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It may have been small, but we certainly did have a blast…

December 9, 2007, 11:08 AM

I attended a relatively small protest march on Saturday in DC – a march reminding all of the FBI’s roundup of alleged environmental and animal rights activists two years ago, and how we cannot let such actions continue. We marched from Farragut Square to the FBI building via the White House in our “Resist the Greenscare” march.

It was a small march, with only ten people in attendance, but we were a dedicated bunch. In the regular DC crowd, we had Jeff, Luke, Olga, Dylan (Olga’s guy), Isis, and myself, as well as four others. We were expecting more, but we believed that the weather and lackluster promotion kept some people at home. Plus the people we did get mostly came later, as Metro was doing track work on all five lines this particular day, and a number of people got tied up in that. But with the group we had, we may have been small, but we were dedicated.

And as you can see, we had green and black flags at our march, as well as a banner.
And as you can see, we had green and black flags at our march, as well as a banner.

As we were assembled, one MPDC officer approached us. Unlike many of the occasions with “unpermitted” marches, where it’s a bit of an adversarial relationship with the cops, this guy was like “Mr. Cool”. Smiling, laughing, stating he just wants to make sure we get there safely. And he was good. Once we got going, we saw him on his motorcycle on a couple of occasions, but otherwise, he stayed out of our way.

In deciding exactly how to get from A to B, we determined a few things. First of all, we would take it past the White House on the way to the FBI. And secondly, this would be a sidewalk march. We figured that first of all, we didn’t have the numbers to use the streets effectively. Secondly, we determined that with our small numbers, we would likely be viewed with contempt if we took the streets, and we didn’t want people to view us like that. Also, though everyone certainly brought their equipment with them, there was no masking up. However, it was cold enough that bandannas certainly would have kept us a bit warmer.

And so we were off.

The march is underway

We approached the 1600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue from the west, and marched east. In front of the White House, a group was filming for a movie. The scene was a political rally.

"Fake demonstrators" filming a scene for a movie

We jokingly referred to them as “fake demonstrators”, especially as the director stopped them and they went back to their marks. We, on the other hand, were real demonstrators. But who knows – maybe you’ll see us in the background of a movie shot.

Further down, Isis said to the group, “Children, Mommy wants to get a picture of everyone in front of the White House!” So everyone paused for a photo, and Isis and I went to town with our cameras.

Group photo in front of the White House

As we turned south on 15th Street to follow Pennsylvania Avenue (there’s a break in the naming), we got two photos:

In this one, Jeff holds up the green and black flag to make it appear that the nutcracker is holding it.
In this one, Jeff holds up the green and black flag to make it appear that the nutcracker is holding it.

And in this one, we displayed the banner in front of the giant nutcracker.
And in this one, we displayed the banner in front of the giant nutcracker.

By chance, our march route also took us past the Hotel Washington, where, as part of the Million Worker March, we demonstrated three years earlier in support of the hotel’s unionized workers, who were then in a contract dispute with management. Now, we repeated the chant, “We’re here, we’re here, we’re here for the hotel workers!” from the Million Worker March as a way of showing our continued support for these workers, and remembering the Million Worker March.

And then from there, it wasn’t far to the J. Edgar Hoover Building, headquarters of the FBI.

Jeff addresses the building

Arriving at the FBI, Jeff initially addressed the building (above), and then we named the names of some of those rounded up in the “Greenscare”.

The group at the FBI Building

And that basically marked the end of the formal march. So now we headed back towards Farragut Square to go home. We stopped at Freedom Plaza, where we met to come up with ideas for future actions. Isis also got everyone set up in a pose with our green and black flag like the famous Iwo Jima photo:

Everyone poses like in the Iwo Jima photo

Then from there, we stopped at this little souvenir shop at the corner of 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, where we got some photos of the signs in the windows, and looked around inside.

And then from there, we went past the White House and out to Farragut Square. And that was our protest! It was a small and intimate protest, and we certainly had a great amount of fun while getting our message out. I’ll post movies later.

Web site: Message on DC Indymedia advertising our march

Song: Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin

Quote: Certainly an awesome day, indeed...

Categories: Activism