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Night March

Part 1 – Part 2

Part 2

At the Fairmont, where they quickly locked the doors when they saw us coming, we spotted people that we believed to be World Bank/IMF delegates socializing in the lobby.  Realizing this, participants in our group shouted, “COME ON OUT!  COME ON OUT!”  As expected, they did not come out.

We actually spent quite a bit of time at the Fairmont.  I have a feeling that part of the reason was that some of the delegates were actually present right there in front of us, and also the fact that the Fairmont had a very large covered area in the front – large enough for all of us to fit under.

Some of the things that our group shouted over the course of the evening were definitely something.  Some were your typical demonstration chants like “Whose streets?  Our streets!”, “Show me what democracy looks like!  This is what democracy looks like!”, etc.  However, at the Fairmont, the chants took an amusing twist.  At one point, our chants were directed at the police, when we shouted, “SHOW ME WHAT OVERTIME LOOKS LIKE!  THIS IS WHAT OVERTIME LOOKS LIKE!”  The police officers got a kick out of that, as a number of them were noticeably amused.  At another point, when it looked like we were going to continue on, we shouted “WE’LL BE BACK!  WE’LL BE BACK!” as we’d been doing when we left every hotel thus far.  But then the decision to leave was reversed, and we stayed.  So we retraced the three or so steps we took towards leaving, and shouted, “WE TOLD YOU WE’D BE BACK!  WE TOLD YOU WE’D BE BACK!”


In front of the entrance to the Fairmont, the police and members of the hotel's staff guarded the entrances, in order to maintain a clear space between us and those against whom we were protesting.  In front of the entrance to the Fairmont, the police and members of the hotel's staff guarded the entrances, in order to maintain a clear space between us and those against whom we were protesting.

In front of the entrance to the Fairmont, the police and members of the hotel’s staff guarded the entrances, in order to maintain a clear space between us and those against whom we were protesting.

In front of the entrance to the Fairmont, the police and members of the hotel's staff guarded the entrances, in order to maintain a clear space between us and those against whom we were protesting.

In front of the entrance to the Fairmont, the police and members of the hotel's staff guarded the entrances, in order to maintain a clear space between us and those against whom we were protesting.


We were still very much a spirited group by the time we reached the Fairmont.  Fortunately, the Fairmont's large canopy was sufficient to allow us all the opportunity to get out of the rain.  We were still very much a spirited group by the time we reached the Fairmont.  Fortunately, the Fairmont's large canopy was sufficient to allow us all the opportunity to get out of the rain.

We were still very much a spirited group by the time we reached the Fairmont.  Fortunately, the Fairmont’s large canopy was sufficient to allow us all the opportunity to get out of the rain.

We were still very much a spirited group by the time we reached the Fairmont.  Fortunately, the Fairmont's large canopy was sufficient to allow us all the opportunity to get out of the rain.  We were still very much a spirited group by the time we reached the Fairmont.  Fortunately, the Fairmont's large canopy was sufficient to allow us all the opportunity to get out of the rain.


“Corporate corruption, who do we thank?  The IMF and the World Bank!”


“That’s bulls—!  Get off it!  The enemy is profit!  Disease and starvation will not be sold by corporations!”


Some demonstrators liken the World Bank and the IMF to a well-known hate group, before going into the chant of “Show me what overtime looks like!  This is what overtime looks like!”


A police officer reacts to our chant of "Show me what overtime looks like!" with amusement.

A police officer reacts to our chant of “Show me what overtime looks like!” with amusement.


The group invites suspected World Bank and IMF delegates spotted inside the hotel to “Come on out!  Come on out!”


As the evening continued on, we eventually did leave the Fairmont, and headed on towards our next target.

As the evening continued on, we eventually did leave the Fairmont, and headed on towards our next target.


We actually did keep one of our promises of “We’ll be back” as we headed towards the St. Gregory again.  At this point it was around 9:00 PM, meaning that we’d been going for an hour and a half.  Additionally, we were soaked, and some were starting to tire.  Me, I was completely, totally, and utterly soaked through and through from the knees down.  Water was sloshing through my Chucks, and they had some serious street grime on them as well.

Between the Fairmont and our return to the St. Gregory, we passed near a fire station.  As we were passing, a fire truck started up and left the facility with its lights flashing.  This brought out two reactions from the group.  One reaction, which was held by many including myself, was to stop and allow the vehicle to pass.  Others, meanwhile, thought that the fire truck was an attempt by the police to stop us or slow us down, and wanted to block the fire truck.  Those in the latter group were overruled by those in the first group, and the fire truck proceeded unimpeded.


The fire truck leaves the station to respond to an emergency.

The fire truck leaves the station to respond to an emergency.


