Knight-Errant: March on the Pentagon

By Buddy Spell

En un lugar de la Mancha, de cuyo nombre no quiero acordarme, no ha mucho tiempo que vivía un hidalgo de los de lanza en astillero, adarga antigua, rocín flaco y galgo corredor.*

And there you go…. Yet another action full of hope and anticipation ending in status quo unresolved expectations of meaningful returns. It happened. It was important for the moment. It was quickly forgotten and even more quickly dismissed. File it away in the “ ‘A’ for effort drawer”.

All that’s left now is to finish unpacking those last few supplemental and always unnecessary travel items, to haul the suitcases back to the attic, and to look forward to yet another year of war and the further destruction of America’s soul. The therapeutic effect of hellraising has always, for me, had a short shelf life.

I went to DC last week on an invitation to act as legal counsel to a group encamped on the National Mall seeking to protest the continued funding of the national nightmare which has become of America’s patently false minded invasion of Iraq four years ago.

I went to DC last week armed with the Constitution and a resolve to do whatever I could to protect our right to petition the government with grievances. I went to DC last week with hope that, finally, the planets were properly aligned and that substantial impact could be achieved by well meaning citizens calling attention to the insanity intrinsic to the road now traveled.

I observed and attended to the predictable results of peaceful civil disobedience. I spent many hours getting Americans out of jail for the crime of speaking truth to power. I marched on the Pentagon with thousands of others who share my sense of urgency and impatience. I came home and nothing had changed.

I was cursed and spat upon by so-called “patriots” who would dissolve democracy in favor of corporate monarchy as I exercised those very rights the republic’s founding fathers described as “God given”. I watched a Navy veteran cuffed and led away by armed government agents from Senate offices for expressing his own true love of country and personal courage. I saw privilege override patriotism. And I noticed that nobody noticed.

When elections are rigged and dissent is suppressed, the options of a people wishing to be better than their government become limited and restricted. All power is finite. It’s that whole action and reaction thing. It can’t go on indefinitely.

I return from Washington less hopeful than ever. And yet, for now, I intend to tilt at windmills because the options otherwise afforded remain unacceptable.

The power elite will either hear the people or fail to do so at their own peril. I hope for all of us that our voices will soon be heard.

See you on the fifth anniversary…..

*In a village in La Mancha (whose name I do not care to recall) there lived, not very long ago, one of those gentlemen who keep a lance in the lance-rack, an ancient shield, a skinny old horse, and a fast greyhound.


Buddy Spell is a Louisiana attorney known to practice law in Texas bar ditches.

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