Due to a work-related trip out of the country, I will miss the Republican Convention when it comes to town. If I were here, I would protest. I would not use signs, or puppets, or chants; I would protest by reenacting the shocked, dusty exodus from lower Manhattan on the morning of September 11th.
Here's how I would do it:
- start downtown, maybe even below Canal street
- wear expendable business attire.
- set up a step ladder on the street and,
- using a mesh tray like they use for goldpanning or a handsifter, even, I would have a friend cover me with dust.
- It would be chalk dust, or line chalk from a football field, rosin, baby powder, or some other fine, whitish, grayish non-toxic dust.
- I would cover my mouth with a handkerchief while doing this, snd keep it with me to wipe my sweaty, dusty face.
- I would offer to cover as many thousands of my fellow protestors in the same manner.
- Then, I would start walking north.
- Or I would start walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, en masse.
- I would let verisimilitude and photogenics dictate my route more than proximity to Madison Square Garden.
- I would be eerily, even unsettlingly, quiet and orderly.
I would take seriously my responsibility as a New Yorker who lived through that horrible day, and take its symbolism back from the politicians who ignored the warnings, did nothing to prepare, sat or flailed wildly when it happened, sowed fear with it ever since, used it to falsely justify a war of misplaced vengeance, put us all in even greater danger than we were before, and who are now coming to town to usurp the most widely shared monument to their failure.
But maybe that's just me.