April 5, 1990 Protest

71188809_432147941059988_7513609594279559168_nThe images from April 5, 1990 still strike such a deep chord in the hearts and minds of anyone who was part of the protest – and, I would say, even for those who are seeing it now as an episode in local history. There is the forlorn, elderly mother whose son was lost in battle, clutching the flag that draped his casket as a feeble defense against the invaders, then the sheer mass of people blocking the highways in a noble attempt to protect their families and land, and lastly, the horsemen, tapping directly into the American myth of the masked equestrian outlaw coming to the rescue. Zorro, the Lone Ranger and Jesse James belong to this same myth. How exciting and how strategically brilliant! No wonder Mario Cuomo, politician that he was, realized he needed to immediately change sides.

There’s many a starving farmer
The same old story told
How the outlaw paid their mortgage
And saved their little home

Others tell you about a stranger
Came to beg a meal
And underneath his napkin
Left a hundred dollar bill

Woody Guthrie, ‘Pretty Boy Floyd’

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