Thursday, July 31, 2008

we have our first protester

Dear Friends and Family,

Max, Nathan, and I (Becky) were working in the wonderful cafe (that has become my third home, after the Davis's), Java Moon, when somebody told us that there was a protester outside the restaurant. She is holding a sign that says " Talking to Terrorists? Endanger our Military? Shame on You!" The protester, an older woman somewhere between the ages of 60-70, believes a quote on our poster, that says, "I realised that if I had been born in Crossmaglen or South Armagh, I would have been a terrorist. And that's an understanding every soldier should have. None of this is personal," means that we are saying that if we had been born in Baghdad, we would have been terrorists. However, the quote is actually a colonel talking about Ireland (South Armagh and Crossmaglen are both in Ireland. There seems to be this concept that not supporting the war in Iraq somehow translates into not supporting and hoping for the safety of the troops. Maybe it is a repercussion of how terribly the country treated the troops who fought during the Vietnam War. But I condemn the war and support the troops. Yet that opinion of mine does not factor at all into or show up at all in the play.

She was talking to a couple on the sidewalk and after she was finished, I went up to them to explain what our play was really about. I told them that the play did not offer a stance on the American troops in Iraq, but rather presented a British view on terrorism. The man replied to me "The British are dumbasses. That is why we kicked them out out of our country. The British and the French are dumbasses." I just walked away at that point.

To me the protester misunderstood us. Grace saw a tanned man in golfing gear give her a thumbs us. Is this what we should expect from some of our audience tonight? Is there any chance of a true dialogue with the protester and people who share her views? I do not think she will listen to us, to anything we say, for even a minute. I am scared of the people who come to the play with closed minds, there to argue with and shame us for what we are trying to do.


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