November 05, 2008

YES WE CAN

Woo Obama!

The reason I'm only just now posting is I just got back. I was at an election returns gathering, and after Obama's speech I started walking home. When I was at Cherry Street and the tracks, I heard loud cheering and chants of "O-ba-ma!" coming from the direction of campus—I assumed they had to be at the square but later found out they were at the quads seven blocks away. On the spur of the moment I decided I didn't want to miss it, so I walked over. Getting closer to campus I saw small groups of people chanting and skipping (really) down the street towards the middle of the campus. I dropped off my stuff in my office, and followed the cheering. At that point it was coming from a crowd that was streaming from the tennis courts area toward Old Main.

At Old Main, on the south face, were hundreds of people cheering and chanting "O-ba-ma!" and "Yes we can!". Packed in tightly, less than half fit on the raised platform, with many spilling over onto the grass. At one point the cheer switched to "Main Street! Main Street!", which was momentarily puzzling, but then the crowd started peeling off to walk up Cherry Street towards Main. A few police cruisers showed up with their flashers and stopped traffic for us. Along the way, the crowd in Duffy's spilled out and cheered us on, and a bunch of people who had been at Cherry Street for the Dems' returns party were there cheering with us too. We rounded the corner and headed for the square, where the at least four hundred people were filling the (dry) fountain, standing on the edge, and again spilling out into the grass. More chanting for a while, and then someone started the anthem, which everyone sang like it was a beloved drinking song, and then the crowd streamed back towards campus.

Back at campus, some people split off into other directions, but a lot headed in the direction of CFA, where I thought I heard actual instruments, and indeed, someone in one of the jazz groups had a key and had dug out their equipment, and a jazz combo was playing. The energy and exuberance was incredible; the atmosphere was electric. People were dancing and partying and just having fun, with frequent spontaneous chants springing up either between songs or right in time with them. When the party finally broke up at about a quarter to one, everyone headed back to the dorms, where I imagine they'll be continuing for hours yet.

The best part was the sense that we were part of a party that was going on across the country and indeed around the world. Never in my lifetime have I been witness to anything like this, and if we had hope before it's doubled now: the depressing future we had waiting for us is not set in stone and things can and will get better. We can! We will!

"We are not a collection of red states, and blue states, we are the United States of America and in this moment, in this election, we are ready to believe again." --Barack Obama

Posted by blahedo at 1:24am on 5 Nov 2008
Comments
So nice to be right. And as I said there would be, there were no riots, just parties, spontaneous parties often enough. I just looked up riots in the news, and all I can find is stories about places other than here, or stories written before the election. Posted by lee at 8:19pm on 5 Nov 2008
So nice to be right. And as I said there would be, there were no riots, just parties, spontaneous parties often enough. I just looked up riots in the news, and all I can find is stories about places other than here, or stories written before the election. Posted by lee at 5:01pm on 6 Nov 2008
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