This is not a protest. It is a political festival held yearly in Petaluma in the park at the end of my driveway. As the website for the Progressive Festival
proclaims, "The Petaluma Progressives are a local, grassroots, political education and action group." It is this energy I chose to depict for this WWP event.
The festival has been happening for eight years. Its main goal is to get more people attentive to issues and politically active. There are booths offering information about registration for progressive leaning political parties, renewable resources, political literature, organic choices, bio-diesel engines, sustainable living, and the list goes on for all things progressive.
I generally enjoy attending the festival, not only because it's so close, but also because it features one of my favorite theater troupes, The San Francisco Mime Troupe
. They produce some of the best satirist theater in the area, and they tour. They compose plays that are socially relevant in the present text. They perform for free mostly in local parks. Part of their mission is to perform for as broad an audience as they can. This years performance is called Doing Good
, inspired by the book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
by John Perkins.
I'd love to tell you more about it, but I missed it this year. I photographed the pano in front of their sets while Matt Gonzales, former President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and recent Green Party candidate for San Francisco Mayor, was speaking on stage, then promptly went home and packed for my honeymoon to New Zealand (flight leaving that evening). While I was packing I could still hear the speakers across the street. Some things said were very inspiring other things seemed to make the gathering a hate-fest. While I agree and support the mission statement of the festival, I find that some progressive speakers seek to energize folks in an overly dramatic and sometimes negative way. Political energy should not be negative to contribute to the good of all. It should, however, bring people together to discourse