The prevailing view was basically that the fire department was a non-participant which gets priority use of the street over our protest march.  This happened previously on J20, where the march briefly separated to allow an ambulance to pass by.  The other view, being that the fire truck was attempting to slow us down, was one that I consider to be a bit paranoid and also quite dangerous.  As I see it, at a protest, the police are acceptable to screw with, as it’s all part of the “game”.  Fire and ambulance are “noncombatants” and thus, like bystanders, should intentionally be left out of the action.


Following our brief stop to let the fire engines through, we were on our way again!

Following our brief stop to let the fire engines through, we were on our way again!


The street medics also stayed close to us, as they were there to help us should anything bad happen.

The street medics also stayed close to us, as they were there to help us should anything bad happen.


All the while, the police, in their cars, on motorcycles, and on bicycles, had their lights flashing, and their sirens blaring through the driving rain.

All the while, the police, in their cars, on motorcycles, and on bicycles, had their lights flashing, and their sirens blaring through the driving rain.


Additionally, on the way back to the St. Gregory, one person in a gray mask repeatedly attempted to start something with the police.  For this, I considered him to be a bit of a loose cannon, and kept my distance.  Even other people in our group were pulling him away from the officers, but he persisted.  Additionally, on the way back to the St. Gregory, one person in a gray mask repeatedly attempted to start something with the police.  For this, I considered him to be a bit of a loose cannon, and kept my distance.  Even other people in our group were pulling him away from the officers, but he persisted.

Additionally, on the way back to the St. Gregory, one person in a gray mask repeatedly attempted to start something with the police.  For this, I considered him to be a bit of a loose cannon, and kept my distance.  Even other people in our group were pulling him away from the officers, but he persisted.


Arriving back at the St. Gregory, the hotel staff quickly locked the doors, to prevent a repeat of what happened on our earlier visit.


We said we'd be back, and we were!

We said we’d be back, and we were!


After a quick visit to the St. Gregory, with another chant of “we’ll be back”, we were off again, this time to the Hotel Lombardy on Pennsylvania Avenue.


And the march was on once again, as we continued our circuitous march through the streets of Washington DC, headed to the Hotel Lombardy.  Don't even think about asking about the specific locations of these photos - I was so disoriented during this march through an unfamiliar section of the city, and at night, that I had no idea which way was north, south, east, or west (and in DC, I usually know which way is which).  And the march was on once again, as we continued our circuitous march through the streets of Washington DC, headed to the Hotel Lombardy.  Don't even think about asking about the specific locations of these photos - I was so disoriented during this march through an unfamiliar section of the city, and at night, that I had no idea which way was north, south, east, or west (and in DC, I usually know which way is which).

And the march was on once again, as we continued our circuitous march through the streets of Washington DC, headed to the Hotel Lombardy.  Don’t even think about asking about the specific locations of these photos – I was so disoriented during this march through an unfamiliar section of the city, and at night, that I had no idea which way was north, south, east, or west (and in DC, I usually know which way is which).

And the march was on once again, as we continued our circuitous march through the streets of Washington DC, headed to the Hotel Lombardy.  Don't even think about asking about the specific locations of these photos - I was so disoriented during this march through an unfamiliar section of the city, and at night, that I had no idea which way was north, south, east, or west (and in DC, I usually know which way is which).  And the march was on once again, as we continued our circuitous march through the streets of Washington DC, headed to the Hotel Lombardy.  Don't even think about asking about the specific locations of these photos - I was so disoriented during this march through an unfamiliar section of the city, and at night, that I had no idea which way was north, south, east, or west (and in DC, I usually know which way is which).

And the march was on once again, as we continued our circuitous march through the streets of Washington DC, headed to the Hotel Lombardy.  Don't even think about asking about the specific locations of these photos - I was so disoriented during this march through an unfamiliar section of the city, and at night, that I had no idea which way was north, south, east, or west (and in DC, I usually know which way is which).


In order to keep ahead of us to block off streets to traffic, the police regularly drove their cars up on the sidewalk - at a considerable speed, no less.

In order to keep ahead of us to block off streets to traffic, the police regularly drove their cars up on the sidewalk – at a considerable speed, no less.


Seeing a city dump truck parked along a street during a protest march almost certainly reminded those who were in the black bloc march on September 24 about an incident where two similar trucks were tagged.

Seeing a city dump truck parked along a street during a protest march almost certainly reminded those who were in the black bloc march on September 24 about an incident where two similar trucks were tagged.


At the Hotel Lombardy, we made a good bit of noise and kept the emotion going, but, having by now been at this for two hours in unrelenting rain, people were starting to run out of steam.  As the canopy over the Hotel Lombardy’s entrance was tiny, I ended up sharing the space under my big golf umbrella with quite a few people.


We have made it to our last target of the night - the Hotel Lombardy.  We have made it to our last target of the night - the Hotel Lombardy.

We have made it to our last target of the night – the Hotel Lombardy.


The police, meanwhile, stood guard not only at the hotel's entrance, but around the outside of our demonstration as well.

