Monday, September 26, 2005

All Us Protest Kids Pt. 1

It was against my better judgment to attend the peace march. Although the only protests I've been to were on the west coast, I feared this one would be similar; tons of idiots and hippies ruining my day with their lack of focus, concentration on pet causes, and moronic chanting. Also, I am not at all down with A.N.S.W.E.R., the organizers of the march, and I don't really want to be associated with them. See Cooper for why (short version: I am not and have never been a member of the Workers World Party). Despite my reservations, I have come to the conclusion that I disagree with my man Clark and think it's time we bring the troops home. I figured if my participation in a march - however silly I might feel about it - can make that happen sooner, then I am duty-bound to participate (it was also a plus that I had heard Wayne Kramer was going to play). So I did. I went with Jay1 (not his real name, but if you know me then here is the algorithm to discover his identity: remove the last letter of my name and start rockin') and his friend Bob (not his real name either).

At around 9:30AM Jay1 and I drove down to Columbia to meet up with Bob. At Bob's house we met his wife and children, both of whom have been trained to dislike our current president. When Bob's daughter asked him what we were doing today, he replied, "We're going to try to stop the bad man honey. Do you know who the bad man is?" She responded with, "Geroge W. Bush! George W. Bush is the bad man!" I thought Bob was doing a great job inadvertently raising a future Republican. We then set about making our signs, writing our slogans on large peices of poster paper. Jay1 went with "U.S. Got Neo-Conned", Bob used "The Chimp Is A War Pimp", while I opted for "What is the course? BRING THEM HOME NOW". Signs constructed, we drove off to the College Park Metro Station.

College Park Metro platform
Originally uploaded by jayinbmore.

Crowded Metro car
Originally uploaded by jayinbmore.
The Metro Station was incredibly crowded, as was the Metro itself. We had to wait for 3 trains jam packed full of people - many of whom appeared to be protesters - to pass before we got one that was empty enough for us to board. While we waited we spoke with a skinny guy who looked to be about 35. He claimed to be a Russian expat on his way to the museums and made a poignant observation. "You know, in Russia they never brought their kids to the protests." Reminded me that it's a little surreal to insist we live in a completely facist state.

Squares on Parade
Originally uploaded by jayinbmore.

Thronging squares
Originally uploaded by jayinbmore.
The Metro ride was uneventful. We arrived at the Smithsonian stop on the Capitol Mall around 1:00pm. When we exited the station we saw two helpful signs; one pointed the direction to the Book Fair - also happening that day - and the other to the march. I thought this was mighty nice of the city until I realized it was probably done by the Book Fair people in an attempt to prevent the fair from being over run with confused marchers. We walked up the mall to the ellipse, the starting point of the march. There we joined the throng of people milling around waiting for the march to start. I was suprised at the sheer number of what I'd consider "squares" as opposed to "freaks".

More later...

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