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March on Crystal City

Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4 – Part 5 – Part 6 – Part 7

Part 5

Meanwhile, what a difference two years makes.  At this march, the first major anti-war demonstration since the start of the Obama administration, the crowd of anti-war demonstrators seemed larger and more spirited, and, at least on the DC side, counter-protesters were nowhere to be found – and good riddance to them.

Having joined the march, we continued over Memorial Bridge.  Marching over the bridge with the black bloc, I was very surprised to see Mary, one of my coworkers, and her partner, Mike.  So I stopped and said hello to them.  Turns out that they had also spotted another of our coworkers in the crowd.  How cool!


Mike and Mary march over Memorial Bridge.

Mike and Mary march over Memorial Bridge.


We continued carrying our banners, though by now, the reinforcements on our banners were starting to give out, and the banners started to look somewhat worse for wear.

We continued carrying our banners, though by now, the reinforcements on our banners were starting to give out, and the banners started to look somewhat worse for wear.


The march continues over Memorial Bridge, and into Virginia.

The march continues over Memorial Bridge, and into Virginia.

The march continues over Memorial Bridge, and into Virginia.



The march pauses on Memorial Bridge due to ANSWER’s typical stop-and-go movements during marches.


And as is typical for ANSWER marches, there was a man with a large bucket asking for donations.

And as is typical for ANSWER marches, there was a man with a large bucket asking for donations.


Singing, “Solidarity forever, for the state won’t smash itself!”


And the march continued into Virginia, turning south on Route 27, as happened in 2007.  Here is where we encountered a very small group of Freepers, doing their usual counter-protesting along the side of the road.  However, with their smaller numbers and our larger numbers, they looked particularly small and insignificant, though I admit they should get a few props for reusing their banner, though it was obviously made for an earlier protest in 2004.  The question, however, becomes, are they reusing the banner because they believe that the message is still relevant, or are they reusing it because their movement is running out of steam, and they are reduced to reusing a four year old banner because no one can be bothered anymore to make a more relevant one?


Freepers along the side of Route 27.  Freepers along the side of Route 27.

Freepers along the side of Route 27.


The march continues along Route 27.

The march continues along Route 27.

The march continues along Route 27.


“1, 2, 3, 4, end this f—ing fascist war!”


Our black bloc also joined up with our friend Maddy on Route 27, and we got to have our hellos and such with her there.  Many of us had not seen Maddy in some time, and so we were glad to see her again.


Maddy joins us along Route 27.

Maddy joins us along Route 27.


Meanwhile, this time, Arlington wasn’t taking any chances about having another standoff on the bridge over Jefferson Davis Highway.  Metal barriers and orange construction fencing were spread across the entire roadway in such a way as to funnel all pedestrian traffic onto an exit ramp leading to the Pentagon Access Road.


Barrier preventing further movement south on Route 27.

Barrier preventing further movement south on Route 27.


At the site of the previous standoff, and perhaps anticipating another standoff, police were already lined up at the north end of the bridge ready to block further progress south should the barrier fail.

At the site of the previous standoff, and perhaps anticipating another standoff, police were already lined up at the north end of the bridge ready to block further progress south should the barrier fail.


And thus the march continued down onto the Pentagon Reservation without stopping.  That surprised me – for a demonstration marketed as a “March on the Pentagon”, the Pentagon was simply a symbolic flyby.  ANSWER didn’t even do its trademark stop-and-go routine while on Pentagon property, going nonstop along the edge of the property.  This is also when one remembers that the Pentagon is one of the largest office buildings in the world, and the amount of area that the Pentagon Reservation covers.  As proof, we walked nearly a mile (approximately 4800 feet) on Pentagon property alone!  While there, though, Maddy and I discussed all the permits one might need to march in Virginia, to which I said that they probably needed “over 9000” permits to do this march.

We marched through Pentagon property nonstop, never getting very close to the Pentagon at all, until we crossed under I-395.


Marching down the ramp and onto the Pentagon Reservation.

Marching down the ramp and onto the Pentagon Reservation.


A number of people took a shortcut across the parking lot to gain some ground rather than following the established march route, which squared off a corner of the parking lot.

A number of people took a shortcut across the parking lot to gain some ground rather than following the established march route, which squared off a corner of the parking lot.


Marching along the edge of the Pentagon parking lot.

Marching along the edge of the Pentagon parking lot.


This is about as close to the Pentagon as we ever got - in other words, not very close at all.

This is about as close to the Pentagon as we ever got – in other words, not very close at all.


A masked woman waves a peace flag through the Pentagon parking lot.  A masked woman waves a peace flag through the Pentagon parking lot.

A masked woman waves a peace flag through the Pentagon parking lot.


Two women dressed in clown makeup, advocating art and education over war.

Two women dressed in clown makeup, advocating art and education over war.

Two women dressed in clown makeup, advocating art and education over war.


“We love the planet, we love the animals, we support the ELF, free political prisoners!”

(This particular chant was previously used at a “Resist the Greenscare” march in December 2007)


ANSWER "security" at work.  Would anyone care to explain what their purpose is besides attempting to look badass and shouting at anarchists that don't even recognize them as having any authority in the first place?

ANSWER “security” at work.  Would anyone care to explain what their purpose is besides attempting to look badass and shouting at anarchists that don’t even recognize them as having any authority in the first place?


The march continues through the Pentagon's parking lots along Boundary Channel Drive.

The march continues through the Pentagon’s parking lots along Boundary Channel Drive.

The march continues through the Pentagon's parking lots along Boundary Channel Drive.


Preparing to go under I-395, where we departed Pentagon property.

Preparing to go under I-395, where we departed Pentagon property.

Preparing to go under I-395, where we departed Pentagon property.


Leaving the Pentagon, and leaving graffiti in our wake.

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Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4 – Part 5 – Part 6 – Part 7

Part 5