Life and Times

Life and Times from 2017

Life and Times from 2016

Life and Times from 2015

Life and Times from 2014

Life and Times from 2013

Life and Times from 2012

Life and Times from 2011

Life and Times from 2010

Life and Times from 2009

Life and Times from 2008

Life and Times from 2007

Life and Times from 2006

Life and Times from 2005

Life and Times from 2004

Life and Times from 2003

Life and Times from 2002

Life and Times from 2000

Funk the War 3

Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3

Part 1

Funk the War 3March 19, 2008 was the fifth anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq. This year, the protests marking the anniversary of the war were being held on the actual date, which fell on a Wednesday this year, rather than a weekend around the actual date. The actions were decentralized this year. Rather than a single mass march as we’ve had on previous occasions, various groups held their own small, autonomous actions in various parts of the city. One group held a demonstration at the IRS early on. Another group held an event that marched from the Capitol Reflecting Pool to the Democratic Party headquarters.

I took the day off of work, and participated in an event called “Funk the War 3”, sponsored by the DC chapter of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), and meeting at noon at Franklin Square in downtown Washington. It was the third such march sponsored by SDS with a dance-party twist – hence the “Funk the War” name – that went around protesting the war, paying visits to various organizations that have played a part in the Iraq War over the years. The demonstration was also an opportunity to “shut down” the city, taking over streets and occupying various intersections.


I started my day getting all ready to go. Big Mavica’s batteries were charged and the first one was loaded in, the CDs were prepared, and I had the backpack all packed and ready to go with everything I would need for a great protest. I was, however, cutting it a little close time-wise for a noon protest. I caught Rohr 1097 from Wheaton, and took it to Farragut North. I figured that going to Farragut North and walking directly to Franklin Square would save me a few minutes versus transferring to a Blue or an Orange Line train at Metro Center and then going an extra one stop to McPherson Square.

I ended up getting to Franklin Square at 12:05, and the place was already hopping. That was a surprise – normally, things operate on “activist time”, which is where 12:00 really means a starting time of 12:30 or even 1:00. Even more surprising was that by 12:10, we were starting to march. I barely got my glasses off and everything else situated before the march began. I didn’t even get to say hello to everyone before the march started. Usually I have a chance to say hello to everyone I know before the march begins. Not so this time. I got to say hello to Ahmed, but I didn’t get to say hello to Jeff, Maddy, Olga, Luke, Isis, etc. until later.


Wow! When they said 12:00, they meant it - we got going quickly!

Wow! When they said 12:00, they meant it – we got going quickly!


At 12:10, we were going!  The Rude Mechanical Orchestra was with us at the beginning of our march, but they didn’t stay with us for very long before moving on.


Our march route took us through several street blockades, as well as to the military recruiter at 14th and L Streets NW, and to the Washington DC offices of Lockheed Martin and Bechtel. The march was somewhat intense, considering that everyone, both activists and police, knew for the most part what was going to happen, and so each was trying to stay a step ahead of the other. On multiple occasions, the police resorted to brute force, shoving us out of the street en masse.


The march is underway!  The march is underway!

The march is underway!

The march is underway!


Meanwhile, on the side of the road, there were counter-protesters...

Meanwhile, on the side of the road, there were counter-protesters…


...and demonstrators friendlier to our cause as well.

…and demonstrators friendlier to our cause as well.


All the while, traffic was snarled as we blocked streets with our march.

All the while, traffic was snarled as we blocked streets with our march.

All the while, traffic was snarled as we blocked streets with our march.


Various people with video cameras conducted interviews with individuals within the march.

Various people with video cameras conducted interviews with individuals within the march.


The march continues, on its way to the recruitment center.  The march continues, on its way to the recruitment center.

The march continues, on its way to the recruitment center.


Arriving at the recruitment center, we found that pro-war counter-protesters were already demonstrating outside the recruitment center, and that police had lined up between the two groups.  Arriving at the recruitment center, we found that pro-war counter-protesters were already demonstrating outside the recruitment center, and that police had lined up between the two groups.

Arriving at the recruitment center, we found that pro-war counter-protesters were already demonstrating outside the recruitment center, and that police had lined up between the two groups.


What a neat hat! Now, though, we need to just get him to Take Back The Tap...

What a neat hat! Now, though, we need to just get him to Take Back The Tap


We were a rather large group, gathered around the entrance to the recruitment center.  We were a rather large group, gathered around the entrance to the recruitment center.

We were a rather large group, gathered around the entrance to the recruitment center.

We were a rather large group, gathered around the entrance to the recruitment center.  We were a rather large group, gathered around the entrance to the recruitment center.

We were a rather large group, gathered around the entrance to the recruitment center. 


Shouting, “Hell no, we won’t go!” outside the recruitment center.


And before you knew it, the march was underway again.  And before you knew it, the march was underway again.

And before you knew it, the march was underway again.

And before you knew it, the march was underway again.  And before you knew it, the march was underway again.

Comments are closed.

Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3

Part 1