The bus ride was tight. The bus ride was long. But it was worth every minute.
The mall was packed. The obelisk ringed with people. And the crowd was shoulder to shoulder all the way to the stage in back of the white house. There were 2 stages and a tightly controlled area for us to do our marching.
Cindy Sheehan, McKinney, Jesse Jackson, Galloway, and many others spoke for a few hours before the march. As the march was starting Nader took the mic.
The march was my favorite part(besides Barbara Lee and McKinney): There were SO MANY people marching. There was not actually a march. reader raises eyebrow.
The area for marching was a small square between 15th and 17th street. As everyone went to the streets to march….......THE ENTIRE SQUARE WAS FILLED. There was no room for marching, instead the entire procession kind of took baby steps around the ring because there were so many people.
As the march winded down the other stage opened up. Saw a couple bands that I am not familiar with, then Joan Baez took the stage.
Around the stages there was little or no violence. The violent segment (self-proclaimed anarchists[see: Young’uns]) did a good job of keeping away from the peaceful protest. I had heard they were gonna go fuck up the recruitment center.
This is exactly the kind of action that facilitates both aims. Keeping seperate from the peaceful protestors and fuckin’ with recruiters thats all good. This was the only violent altercations I had heard of. The spraypaint by the farragut north metro stop “Fuck Capitalism” it gave me a laugh, but seriously, did the person who painted this think that this was effective at doing anything, but making the media and populace reject the ideas of the protestors prima facie?
One other incident of violence I had actually heard of. The pro-war protestors(who should just put on a black bandanna and start throwin rocks at cops if they really wanted to protest the protest[but oh yah thy’re not that intelligent, after all they’re PRO WAR!]) One of the self-proclaimed anarchists snagged a sign from one of them and started beating them with it. This disgusts me, who is this kid think he is that he can enact violence on another who is peacefully expressing their opinion. His action is on the same level morally as the cops clubbing and gassing anti-war protestors. (and seriously is there ANYTHING you need to do to a pro-war protestor besides tell them: “join the fucking military if you like this war so much!”?)
There were a vast amount of factions in this rally. The central meme was stuck with though, which was the most important factor I thought going down. There was a little talk of Palestine and Haiti, but this rally focused (as it should have) on the occupation of Iraq. This IS the most pressing issue fothe day.
I do not believe in the feasibility of this action. I believe this action is 90% symbolic. I also have been asking everyone I come across(back in Chi) if they heard ANYTHING about anti-war protests in DC. The answer has so far ALWAYS been NO. The media didn’t cover it.
Public opinion is swinging though. We may get out sooner then 2008 like Wolfowitz said. I just wish people didn’t have to WORK to see the cost of war, that the media would actually explain the cost of war. Show the flag draped coffins, show the endless numbers of soldiers returning with PTSD, put another commercial after the recruitment commercial about how you’re gonna come home from Iraq and your wife will be pregnant with someone elses kid, because the white house wanted you there for 3 years straight.
So my freind and I took off during Joan Baez, we had to catch our bus and we missed Steve Earle :( . Not only that but we couldn’t go through my second home in Mt. Pleasant to roll through my favorite burrito shop(not even sure if its still in business).
22 hours on a bus, 6 hours at the rally. Well…...............................tiring to say the least…................................but again: worth every minute.
Favorite quote: Cynthia McKinney- ”...Criminal negligence on 911…”(reading a laundry list of evil and stupid things this white house has done).
Shout out to the Guy with “Al-CIAdah” poster board- Don’t look so depressed! more people then you think know that 911 was facilitated by elements within our federal government. All that ”’bout to put a bullet in my head” look, its not inspiring, just makes people think you’re a street preacher.
Anyway hopefully there will be no need for another rally, bit if there is another I hope to see you there. I’ll be the one with the cheesy american flag hat lookin’ like i’m ‘bout to go to a nascar race.