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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