Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Dispatch from Grant Park: 'Change has come to America'

Grant Park was the site of 'Police Riots' back in 1968 --salvos that began a 'cultural war' not addressed but merely glossed over by Ronald Reagan's slick, smarmy appeals to bigoted-elitism on the one hand and US imperialism on the other. Barack Obama's acceptance speech is an invitation to begin the long process of healing.

'Grant Park' is a large public space between the Loop and lakeshore Drive. In 1979, it was the site of a papal visit and, in 1991, a Chicago Bulls NBA championship 'blow out'!

More famous than the open-air concerts and sporting events, however, is the symbolic role Grant Park played during the Democratic Convention of 1968! It has been written that the '...violence between police and anti-Vietnam war protesters ... gave the city a black-eye from which it has yet to completely recover.' Worse --Grant Park came to symbolize our lost hopes for peace in Viet Nam.

As his campaign progressed, Obama grew stronger from sources almost forgotten. America began to hope again. Grant Park may now be remembered for having played mid-wife to the re-birth of the American dreams of freedom, equality and peace.

Additional resource: Brief History Of Chicago's 1968 Democratic Convention

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