On our way back from our honeymoon in Lake Tahoe, As`ad and I passed by Oakland to attend an anti-AIPAC protest. It was my first protest in the US. A day before, we spent some time at a coffee shop in Truckee writing the following slogans:
I don't know if "fun" is the right word to describe the scene: a good number of protesters, very few of whom were Arabs, was gathered across from Marriott Hotel were AIPAC meeting was being held. A while later, the Brass Liberation Orchestra, along with a dancing lady, joined the protest. That’s when the entertainment began: Everybody was moving with the beat. This, you would never see in a protest in Beirut. It seems that protests back home are rather “radical”. I mean, I’m sure I would never hear a “comrade” here calling on protesters to storm the hotel and disrupt the meeting as would have happened in Beirut. Besides that, the type of music that was being played was too “peaceful”, unlike the traditional revolutionary Arabic songs that usually accompany our protests.
Across from us gathered a small crowd with Israeli and American flags to show support for Israel. That alone was a whole new experience to me. Meanwhile, the police arrested seven flashmobs inside the hotel. When we heard the news, we moved towards the entrance of the hotel: That’s when the two crowds got mixed up together. At that point, As`ad and I decided to leave. Being in such a small proximity with Israelis was just too provoking.