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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

I am two for two on DC Indymedia

September 29, 2004, 10:48 PM

What can I say? I’m good. Twice I’ve submitted photos of an event to DC Indymedia, and twice I’ve managed to get my images on the front page of the DC Indymedia Web site.

The most recent is from a protest held near the US Treasury. Here is the full article. Where I actually submitted the photos is actually low on the page. But guess whose image that is small and up in the corner. Mine! That’s the one that also ended up on the main page of DC Indymedia. (Note: If it’s not on the main page anymore when you see this, it’s dated September 21 and entitled Picket in front of US Treasury calls for 100% Debt Cancellation: 10 Days until the annual meetings of the World Bank and IMF, and you can scroll back to find old front page articles at the bottom of the main news feed)

This is also about the only time you’ll ever see me actually defend George W. Bush (I’m as surprised as you are, especially in the highly-liberal Indymedia venue). The poster just before me said:

Look how far away the demonstration is from Treasury. It’s only since the second Bush Administration came in that demonstrations have been forced to move back and way back away from their intended target, in the name of security but in reallity it’s an attempt to marginalize protest and dissent.

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Categories: Activism

I went to Washington DC on Tuesday…

September 22, 2004, 8:28 PM

That was fun. I chose the date because of a picket event outside the US Treasury Building, in regards to third-world debt, sponsored by the Jubilee USA Network. It was an hour-long protest, going from noon to 1 PM. I attended the second half-hour of it. I got pictures of some of the speakers, and then got a bunch of photos of the people marching, carrying signs. This was a small event, carried out on the corner of 15th Street and New York Avenue NW. As such, “marching” basically meant all the people in attendance marched in a circle right there at the corner. It was still a spirited event, with all kinds of slogans being shouted. For instance:

“What do we want? Drop the debt! When do we want it? Now!”
“Medication for every nation! Drop the debt now!”
“Secretary Snow! The debt has got to go!”
“Don’t drop the ball! Cancel it all!”

All in all, it was a fun event. I also exchanged Email addresses with one of the Jubilee USA organizers, with the intent of sharing my photos. Maybe some of my photos will end up on there. We shall see. It would have been nice if they’d done it on a sunny street corner, because in the shade, it causes me to have to do some serious retouching to get the color right.

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Categories: DC trips, Driving, WMATA, World Bank

This is a bit of a messed-up day…

August 25, 2004, 9:43 AM

If you want to talk about a day without a purpose, this is it. See, I found out a couple of hours after work yesterday that the guy would be coming today to put the finish on the new stairs.

Now note that when I say “new”, I mean that only because in the process of replacing the flooring, the floor people took out the old wood on the stairs, which was intended for carpeting, and thus had a lot of knots in it. And then they put new wood down, which, for the last week or so, we’ve been using bare. Now it’s going to get the finish and the runner on it, which will also finish the entire flooring job.

So as a result of the work being done on the stairs, and my room and such being upstairs, I had to vacate for the day, with the guy showing up at 7:30. So I had to be all ready for work and such by then, even though I don’t have to actually be at work until 2:00. And so I’m kind of wandering around doing whatever until then. I’m actually at the Waynesboro Public Library right now, which I’d not been to in ages. Still, I also drove out to Weyers Cave today.

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“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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I went to Washington DC on Saturday…

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.

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Categories: Activism, DC trips, WMATA