Galloway in Madison

From a report by Luke, a Harry’s Place reader in Madison, on leafleting Galloway’s appearance Sunday evening:

The anti-Gorgeous leafleters consisted of my good friend Ana and myself. Ana, who was born and raised in Siberia, shares very little of Mr. Galloway’s nostalgia for the old U.S.S.R. By the time we began distributing the leaflets, a large line had already formed outside the doors of the Memorial Union Theater here on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

As the line was moving swiftly, we were able only to hand leaflets to people as they passed, and engaged in very little conversation with the excited paying customers. More interestingly, I engaged in an odd conversation with a grizzled fellow who was passing out Green Party literature. He asked to see a leaflet and was surprised when I said that Harry’s Place is a blog run by members of the Democratic Left. “So, they’re Blairites, huh?” he responded with disgust. I replied that, although some might agree with that label, opposition to Mr. Galloway did not imply that one either supported the war in Iraq, or that one necessarily supported Mr. Blair. “Impossible” he responded. He asked if I had seen the Galloway-Hitchens debate and I replied that I had. “Hitchens used to write good stuff, but the last time I met with him he was drunk off his ass”. He then looked at me as if I were a Raelian and moved away.

The crowd was diverse in age, and, overall, very polite. However, some protesters of the “Support our Troops” ilk were gathered at the opposite end of the building, and for much of the event were engaged in an exchange of insults with anti-war speech attendees as they entered the building. Although the whole thing was tedious, we did enjoy a sign one of the protesters was clutching: “Galloway go back to Damascus”.

Ana and I had no desire to give money to the Galloway machine, so we hit the beautiful Memorial Union Terrace for a beer after our work was done.

I hope at least a few members of the audience took more than a token glance at the leaflet and realized that being anti-war and opposing Mr. Galloway do not have to be mutually exclusive mind sets.