On The Street Again: Protesters show up downtown with pots and pans

by Susie Applegate
   Claiming they were there to “drown out the lies,” about a dozen protesters banged their pots and pans for nearly an hour, beginning at 6pm on January 31st. That was the scheduled time for President Bush’s State of the Union speech.
   Willie Walkingstick, a leader of the protest said, “People all over the country are declaring a state of emergency today.” He was referring to a nationwide campaign by anti-war groups, environmentalists, privacy advocates, and others, to bring attention to policies they say are unconstitutional and a threat to democracy, and to press for impeachment of the president.
   “These folks are nuts,” said John Arratola, owner of Arratola’s General Store. Although the protest was after business hours, Arratola claimed he was unable to work on his end-of-the-month book-keeping. “What the hell are they trying to prove. They’re like the tree falling in the forest, Only the squirrels are going to hear.”
   Arratola’s daughter, sixteen year old Becky Arratola, disagrees with her father. “it’s a start,” she said. “Sure, Germaine is just a little piddlepool in the desert, but they told me in school that every voice counts. Even mine.”
   When told of his daughters response, Arratola blamed the schools. “These damned teachers, they’re fomenting this. And that Charlebois-LaPlante woman and her socialist ideas. That’s what has stirred up these kids.”
   “I’d spank Becky’s butt,” Arratola continues, “except she’d have me arrested for child abuse. Or worse, if you know what I mean. These kids are uncontrollable.”
   The protest briefly held up traffic on main street, but, according to Deputy Shawn Hinterteil, who was on the scene, “It was minor, really. Most people were able to go around the block. In any case, it only lasted a minute or two.”

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