My Films

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Waterfire and the Providence SDS

Last Saturday on the way home from watching Iron Man at the $2 theater, we drove through Providence's acclaimed summer weekend activity: Waterfire.
Waterfire, created by Barnaby Evans, lines Providence's rivers with bonfire sculptures that are lit as a symbol of its renaissance. Held every other weekend, the event brings out tourists and locals alike to enjoy a summer evening downtown.
While we were walking through the city streets looking for somewhere to eat, we met with 20 or so people dancing in the middle of Kennedy Plaza. From a distance, it looked as if a impromptu rave was taking place, but on second glance they were dancing to a homemade speaker sitting in a shopping cart while holding up protest signs. A dancer approached me and handed me a flyer: "Tonight's Waterfire is brought to you by Textron:Your neighborhood Cluster Bomb Manufacturer." It turns out, Textron's headquarters are located a block away from Kennedy Plaza.
The dancers were from the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) which has been active in the Providence area since the summer of 2007. Sadly, my phone ran out batteries so I wasn't able to get a picture of them but it surely warmed my heart to see a youth peace movement in action. Having just come from seeing Iron Man, where a pre-transformed Tony Stark naively believes his multi-billion dollar weapons manufacturing company only equips the "good guys," the "Funk the War" dance protest very clearly brought home that weapons manufacturing is not just an issue for the big screen but an every-day reality for even the people of Providence.

photo credit: hlkljgk