… and I came upon this tweet…
…and nearly screamed and woke up Smokey. That is an unattributed photo of a protest in New York City in September, 2004, during the Republican National Convention. See that bearded fellow in the yellow t-shirt?
That is Elder Son.
They had marched from Union Square to 28th & Broadway, where they lay down in the street. They were trying to show the world what 1,000 dead people look like as a protest against the School of the Americas (now WHITSEC) (not sure they met their numerical goal).
ES was a sophomore at NYU at the time and had gone back to school a week early. He may have told Smokey he wanted to be there during the RNC, but I had no idea. The first I knew of his purpose was when I came home from working at the library and picked up a voice mail on our home phone.
Hi, Mom, this is [Elder Son]. I borrowed someone’s phone to call you. I’m standing in the middle of the street at 28th & Broadway waiting to be arrested*. blah blah blah**
His voice revealed that he was EXCITED about the whole thing. Getting arrested at a protest had clearly been on his bucket list.
* Unlike what is described here, the policeman who arrested ES was professional and even kind. ES said the guy told him that if he had anything *questionable* in his pockets that he should get ride of it right then on the street, before he was taken anywhere and searched.
** This time I kept my composure, unlike the time a year later when I had to go lie down after reading his email that he had been held up at knifepoint in downtown Durbin, South Africa (his semester abroad).