Monday, September 26, 2005

All Us Protest Kids Pt. 2

Originally uploaded by jayinbmore.

Originally uploaded by jayinbmore.
When we arrived on the ellipse and began milling, we came upon the DC installation of Camp Casey. There was a tent set up and inside it you could get information and buy protest-wares. I skipped that, but I didn't skip the site surrounding the tent. Here were the white crosses and boots laid out as memorials to those who've fallen. I have to confess it got to me a little.

Hand Decorated T's
Originally uploaded by jayinbmore.

The Mighty Mighty Union
Originally uploaded by jayinbmore.
We walked around a little more, introduced ourselves to some people who liked Jay1's and Bob's signs, and finally made our way to the march propper. As we entered the march I noticed a pair of girls with interesting but sad hand decorated t-shirts (see photos). Also at the very start of the march there was a gathering of the Transportation Workers Union of New York City. They did some chanting which exemplified the confusion and lack of message discipline others, including Wolcott, have noted. They began strong with the "Everywhere we go...people wanna know...", but when they got to "What do we want?" call and response, they stumbled. They first time they responded with "Peace!" After they repeated it a second time, someone in their ranks shouted "no guys, it's 'Troops Home!'", and they quickly corrected themselves. We passed on by with a little chuckling, the correct chant echoing behind us.

Once in the march, we found ourselves surrounded by a ragtag bunch of proffesional activists chanting irritating tautologies like "The people united will never be divided!". "Yes," I thought, "and 'My shoes on my feet there mean my feet aren't bare!' is just as useful". To our right was a group of what I can only describe as "Cuban Trotskyites For A Free Palestine" chanting "Viva Viva Palastinia!" Bob turned to me and said "See, this is why we're so eff'ed." To our left was a group of what I described in my notes as "stupid narcissistic hippie chicks" who shouted at one point "Take a look at yourselves! You're beatuiful!" Right then a middle-aged looking guy in tshirt, shorts and a baseball cap said to me "What the hell is wrong with these people? I just want to stop the war." I said I agreed and suggested to Jay1 and Bob we get away from them as soon as possible.

We forced our way up the crowd, which was difficult because it was so thick with people, but everyone seemed willing to let you through if you were going faster. We ended up next to yet more irritating anarchist kids with signs that read "Down with crappy signs!", "Liberalism is concensus in drag(sorry but it's true)!" and "Quit your corporate jobs you yuppie sell-outs!". While I can sort of dig that a little more, they really did wreak, so we pressed on further. Finally we ended up in a group of what seemed like more normal people. We were still surrounded by inane chanting which suddenly died down. We walked on in silence for a little while and then a little old lady next to me said "Hey, what do you say we do 'one two three four we don't want your fucking war'?" I said "yeah, that is awesome!", so she and I, along with Jay1 and Bob started. A few more people joined in but then it died down when we couldn't get more than the 11 or 12 of us doing it. Bob turned to me and said "I bet if they knew a little old lady had started that more people would have done it."

We marched on, waving our signs, occaisionally joining a sensible chant, other times staying silent and just watching, till we reached the White House. There we joined in a chant of "Shame on you! Shame on you!" which mutated into "Hey hey ho ho George Bush has got to go!" when we all realized our legs were tired and we needed water. We crossed the street into the park and watched the march for a while. Unfortunately we were seated right next to one of the biggest drum circles I have ever seen. Jay1 said "yeah man, dig it!" I was less positive and said "I wish they'd just shut up, but I guess it's cool they're not trying to levitate the place." However, the mounted cops riding through the park seemed to like it, and set their horses dancing(IMNFNKY).

We watched the march from the park for a while and saw plenty of great signs as well as some totally stupid stuff. The "Free Mumia" people and a group of people in matching red Che' tshirts were the worst offenders. The most effecting display, for my money, was long line of flagged draped coffins. Bob turned to me and said "well Rumsfeld won't let us see'em, so I guess this is it."

After the coffins passed, we re-joined the march...
Stay tuned for our run-in with the Freepers.

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