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 7

Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3

Part 3

Singing “Shout” in the streets.


Office workers watch us demonstrate from their building. We, meanwhile, urged them to come out and join us. After all, I took the day off from my office to protest the war - they should, too!

Office workers watch us demonstrate from their building. We, meanwhile, urged them to come out and join us. After all, I took the day off from my office to protest the war – they should, too!


“Cops here, troops there, US out of everywhere!”


Stopping for a moment to dance.


A chalked message on the sidewalk gives an anti-police message with a slash through "5-0".

A chalked message on the sidewalk gives an anti-police message with a slash through “5-0”.


Marching north on 19th Street, towards Dupont Circle.

Marching north on 19th Street, towards Dupont Circle.


A demonstrator writes "Love your country" on the sidewalk in chalk. I personally think that this sends an important message. We don't hate America by any means. In fact, by coming out to protest, we are showing that we love the country more than most, but believe it's going in the wrong direction, and that it indeed can be improved. After all, it's not "my country, right or wrong". It's "my country" when it's right, and when it's wrong, I make it right.

A demonstrator writes “Love your country” on the sidewalk in chalk. I personally think that this sends an important message. We don’t hate America by any means. In fact, by coming out to protest, we are showing that we love the country more than most, but believe it’s going in the wrong direction, and that it indeed can be improved. After all, it’s not “my country, right or wrong”. It’s “my country” when it’s right, and when it’s wrong, I make it right.


Peace sign drawn on the south entrance to Dupont Circle station.

Peace sign drawn on the south entrance to Dupont Circle station.


The final approach to Dupont Circle.

The final approach to Dupont Circle.

The final approach to Dupont Circle.


We have arrived!

We have arrived!

We have arrived!


Arriving at the circle, we had fun. The sound wagon was brought up the steps to the fountain in the center of Dupont Circle, and demonstrators took the fountain by storm. People danced in the fountain, danced around the fountain, and generally had a great time. They even drew on the fountain in chalk a little bit, leaving messages and drawing pictures – some pleasant, and others crude. Additionally, signs were placed in the classical figures’ arms, giving the fountain a very anti-war flair to it.


The mood in Dupont Circle was festive and jubilant as we took the fountain. Note the comment in the last few seconds of the clip, “Is chalk illegal?”

And yes, sidewalk chalking is indeed legal.


"This is not a photo opportunity" written in pink chalk at the edge of the fountain. I believe that they left out the word "just" in here, because while photographs are certainly beneficial to any movement's public events, it shouldn't be the end all.  This is not something to just get a few photos of and be done with.  To the contrary, anti-war protests are part of a larger anti-war movement.

“This is not a photo opportunity” written in pink chalk at the edge of the fountain. I believe that they left out the word “just” in here, because while photographs are certainly beneficial to any movement’s public events, it shouldn’t be the end all.  This is not something to just get a few photos of and be done with.  To the contrary, anti-war protests are part of a larger anti-war movement.


Drawing in chalk on the Dupont Circle fountain.

Drawing in chalk on the Dupont Circle fountain.


Writing "love your body" in chalk on the fountain.

Writing “love your body” in chalk on the fountain.


Waving a peace flag from the center of the fountain.

Waving a peace flag from the center of the fountain.

Waving a peace flag from the center of the fountain.


Dancing on, in, and around the fountain, while various individuals draw with chalk.


The scene in Dupont Circle at the end of Funk the War 7.


Dancing on the fountain.

Dancing on the fountain.

Dancing on the fountain.


Two of the messages on the fountain were left in ink, which is far harder to remove than chalk, which simply washes off. I disagree with inking the marble statue, because when it's an identifiable group like DC SDS, and their highly visible "Funk the War" demonstration, it reflects badly on the movement, and thus harms the movement more than it helps it. Chalking is one thing, and I highly encourage it. However, inking is where I believe the line should be drawn.

Two of the messages on the fountain were left in ink, which is far harder to remove than chalk, which simply washes off. I disagree with inking the marble statue, because when it’s an identifiable group like DC SDS, and their highly visible “Funk the War” demonstration, it reflects badly on the movement, and thus harms the movement more than it helps it. Chalking is one thing, and I highly encourage it. However, inking is where I believe the line should be drawn.


Chalk drawings on the fountain, and signage hung from the fountain.  Chalk drawings on the fountain, and signage hung from the fountain.  Chalk drawings on the fountain, and signage hung from the fountain.

Chalk drawings on the fountain, and signage hung from the fountain.

Chalk drawings on the fountain, and signage hung from the fountain.  Chalk drawings on the fountain, and signage hung from the fountain.


Dancing in the fountain.

Dancing in the fountain.


Then before it was done, there were announcements. One person announced that a radical anti-capitalist bloc was going to be meeting at 10 AM at Farragut Square on the following Saturday for a feeder march to ANSWER‘s march on the Pentagon. Another announcement advertised a consulta at American University on the following Sunday about protests surrounding the spring 2009 meetings of the World Bank and IMF.

And from there, that was basically it. People hung around and danced for a while, and people gradually dispersed. During this time, Patty and Jon, two coworkers of mine, came by to say hello. They saw the anti-war crowd in Dupont Circle, and wondered if it was the event I was attending. And indeed it was, and we said hello for a few minutes.


Hanging out in Dupont Circle after the demonstration had formally ended.

Hanging out in Dupont Circle after the demonstration had formally ended.

Hanging out in Dupont Circle after the demonstration had formally ended.


After hanging around for a few more minutes, mostly “talking shop” with other activists, I headed out myself, leaving via the Q Street entrance at Dupont Circle. While this march was certainly shorter and less intense than I had anticipated, it made up for it in its message, and in the major fun factor. Seriously, we spread our message loud and clear, and we had a great time doing it. And that’s a win by my book.

And with Funk the War 7 now behind us, it was time for us to set our sights on the next anti-war event, happening two days later: ANSWER’s March on the Pentagon.

Comments are closed.

Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3

Part 3