Sunday, September 5, 2004

First Person: Republican National Convention

First appeared in the Boston Globe

Days of rage, but calmer (and wiser)

When friends asked why I was heading down to the Aug. 29 demonstration in New York City in advance of the Republican National Convention, I liked to crack wise that it was because I missed the smell of tear gas. I suspected tear gas would work like Proust's madeleine on a boomer like me. One whiff and I'd see old friends just as they were at 20, their long hair held in place by bandannas, wet handkerchiefs over their faces as they braved gas, police batons, and sometimes bullets in yet another in the unending series of protests against the war in Vietnam.