign wavers stretched the full length of the library grounds,along the edge of the road, 6 or 7 people deep! I could hardly find a place topark. I nabbed one of the last spots in the library lot, and as I got out of thecar and started walking, people seemed to join in from every direction, carryingsigns.Never, have I seen anything like it in my 17 and a half years living in Anchorage. The organizers had someone walk the rally with a counter, and they clicked off wellover 1400 people (not including the 90 counter-demonstrators). This was the biggestpolitical rally ever, in the history of the state. I was absolutely stunned. Thesecond most amazing thing is how many people honked and gave the thumbs up as theydrove by. And even those that didn't honk looked wide-eyed and awe-struck at thehuge crowd that was growing by the minute. This just doesn't happen here.Then, the infamous Eddie Burke showed up. He tried to talk to the media, and wasinstantly surrounded by a group of 20 people who started shouting O-BA-MA so loud hecouldn't be heard. Then passing cars started honking in a rhythmic pattern of 3,like the Obama chant, while the crowd cheered, hooted and waved their signs high.So, if you've been doing the math… Yes. The Alaska Women Reject Palin rally wassignificantly bigger than Palin's rally that got all the national media coverage! So take heart, sit back, and enjoy the photo gallery. Feel free to spread thepictures around to anyone who needs to know that Sarah Palin most definitely doesnot speak for all Alaskans. The citizens of Alaska, who know her best, have thingsto say.

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