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NSM Counter-Protest

Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3

Part 3

This arrangement took us all the way to the Capitol. As a counter-protest group, our forward progress was initially stalled at First Street NW, while the police got the Nazis up to the center of the Capitol’s west grounds, where they had a permit to rally.  Later, we were able to reach the east side of First Street, ending up against a retaining wall reinforced by a line of police officers in full riot gear.


While the Nazis filed in, we were corraled off to one side.

While the Nazis filed in, we were corraled off to one side.


Crossing First Street NW as we approached the retaining wall.

Crossing First Street NW as we approached the retaining wall.


Meanwhile, Code Pink activist Midge Potts holds up a sign stating "Unity Through Diversity".

Meanwhile, Code Pink activist Midge Potts holds up a sign stating “Unity Through Diversity”.


The members of the traveling clown troupe made it to the Capitol as well, and they continued to perform. Around this time was when people started to complain to them that some of the songs that they had chosen were not sufficiently "on message" for this demonstration.

The members of the traveling clown troupe made it to the Capitol as well, and they continued to perform. Around this time was when people started to complain to them that some of the songs that they had chosen were not sufficiently “on message” for this demonstration.


Capitol Police officers in full riot gear fortified the retaining wall, in order to maintain separation between the Nazis and us.

Capitol Police officers in full riot gear fortified the retaining wall, in order to maintain separation between the Nazis and us.


Meanwhile, beyond the police officers, the Nazis got into position at the west front of the Capitol.

Meanwhile, beyond the police officers, the Nazis got into position at the west front of the Capitol.

Meanwhile, beyond the police officers, the Nazis got into position at the west front of the Capitol.


We later managed to get on the Capitol grounds, in the southwest corner, directly south of the Nazis. separated by two retaining walls, a sidewalk, and a line of cops in full riot gear. Initially, an officer carrying a red canister of something that I presume was pepper spray announced to us that we did not have a permit to rally and were not permitted in the area where we had taken up station. However, the police took no further action beyond that, and permitted us to stay. We ultimately settled in, and later, a group played a recording of the I Have a Dream speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. over a bullhorn – a perfect counter to drown out the Nazis’ own speeches.


On the Capitol grounds, we quickly got ourselves into position to make sure that the Nazis were drowned out there as well.

On the Capitol grounds, we quickly got ourselves into position to make sure that the Nazis were drowned out there as well.


The Nazis were across two retaining walls and a walkway from us, so there was considerable distance between the two groups.  The Nazis were across two retaining walls and a walkway from us, so there was considerable distance between the two groups.

The Nazis were across two retaining walls and a walkway from us, so there was considerable distance between the two groups.


Police officers in full riot gear lined the walkway making sure that we did not interfere with the Nazis' rally, and bike cops took up positions on the other side of us.  Police officers in full riot gear lined the walkway making sure that we did not interfere with the Nazis' rally, and bike cops took up positions on the other side of us.

Police officers in full riot gear lined the walkway making sure that we did not interfere with the Nazis’ rally, and bike cops took up positions on the other side of us.

Police officers in full riot gear lined the walkway making sure that we did not interfere with the Nazis' rally, and bike cops took up positions on the other side of us.


Beating drums and doing whatever we can to prevent the Nazis from being heard during their rally at the Capitol. One person comments on the wrongness of the fact that Nazis are rallying at the Capitol.


Playing a recording of Dr. Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech.


Making sport of the Nazis, in the continued effort to drown out their message.


Meanwhile, we congregated to the south of the Nazis.  Meanwhile, we congregated to the south of the Nazis.

Meanwhile, we congregated to the south of the Nazis.

Meanwhile, we congregated to the south of the Nazis.  Meanwhile, we congregated to the south of the Nazis.

Meanwhile, we congregated to the south of the Nazis.  Meanwhile, we congregated to the south of the Nazis.


And that’s where everyone stayed until the Nazis left the Capitol. However, I soon got a phone call – Isis was in need! Isis called me to let me know that she wasn’t feeling well, and was laying down on a bench. So I went to find her. She was a little further away than I expected. While I had assumed that she had made it up to the grassy area, she was actually all the way down at the street. Once I got down there, though, Isis was soon good to go again, having had a chance to lie down for a few minutes. By this time, the Nazis were leaving, and we were quickly shuffled off to the south in order for the police to set up their lines. Leaving the Capitol grounds, the Nazis quickly boarded their bus, and soon they were gone, hopefully never to darken our town with their presence again.

Meanwhile, Isis and I were about ready to go. We ended up walking to Federal Center SW, at roughly 3rd and D Streets SW, for our ride back to our respective homes. One thing to note – if you’re going to go to protests in DC, it’s a good idea to commit the locations of several Metro stations to memory. It’s generally a good idea to know the locations of Capitol South, Federal Center SW, Union StationMetro CenterMcPherson Square, Farragut West, and Farragut North if you’re going to be protesting in the downtown area. It’s also a good idea to know where Dupont Circle is, even though it’s not near the Mall, and then for demonstrations from Malcolm X Park, it’s good to know the location of U Street-Cardozo. However, it’s important to not only know where these stations are on a map, but also where they are in relation to each other.  This way, if you’re near one station but access to it is blocked for whatever reason, you know where to go to access another nearby station.  For instance, on J20, we were demonstrating at Union Station, but our access to the Metro station there was blocked due to police activity.  So the person I was with and I ended up walking down First Street to catch Metro from Capitol South.

But I digress. So Isis and I made our way to Federal Center SW to return home. We ended up walking it with a few others from the counter-protest group. We had a wonderful time talking with them. And then when we got to the Metro, Isis and I parted company with them, and headed into the Metro. We were both exhausted, but we had such a great day. We caught CAF 5014 from there, and then we parted company at Metro Center, as I had to transfer to a Red Line train to get home, and Isis took CAF 5014 on into Virginia.

All in all, I’d say that everyone did a great job drumming the neo-Nazis out of town. We kept the corporate media from reporting on the Nazis’ message, and also drowned out the Nazis’ message live and in person, effectively rendering their point moot. Mission accomplished!

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Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3

Part 3