It was a powerful scene, provoking many to think about the issue of torture and what is being done in our name, some for the first time, drawing expressions of sympathy and support from many, and a violent/vicious response from some hard-core, torture-hardened, reactionaries.
A number of people took orange ribbons or got “impeach the war criminals” buttons. A woman who came by with her children was heard telling them when she first spotted us, “listen to them – we are going to learn something important here today”.
At 4:00 PM we switched, with a smaller number of us heading swiftly through Rockefeller Center and in front of the Christmas tree, led by the youth with a boom box playing the John Lennon song, “The War is Over – Merry Christmas” and along with our anti-torture signs, two hand-made displays: “This is a Christmas to Remember” and giving the number of Iraqis and Americans who have died in the war. It was a memorable scene, and we got an extremely favorable response from the crowds coming out to see the tree. All sorts of media photographers appeared, snapping lots of photos.
It is hard to estimate precisely, but several thousand altogether saw our actions and some were deeply affected by it.