Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Chicago supports Denmark and Free Speech

Today I attended a rally/demonstration outside the Danish Consulate in Chicago in support of Free Speech and of our Danish allies. For those of you who might have been living on Mars lately, several Danish cartoonists drew cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed and, for this, have been threatened with death by Islamic fundamentalists.

Our government has been unwilling to publicly support the Danes and so it has been left to ordinary American citizens to show the Danish that there are people in this country who still believe in free speech. Christopher Hitchins organized the first show of support at the Danish embassy in Washington DC and now similar demonstrations are being held at the various Danish Consulates around the country – today was Chicago’s turn.

I would guess a total turnout of about 50 people, 40 people at any one time (some people arrived late and some had to leave early). It was bloody cold outside, but spirits were high nonetheless. Several Danish flags, cool posters & cartoons, and Danish products were displayed. The crowd was orderly and cheerful and the rally went off without serious incident. Several people driving by honked in support of what we were doing, but one taxi driver took offense and shouted at us that the “cartoons were bad” and that we shouldn’t be there; some of us shouted back.

Below are some of the pictures I took of the rally. Click on any of them to enlarge.

Even Homer is on our side

Good Danish cookies which I proceeded to grab from this guy and then pass around to everyone.

One of the crowd talking with Pajamas Media, the only media there to cover the event.

Someone brought a case of Danish beer, Carlsburg, but dropped it. Fortunately, only 2 of the bottles broke. It was a real tragedy, but as one wit in the crowd put it; "In any war, there are casualties."

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