“The platform elevators at Crystal City is out of service. Shuttle bus service is available from Pentagon City.”

3 minute read

May 20, 2006, 5:46 PM

Yes, that’s an actual line from a Metro train operator that my friend Tristan and I encountered on a Blue Line train to Pentagon City on Tuesday. Note “The platform elevators at Crystal City is out of service. Such hideous grammar…

Now, though, it’s Saturday, and I’m in DC again. There was an ANSWER Coalition rally and march related to Latin American issues that I covered strictly as a photographer. Thus, I didn’t participate directly, nor did I march the route. I took the Metro to the ending point. The opening rally was at Malcolm X Park, and the closing rally at Lafayette Square. So all in all, fun.

It’s funny, though… the first protest I ever went to was an ANSWER event. Now, though, they seem to have gotten so “out there” that I understand why so many people don’t want to associate with them. ANSWER does best when they attack issues like the Iraq War. This one didn’t draw the same kind of crowd (and certainly not the Infoshop crowd), and seemed a little bit “out there” politically.

I was amused, though, that ANSWER gave me press credentials for the event. Seriously. I have a badge from ANSWER that says “Media” on it. I didn’t wear it (no one’s going to stop me from photographing an event on public property), but it’s a souvenir of the day. So I kept it. I’ll post it on here later on.

Arriving at Lafayette Square ahead of the march, I ended up conversing with a number of folks. First group I talked to? The cops. It was the same group of cops from the April 22 protest (there’s a photo set called “Night March” on the way that will cover that event in detail). So we talked about that for a bit, and also about some of the demonstrators and such. Turns out it’s one group of cops that covers all the protests. So fun. Parting comments were “I’ll see you at the next protest!”

I also got a chance to talk with Larry Holmes of the International Action Center. Mr. Holmes, you may recall, led the march to the Hotel Washington during the Million Worker March. I mentioned to him that I had a Web address I wanted to give him about one of the MWM. Turns out that he’d already seen my work and was quite impressed! And I knew it was me because he described my site to a T. He especially enjoyed my videos of the event. That just made my day.

After leaving the protest, I caught a Blue Line train to Largo Town Center. My friend Steven Holzinger was out that way for an airshow at Andrews Air Force Base, and we’d discussed meeting, but it turned out not to work out due to his schedule. Ah, well. Still, since I was done with my planned events a lot earlier than expected, and it was too early to do Pentagon City, I went out there regardless. I ended up going to the Boulevard at Capital Centre, and over to Starbucks for a beverage. I also got to see a little bit of the airshow, as some of the planes’ movements were visible from the Metro station.

And from there? Pentagon City, where I’m now writing you. So I’ve had fun.

And I also realized that I’d forgotten to tell the parents that I was going to DC when I got a call early on in my day. I’m reading the Express at Rosslyn, and my phone goes off. Turns out it was Mom. “Where are you?” “Rosslyn.” “Didn’t you just go to DC?” “Yes…” Don’t even get me started about why I try to maintain a regular schedule for what’s mostly a pleasure trip. Just smile and nod. Very good.

Web site: "A Protest Against the War", about my first protest. I love this one because of how differently I cover these things now, compared to how I covered this one.

Song: Whatever's playing in the Apple store where I'm writing this from...

Quote: And my friend Matthew Tilley is text messaging me as we speak, so my phone is going off periodically...

Categories: Activism, DC trips