I went to Washington DC on Saturday…

3 minute read

March 23, 2004, 2:40 AM

I went to DC on Saturday, March 20, the year anniversary of the beginning of “Operation Iraqi Freedom” (a name that still doesn’t sit right with me). Originally, there was supposed to be a big ANSWER anti-war rally in DC, but it unfortunately never materialized. I found it strange that there were rallies in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, etc., but not the obvious choice for a political rally, Washington DC.

However, there were two small rallies that I kind of swung by in passing. One was at Constitution Gardens a few blocks from the White House, which was a pro-Aristide march for Haiti. The other was a silent anti-war vigil at the Capitol, which is documented in the “A Sunny Day at the Capitol” Photography set that I just posted.

The Haiti rally was interesting, as it was interesting seeing the rather small group on the sidewalk along Constitution Avenue saying “Whose streets? Our streets!” That one chant just seemed out of place, what with the difference in how it was presented last April, where it was the anarchists’ call as they actually marched out into the road, and shut off a lane of traffic.

Meanwhile, the silent vigil at the Capitol seemed to go well, as the small group stood in silence (for the most part). Between the Capitol group and the Haiti group, the Haiti group was a lot more united. The Capitol group didn’t seem as “together” and presenting as strong of a message due to their appearance.

Meanwhile, on my way back to the Metro from the Haiti march, I found the World Bank, which will be the subject of a major demonstration on April 23, which I am considering attending as a spectator. The World Bank building is about two blocks south and one block east of the Farragut West Metro station. The building is definitely distinctive. It’s black, and looks like it is a product of the 1960s. It has faux-balconies on all the levels, and a real balcony about halfway up the building. As I’m coming up 19th Street, I’m thinking, “What is that frightfully ugly building?” Turns out it was the World Bank.

I currently don’t know what to think about the World Bank and its policies, as I’ve heard the “textbook” description of what it does, both in an International Relations course at JMU, as well as their Web site. I’ve also seen some of the activists’ dissenting opinions about it in my first somewhat-pathetic photo set about a protest in September 2002.

So that will be interesting to see next month.

Meanwhile, Metro had some heightened security after the train bombing in Madrid, Spain. They have signs in the station manager kiosks saying, “Due to heightened security, station restrooms are closed until further notice for the safety of Metro customers and employees.” So much for their let-them-use-the-restrooms policy. And interestingly enough, this change did not affect the self-cleaning restroom at Huntington, as you might imagine. It was in service, and fine as ever. You’d think that the opposite would be true, with the self-cleaning one closing before the regular restrooms, since while the self-cleaning restroom at Huntington can be accessed by anyone without anyone else’s intervention, the regular restrooms require asking a WMATA employee to let you in, which is a security check so as not to let any shady characters into the bathrooms. But anyway…

Meanwhile, after two days off, it’s good to get back to work. You know how it is. Life truly is a vacation. Work is a vacation from home. Home is a vacation from work. And work went really well today, as it just blew past. Come in, handle a few customers, and look at the time! Break time. Have a soda, come back, handle a few customers, and oh, look at the time! Lunch time! Go back, have dinner, come back, help a few customers, and (you guessed it) look at the time! It’s break time again! And then come back, serve some customers, sort out the returns, and oh, look at the time… time to go home. It just goes well like that.

I like to stay busy, but I don’t like being swamped. Since being consistent, with constantly having maybe one or two people in line is good. Having a line out the door, on the other hand, is a problem, since then we usually have to get some reinforcements, plus having a long line stresses me more than anything else.

Meanwhile, Tuesday officially marks eight years online… at ten years, by the way, I’m getting myself a ring or something, since that will call for a celebration.

Web site: SubTalk thread about WMATA and restrooms

Song: "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"

Quote: "Yeah, no lone..." (Note: I was half-asleep when I wrote this, and didn't finish, nor know what I was thinking when I wrote it)

Categories: Activism, DC trips, WMATA