This morning, The Ash, The Baby Henry, and The Holmes got up a little bit early (for a Saturday anyway) to participate in an event that may ultimately have little to no actual effect...which is not to say that it was entirely pointless. We joined up with I-don't-know-how-many other Austinites to make a big patchouli-stink circle around the block currently occupied by Northcross Mall to protest the plans to build a Wal-Mart in that spot. For those who don't know, Wal-mart basically wants to build a massive 24 hour store that will rival Ikea and Cabela's in size. The difference, of course, is that Ikea and Cabela's are both located right alongside major highways, while Northcross mall is smack dab in an urban center, bordered on all sides by plain old city streets. If you were to take a poll of the people that were out there this morning as to why they oppose building this monstrosity, you'd have probably gotten a variety of responses. For The Holmes though, it all boils down to the plain fact that Wal-mart basically stands for just about everything I'm against: exploitation, dishonesty, greed, you name it.
I always feel a bit strange at protests. I stand there and look around and just kind of wonder exactly what we're supposed to be doing, and if we're accomplishing anything other than hanging out together and making ourselves feel a little bit better about the shitty proposition in front of us that we can't really do much of anything about. It's not as if Lincoln Properties and Wal-mart are shaking in their wingtips because the unwashed masses all got together to hold hands and wave some signs. Still, I'm of a mind that it's better to speak up against something you oppose, even if it's all you can do. And it is cool to see so many of your neighbors out in support of the same cause as you. That's Austin, baby.