If you come in my cage I'll eat you too!

Monday, May 01, 2006


I heard the demonstrators coming today and I ran out to get my lunch before the main group got to the street in front of my workplace. I had to go to the ATM, so I ran to the bank and then I got my sandwich. The Cambodian lady at my favorite sandwich shop asks me what I think of the coming demonstrators and I tell her it's a good thing. Immigrants work hard and are under appreciated. She says she agrees. She herself works very hard at the shop and the owner takes advantage of her. I go outside and the crowd has arrived and I just get across the street and stop to watch the parade. Everybody is waving American flags and shouting, "Si se puede!" As the demonstrators pass the garbage can I am standing by, they put their empty water bottles in the trash, making sure the street is kept clean, very respectful. Much more respectful than most native born Americans that live in this city. I know it's time to go back to work and eat my lunch, but I can't leave. I stand and wave at all the demonstrators for an hour and a half. My co-worker comes and stands next to me, he's from China. We talk about how cool this march is compared to the anti-war marches he attends. He says the anarchists and Maoists always ruin the anti-war marches. He says he always confronts the Maoists, since he lived under the system and has no respect for Americans that think they know what it means although he has some admiration for Marxist theory. I tell him I think war can be useful some times and we discuss amongst ourselves for a bit. People in the march are asking us to march with them and we say we have to work. A girl walks by, very pregnant, and I point at her tummy, she yells, "Any day now!" I yell back, "Any minute!" I see one Cambodian guy, very few non Hispanics were marching, and the Cambodian guy has a scar on his neck that looks as if someone has tried to decapitate him at one time. I make eye contact with him and he nods. You can tell from looking into his eyes, that he has been to hell and back. My legs are shaking from emotion and my co-worker says his heart is pounding in his chest and he can't take it any more and has to leave. One of the top supervisors comes out to get lunch and sees me. She walks up and starts waving too. She says she wasn't sure what she could do until she saw me waving, so she came to wave with me. She used to run the adult literacy program and I taught reading under her for a while. She said she would always think of me when a guy would ask for a pretty white girl for a reading teacher. A light skinned hispanic guy rides up to us on a bike. He has a chihuahua in a basket on the back. He asks if we like Mexican food. The supervisor says "Yes," then the guy says, "Everybody likes Mexican food, but nobody likes Mexicans." I tell him that's not true. I stand and wave til all the marchers have passed and the low riders are honking as they drive past us. I am sunburned down one side of my body and on one side of my face.


At 5:33 AM , Blogger Bhamini said...

Wow...what an evocative post. It was so real that I was standing right beside u.


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