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Bringing the Pink to the ProcessionNovember 7, 2011
Last night was Tucson's annual All Souls Procession, and CODEPINK Tucson participated by carrying panels from the internationally touring memorial Peace Ribbon exhibit.
This is the third year in a row that the Peace Ribbon has visited Tucson to be a part of the All Souls Procession. Each of the hundreds of hand-crafted 3'x2' fabric panels commemorates lives lost in Iraq and Afghanistan.
There are ties on each of the corners, so the panels can be tied together to form one long ribbon of peace. It is not only mobile, it is very moving.
A band of us gathered to walk the Ribbon again in Tucson's unique All Souls Procession. This event is hosted by Many Mouths, One Stomach and has grown in size, colorfulness, and creativity over the past 3 decades. Thousands of Tucsonans dress up in elaborate costumes, put together ingenious mechanical contraptions, gather their music-making instruments or sage or incense, and congregate to honor the lost souls who are dearly remembered.
As I marched the CODEPINK Peace Heart and took in the astounding variety of people who came out to participate or just to watch, it struck me that this noisy mob might be seen as a real threat to the public safety if we put on the same glasses to view the event as the decision-makers behind the Occupy Ouster in Armory last Thursday must have been wearing.
Here was a HUGE crowd, many of whom were masked, and many were carrying mechanical implements that could be used as weapons.
But the police presence last night was minimal. I counted fewer police there, along the parade route, than I saw amassed in a show of force around Military Plaza last Thursday to address the "problem" of 50 or so sleepy campers in a public park after dark. And after 2 weeks of Occupation, the TPD certainly had background information on all those Occupiers, knew who was who, and were pretty certain there was no physical threat from any of them.