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October Rebellion

Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4 – Part 5

Part 5

And then came a moment of surprise. With the call, “Take off your clothes!” a number of people did just that – they took off their clothes. The chant soon became, “IMF is out! Skin is in!” Some women stripped down to their bra and panties, some just took their shirts off and left the bra intact, while others went completely topless. One guy stripped down to his underwear, but most of the men in the group simply went shirtless. No one was completely naked. Meanwhile, people on the roof of the World Bank were watching and filming. Seems that skin was able to keep their attention…

I was shocked. I was speechless. I mean jaw-dropping surprised. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I’d heard about and seen pictures of people going topless at protests, but I’d never seen it in person. Kind of a shock. I was so shocked, in fact, that I stopped taking pictures. Maddy finally got me taking pictures again, basically telling me not to be such a prude.


Viewing the reactions of the crowd after a group has stripped down, and is shouting, “IMF is out, skin is in!” as others are joining in all the time.


 

 

 

 


All the while, a number of people watched from the roof of the World Bank. Seems that skin got their attention. One man, at center, was even filming...

All the while, a number of people watched from the roof of the World Bank. Seems that skin got their attention. One man, at center, was even filming


Some people were noticeably uncomfortable while all the toplessness was going on, such as this gentleman, whom we had previously heard speak at A16.

Some people were noticeably uncomfortable while all the toplessness was going on, such as this gentleman, whom we had previously heard speak at A16.


Then the focus switched to occupying the intersection at the World Bank’s northwest corner. This was the three-way intersection between H Street, 19th Street, and Pennsylvania Avenue. It was fairly successful, until all of a sudden a large group of police came in from what seemed to be out of nowhere with sticks. This caught me off guard, and so I did what just about everyone else did, moving to the other end of the park and away from the riot cops with sticks.


Occupying the intersection west of the World Bank.  Occupying the intersection west of the World Bank.

Occupying the intersection west of the World Bank.

Occupying the intersection west of the World Bank.  Occupying the intersection west of the World Bank.

Occupying the intersection west of the World Bank.  Occupying the intersection west of the World Bank.


Occupying the intersection.


Meanwhile, with our occupation of the intersection, we attracted the attention of people at another nearby building.

Meanwhile, with our occupation of the intersection, we attracted the attention of people at another nearby building.


Later, the People’s Tribunal started up, which was basically the closing rally for the day’s protest. Things were winding down, as the speeches began, and people began to take a seat in the grass to listen, as the sun got lower in the sky.


 

 

 

 


The people’s tribunal goes on…


I also was surprised to hear someone shout, “Schumin!” from the crowd. I was like, “Who’s saying ‘hello’ to me?” and then I saw the two people who were trying to get my attention. As it turns out, they were familiar with my work, having seen themselves on Wikipedia in the photo of the black bloc from September 24, and from there, followed back to Schumin Web. Cool!

Meanwhile, after getting with my fellow radical cheerleaders, we’d determined that we weren’t going to be doing any further cheering, so I wished them all a great rest of the day, and I headed out. My mother was in town for a teachers’ convention out in Dulles, and I didn’t want to keep her waiting if the protest was definitely over.  Leaving the protest, I walked three blocks up 18th Street to K Street.  On the way up, I made a minor wardrobe change, taking off all the obvious radical cheerleading bits that I had on, including the red shirt, the arm things, the bandanna, and the hat. So now the only thing I had on out of the ordinary was the tights.  And I put my glasses back on.  The bandanna actually never saw any use other than decoration on this particular day, as expected.  Radical cheerleaders generally don’t mask up, but the bloc does. But it seems that if radical cheerleaders directly join the black bloc, they do mask up. Go figure, I suppose.

At the corner of K and 18th, I ran into a pair from the protest who was looking for Farragut North. The three of us all walked the one block east to Farragut North. In the Metro station, I got Breda 2033 to Silver Spring. That required me to change trains at Silver Spring, since 2033 was going back to Shady Grove from Silver Spring, rather than going all the way to Glenmont. In fact, it was going back to Shady Grove so quickly that it didn’t even follow the normal pattern for Silver Spring, where trains come in on the Glenmont side, go out of service, enter the pocket track north of the station, and then come back out on the Shady Grove side. This train crossed over to the Shady Grove side using the crossover just before the station, and then entered the station on the Shady Grove side. Then they changed ends right there in the station, and returned to Shady Grove.

Meanwhile, since my car was at Forest Glen, I waited a few minutes more, and caught Breda 4099 to go that last little bit to Forest Glen station.


Breda 4099, in a train full of 4000-series cars, leaves Forest Glen station.


Arriving back at Forest Glen, I got in the car, and was back home again before I knew it. Now that the protest was over, I was going to Dulles to visit my mother at the hotel she was staying at in Dulles for her teachers’ convention. After changing into more normal clothes, I was off again, to see Mom, and share the highlights of the day’s protest…

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Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4 – Part 5

Part 5