By Nicki Escudero
By Amy Silverman
By Brian Palmer
By Chris Parker
By Troy Farah
By Lauren Wise
By Lauren Wise
Give Peace a Dance
11:00 p.m. EST, Saturday, March 22
U.S. Marines report "fewer than 10" casualties in firefight outside Nasiriya.
Outside the main entrance to Bayfront Park, a single demonstrator carries a placard that says, "Shocked and Aweful." It's unclear if he's commenting on the war, or the sensory bombing campaign beyond the gates where more than 25,000 vibe troopers march between five staging areas. Bodies lie scattered on grassy knolls, casualties of pharmaceutical friendly fire, fallen into cuddle puddles. Ten hours into this 14-hour mega-fest, the faithful await the Miami debut of British duo Underworld. The day before, front man Karl Hyde said he hoped to offer the crowd deliverance.
"I feel uncomfortable and powerless," said Hyde about the war. "But you know, I came to dance, and that's my job today. It's not [to] preach. Dance is creating positive situations where tens of thousands of people have got happy for hours and hours on end. It's like ripples in a pond, isn't it?"
Going on after dark, Underworld transforms the amphitheater into an orgy of the perpetual beat. Waving hands in the air, the crowds dance ecstatically in the aisles, on the benches, against the barricades, and spin in circles beneath green lasers skittering like tracer fire. They have been liberated.