Walnut Creek: Central Contra Costa’s Protest Central

Once again, tumult in the outside world will come home to Walnut Creek Saturday in the form of a rally to protest U.S. military intervention in Syria. The rally is organized by the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center, and will take place during prime shopping hours, 10 a.m. to noon, in the prime location of Mt. Diablo Boulevard and Main Street.

It’s possible that TV crews and reporters from the other side of the Caldecott Tunnel–if they deign to make an appearance–will shake their heads in amazement that an event over a controversial political issue is taking place in Walnut Creek. 
But c’mon: Walnut Creek is protest central in the East Bay suburbs. For this blog and Walnut Creek Patch I covered pro-gay rights/anti-Proposition 8 rallies; a loud, crowded face-off over the verdict of Oscar Grant shooter Johannes Mehserle–with police in riot gear shutting down Ygnacio Valley Boulevard to keep the peace; the Occupy movement rallies of 2011; and an anti-gun candlelight vigil following the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords. 
The other side of the political aisle has also held its own events, notably members of the Open Carry movement and people turning out to hear leaders from the Tea Party Express national bus tour. 


Given Walnut Creek’s central location and the fact that the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center–the organization that works to raise political consciousness in these parts–is based in Walnut Creek should explain tomorrow’s “No New War vs. Syria” protest.

Walnut Creek likes to boast about Neiman Marcus or its nightlife, as evidence of a sophisticated, cosmopolitan mindset. Sorry, but $800 shoes or a fondness for appletinis don’t make you more worldly–just more pretentious. I think what makes Walnut Creek interesting is that it’s a community that allows for sometimes thoughtful, sometimes raucous public debates about serious issues confronting us locally, nationally or internationally.

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