The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Susannigans: Baby's First Anti-War Rally

2 min read


“Have fun girlies!” chirped my ex-hippie mother as she dropped me and three friends off 100 feet in front of Capital Hill this past Saturday afternoon.

As Mommy drove away in her Volvo station-wagon, the four of us merged into a sea of tie-dyed co-eds and stoned senior citizens. It was our first anti-war march. We were sticking it to the man. And we were making Mom and Dad proud.

I am just one of the many children of the flower children—the baby-boomer’s babies.

Though both my parents have abandoned most of the overt hippie ways of their youth and have adapted a classy life of suburban sophistication, their peace-nik hearts still beat strong.

Sticking to their 1960’s roots, my parents raised me in a household of free-thought and Beatles LPs. Joni Mitchell was my baby-sitter, Bob Dylan —my Sunday school teacher, and Bruce Springsteen—my boss.
My parents manage to promote all this individuality while at the same time fitting the mold of an everyday “helicopter parent”—hovering over every single aspect of my life, from  choir concerts to potential graduate school candidates.

I write this column with full knowledge that my father will forward it to his entire address book, and I really can’t complain. I get a perfect balance of proud and caring parents who let me think for myself. Plus, I don’t have a curfew.

The anti-war rally proved to be a haven of impassioned chants and unyielding defiance.

Despite the expected off-topic picket signs calling for the legalization of marijuana and national conversion to Vegan-ism, the masses were bonded together over the same disdain for the current Administration and desperation for peace.

People were getting arrested like lemmings for disrespecting police officers and jumping over boundaries.

Each handcuffed protester was greeted with chants of “Let him go!” from the crowd. A few extremists went as far to call the arrested hippies “American heroes.”

I wonder what the Iraqi veterans present at the march thought of that.

I have to admit, there was a teeny part of me that wanted to follow the crowd and jump over the fence to a destiny of disposable handcuffs and 15 seconds of fame. Even though I ended up chickening out, the strongest source of my temptation came from the fact that I had full confidence that my parents would immediately bail me out—and proudly.

The night after the peace rally, the same Volvo station wagon pulled up to Washington DC’s 930 Club, an all-ages venue located in a 21 or older neighborhood.

The girls and I were going to a Hanson concert.

As Mommy pulled away into the chilly DC night, I couldn’t help but wonder why I was so excited to see the most clichéd teeny-bopper band of the 90’s when I had just spent the day before fighting for justice and human rights.

The answer was blowin’ in the wind: “Have fun girlies!”

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