A media person commented that the May 31st event was “more paddle than protest”. While that person had declined our invitation to join the flotilla for the 4-hour cruise, they were on hand to observe and record the gathering and launch.
To a certain extent, the comment was accurate— there were no bullhorns, pitchforks, or loud denunciations of the dam by a multitude angry protesters. The mood was much more relaxed and convivial.
We did, however, sport many of the tools of grassroots protest. Signs were affixed to (and painted on) some canoes. There were anti-dam t-shirts. There was a bit of drumming (one small hand drum), and there were several impromptu anti-dam chants. But it was mostly about enjoying a beautiful day and free-flowing waters.
It’s refreshing, for a change, to have the media comment that the protest event seemed low-key, with the apparent implication that it could or should have been more raucous. Usually the media blithely dismisses popular protests, especially when they can be deemed to be anti-commerce.
In any event, it was a great outing, and we recall Edward Abbey’s exhortation:
“…it is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it is still there…Run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, that lovely, mysterious and awesome space…”