Prentiss Riddle: Austin

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Protest shuts down the Drag in Austin

A UT employee I know reports:

I just walked back to my office by way of the Drag and it is shut down from 22nd to 27th. I have never ever seen the Drag shut down. At the intersection of 24th and Guadalupe there is a circle of drummers, chanters, and dancers as well as a "die-in" surrounded by lots of curious passersby and a million news cameras. As a matter of fact, it is live on K-EYE news. Anyway, I heard they plan to obstruct traffic until 4pm. So far, the 100 or so police units surrounding the 7-8 blocks affected seem to be taking it pretty well and are diverting traffic..cooperating, it seems. Aaaahhh...it makes me so nostalgic for the good ol' protest days during the Ronnie era. I wish I didn't have to work. Sigh.
I was (ahem) pretty active at UT in the Ronnie Raygun days and I never saw Guadalupe shut down, either. The closest thing was on November 4, 1984, when Reagan won re-election and Oliver North leaked the lie that Soviet MiGs were being shipped to the Sandinistas. A bunch of us had been watching election results in the Texas Union and, sure that Ronnie was preparing for an overt invasion of Nicaragua, we came out onto the Drag in a foul mood. A number of people lay down in the street in front of the Co-Op, but that lasted at most 60 seconds -- a few car horns were enough to convince them to vacate the street.

The only point in this bit of old-fartism is that when it comes to student activism, these may be the good old days right now.

(Now my cousin who attended UT in the sixties -- I think she could tell some UT protest stories. She was there for the Charles Whitman shooting, too.)

austin 2003.03.20 link