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“I work alone, except when I work with Renaldo – which is all the time.”

October 12, 2005, 4:20 AM

I’m about to head up to Washington today, for the first time since the big September 24 protest. Depending on the weather, I hope to get some outdoor photo sets today.

Meanwhile, it’s funny… the day after the September 24 protests, Mom read in our local paper (I believe it was The News Virginian) about how a group from Augusta County went to the big protest. I believe the group was the Augusta Coalition for Peace and Justice, which participated in the protests at the Augusta County Courthouse that I spoke about in August (and which I could not attend due to being on vacation).

Mom wondered why I didn’t go with them and instead did my own thing. I simply replied, taking a line directly from Dangeresque on homestarrunner.com: “I work alone, except when I work with Renaldo – which is all the time.”

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Categories: Anti-war, DC trips

One word about the protest on Saturday

September 26, 2005, 2:46 AM

I have just one word for the September 24 protest: WOW.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen this many people out against the war in Iraq and the like, even counting J20 (which seemed to consist of a smaller, but very dedicated bunch). They say that more than 100,000 people attended.

I’m working on a full narrative for this trip like I did for the Million Worker March, J20, and A16. The full report for this trip will end up in Life and Times as a photo set when I’m done with it. Unlike in those other three cases, however, I’m not posting the narrative here. It will go up when I finish the entire set.

All in all, I took 391 photos and 41 movies. Of that, roughly 360 photos and 30 movies were protest-related, while another 31 photos and 11 movies were rail-geek stuff.

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Categories: Anti-war, DC trips, Family, WMATA

If only I’d known about it ahead of time…

August 29, 2005, 5:18 PM

The talk in both local newspapers (the News Leader and the News Virginian) this weekend was about two political demonstrations on back-to-back days in Staunton in front of the Augusta County Courthouse.

On Friday at noon, an anti-war demonstration went on. The group was demonstrating in support of Cindy Sheehan’s demonstration in Crawford, Texas. According to this article in the News Leader, about 25 people demonstrated in front of the courthouse. The demonstration was sponsored by the Virginia Anti-War Network. The Augusta Coalition for Peace and Justice was also represented there.

At Friday’s demonstration, there was a group of four people across the street carrying Bush campaign signs. These were the counter-protesters. According to the same article, James Waltz, a recent Riverheads High School graduate, and one of the counter-protesters, said that the anti-war demonstrators are “really on the fringes.”

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Tuesday may have been a wash, but things still went quite well!

August 25, 2005, 10:39 AM

Tuesday was mostly a wash, unfortunately, with rain causing me to scrap most of my outdoor activities. Sad. But I did get to peruse the strip, and got “part 2” of the holier-than-thou attitude of the management of the Holiday Department Store at the corner of 19th and Atlantic (diagonal from my hotel). I photographed a sign on the door of the “boy’s stockroom”, which is just as bad as the one I got last year on the back door about boxes. The writing is readable, and I shall transcribe it when I get back home (I’m at the library again).

Anyway, though, the strip was good, and I made a discovery. To discover the strip, you really only need to walk maybe six blocks in either direction from your hotel (if that), because the strip repeats itself. You have a few classes of stores on the strip. Stores that sell souvenirs and beach crap, stores that offer henna tattoos, oxygen bars, little convenience stores, and restaurants for seafood or pizza. Then they start to repeat. Seriously. Even the same stores. I went a ways south on the strip, and found another “Holiday Department Store”. I found three “Sunsations” stores. It all repeats.

Since it was still raining quite hard by the time dinner came around, I pulled out the umbrella and took a walk down the strip in search of the food that struck my fancy. I walked a LONG way south and didn’t find anything exciting. Not wanting to walk all that way back, I took a VB Wave trolleybus up to about 24th Street and then walked south again. I found a seafood restaurant, and had dinner there. Quite enjoyable, though I hate restaurants with mirror walls. I don’t like looking at a mirror image of myself eating while I’m eating.

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The Counter-Inaugural…

January 21, 2005, 11:10 PM

On January 20, 2005, George W. Bush was inaugurated as President of the United States for a second term. While many were in Washington to cheer Bush on, others were in Washington to demonstrate against the Bush administration. I was with the latter group. We did not agree with the Bush Administration’s policies, and were out there voicing it.

I actually got up for this event at midnight. It turned January 20, and I was up and running. I left the house at 1 AM, and, after having to turn around a few miles out because I forgot some stuff, I was off again for real. I made it to the Sheetz in Mt. Jackson for breakfast at 2 AM, and, realizing that I was WAY further ahead than I anticipated, I decided to eat in rather than eating on the go, which I usually do. Not bad. And then we were off!

Next stop: Wal-Mart in Woodstock for some “protest supplies”. Namely, bottled water. So I bought a 12-pack of Aquafina for possible later use. And we continue, on to Vienna.

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What a day in Washington I had on Saturday…

October 3, 2004, 11:10 PM

I was up early, and in bed late, to say the least. What I did was cover two, count ’em, two political demonstrations on October 2, for a photo set I’m going to do for Schumin Web.

The first one was an anti-war funeral procession. Basically a rally and march, but with a more solemn funeral type atmosphere. They carried 100 cardboard coffins (designed to represent real ones, as you would expect) from Arlington National Cemetery to the Ellipse near the White House. At Arlington National Cemetery, speeches were given, and then the coffins were picked up, and the marchers marched. I photographed all over, and took movies. On the way into Washington, near the entrance to Arlington Cemetery Metro station (by the way, this is where I dropped out of the march, because I had other fish to fry that day as well), we encountered the counter-protesters, basically protesting the protesters. These are the ones who disagree with the marchers, and are voicing their dissent with the marchers’ viewpoints.

So after photographing the counter-protesters, and taking movies of them, and unfortunately not being allowed by Park Police to venture in between the line of police in the street and the counter-protesters in order to get shots of some of the signage the counter-protesters carried, I headed into Arlington Cemetery station, to head over to protest target #2.

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Categories: Anti-war, DC trips, World Bank

“WHOSE STREETS? OUR STREETS!”

June 8, 2004, 2:04 AM

It’s been a few days since I last posted, and so I thought I’d fill you in on what’s happened in my life.

Biggest event was on June 5, where I attended an International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) protest in Washington DC. That was FUN. We went from Lafayette Park in front of the White House to Donald Rumsfeld’s house at 2206 Kalorama Road NW. To get there we left Lafayette Park and took H Street to 14th Street. From there we went several blocks up to U Street, where we caught Florida Avenue to Connecticut Avenue, and finally to Kalorama Road.

I ended up connecting with a group of relative strangers from Chicago who drove a long way to come to this event. It was a very diverse group, too. One of the women had their hair colored purple. Another carried a bucket being used as a makeshift drum. Another was dressed for the weather (cool and wet) and were ready to follow the protest. The two men in the group appeared to be my age or slightly older, and were dressed for a Black Bloc, wearing all black and masks over their faces. Considering that I came to the protest alone, I was very pleased about how well this group from Chicago that I never met before and will probably never meet again accepted and welcomed me into their group. Very friendly folks. Me from two hours away, and them from half a continent away.

Chants at this protest ranged from “Occupation is a crime from Iraq to Palestine”, “Ain’t no power like the power of the people ’cause the power of the people won’t stop!”, chants about Mumia Al-Jamal (Free Mumia), “Whose streets? Our streets!” and others I can’t remember off the top of my head.

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