Washington DC Protest. Jan27.2007

Travel Reports


Bussed from the dark cold dawn of New York City to the end of the Green Line on the DC Metro for my first DC protest since I was a kid. Made it by 1pm to the mall. It wasn’t full, but it wasn’t empty, either. Jane Fonda, Vets, Jesse Jackson were speaking as I wound my way back stage to the start of the march. Jackson was smooth, started slow and monotone, built to a chanting scream. Making it around back of the huge crowd (50,000-100,000?) I perched at the Department of Labor steps to get the march passing by, then dove in for a bit up to the capital with the hippie drummers, highs school, old school, baby carriage crowd. Then back down to the subway 3 hours later and home by 10pm.

My impression was that the march was pretty mellow, and more of a gathering of different voices, than one single protest for a single cause. Sure, we were mostly all protesting the war and Bush, but in so many different ways that were asking for so many different things. I’ve seen documentaries on the organiziing of the famous 1963 Civil Rights march and that was much more unified on a message for what action was desired (jobs, freedom) and professionally serious. I shudder when I see the hippie protesters on drums, as if it was a party. I wish organizers would wear suits like they did in the 1963 one and keep that serious, angry, protesting stance.

I also believe it is more effective to go for what you want, vs for what you don’t. To be for something, rather than against. I wish we could get behind something simple like “US troops out of the middle east in 6 months” or “impeach Bush.” The NeoCons are brilliant on staying on message and sacrificing their specific individual goals for the good of the overall cause.

Riding back on the bus I did feel good though. I had done SOMETHING.

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