The police, meanwhile, stood guard not only at the hotel’s entrance, but around the outside of our demonstration as well.


And from there, that was the end of the march!  The people who had come from the convergence center at St. Stephen’s Church were going to catch a bus back there, and so that was it.  From the Hotel Lombardy, the group basically dispersed.  The group going to the convergence center caught their bus to go back there, and a number of others, including myself, caught the Metro at Farragut West, which was nearby.

Before getting on the Metro, though, I first made some adjustments to my attire at a covered area near the station entrance.  As what I was wearing was basically soaked from the rain as well as exertion, change was necessary.  So I unmasked, removed the hoodie and the shirt beneath it, and pulled out my blue shirt from earlier in the day.  It was a little wet around the bottom, but otherwise, it was nice and dry.  Just what I needed, too.  I stuffed the other shirt and the hoodie back in my bag.  And to complete the change, we officially went from “Superman” to “Clark Kent”, as I put my glasses back on.  After all, what’s the difference between Superman and Clark Kent?  Glasses.  And from there, I descended into the Farragut West station to start making some moves back towards Vienna.


By this time, the server problem from earlier appeared to have been resolved, and train information was once again being displayed on-screen.

By this time, the server problem from earlier appeared to have been resolved, and train information was once again being displayed on-screen.


While I was waiting for the train, I heard my cell phone go off.  Turns out that it was Matthew Tilley.  We talked about whatever, as first a Blue Line train went by, and then my Orange Line train arrived to take me back to Vienna.  And of all the cars to get, I got Breda 2008, where, one may recall, I posed for a photo near the cab-end map prior to that car’s rehabilitation.

Breda 2008 now has another “claim to fame” in my book, as I used it as a background to demonstrate the effects of all that water on my camera.  Once I stepped on board, my camera full of moisture met the rail car’s air conditioning.  That caused all the water to condense on the lens.


As you can see, Big Mavica's view of Breda 2008 was quite foggy!  This was due to condensation on the inside of the lens, which I unfortunately could do nothing about.

As you can see, Big Mavica’s view of Breda 2008 was quite foggy!  This was due to condensation on the inside of the lens, which I unfortunately could do nothing about.


Thankfully, though, the air conditioning was just what the doctor ordered for the camera.  I made a restroom stop in Ballston before I finally got to Vienna, and checked Big Mavica over before heading back underground (since I had time, being that the next train wasn’t for a little while).


Thankfully, after a little while in the air conditioning, the camera dried back out, and the lens cleared up, allowing for crystal-clear pictures once again, here of the lobby of Ballston Metro Center, and of Fairfax Drive out front.  Thankfully, after a little while in the air conditioning, the camera dried back out, and the lens cleared up, allowing for crystal-clear pictures once again, here of the lobby of Ballston Metro Center, and of Fairfax Drive out front.

Thankfully, after a little while in the air conditioning, the camera dried back out, and the lens cleared up, allowing for crystal-clear pictures once again, here of the lobby of Ballston Metro Center, and of Fairfax Drive out front.


And then from there, it was back to Vienna for me.  The rain had stopped, and it was still a touch on the cool side.  So I hopped in the car and cranked up the heat, and was off!  On the way home, I took a nap in the car at the Sheetz in Haymarket, and made my usual other stop at the Wal-Mart in Woodstock.


This is the Wal-Mart in Woodstock, seen here in a January 4, 2006 file photo.

This is the Wal-Mart in Woodstock, seen here in a January 4, 2006 file photo.


At the Wal-Mart in Woodstock, I remedied a problem that I’d been having for much of the way home.  Have you ever gone driving in cold, wet shoes?  It’s not a walk in the park, that’s for sure.  I had the heat on high going down through the floor vents, and all to no avail.  My feet remained like little ice cubes all the way to Woodstock.  At Wal-Mart, where I did a little shopping, I noticed the flip-flop wall on the way to the rear bathrooms.  Leaving the restroom, I saw it again, and I was like, “Hmm…”  The price was $2.00 for a pair of cheap flip-flops.  And my Chucks were cold and wet.  Hmm.  So what did I do?  I picked out a nice pair, and switched shoes right on the spot.  First I undid the little cord that holds the pair together.  Then I yanked the tags off.  Then I took off my wet Chucks and my wet socks and sat them in the kiddie seat of the cart.  Then I sat the tag for the sandals next to that.  Then when I got up front, I handed the cashier the tag (since I was wearing the product), and bagged my nasty, wet shoes.  And tied the bag off, no less.

It’s kind of amazing how one’s feet can be warmer in flip-flops than in regular shoes.  But when one’s regular shoes are totally waterlogged, we can believe it.  And that’s how I made it the rest of the way home.

All in all, I had a wonderful day!  It may have had a slow start, but the night march more than made up for it.  Whee!

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Part 1 – Part 2

Part 2