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Funk the Weekend

Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4 – Part 5 – Part 6 – Part 7 – Part 8

Part 4

Saturday morning, I was up at 7:00 and on my way in no time, ready for ANSWER’s anti-war march, meeting up at noon at Lafayette Park.  My plan was to arrive on scene at 11:30, since some of the Funk the War folks from the day before were planning to meet in front of the Teaism restaurant on Connecticut Avenue at 11:30, just slightly northwest of Lafayette Park, as announced on Facebook.  I caught Rohr 1073 from Glenmont, and rode into Farragut North station.

It’s still funny the way my body reacts ahead of protest marches.  I always get a strange feeling in my stomach ahead of these things, most notably ahead of the September 24, 2005 protest.  This was no exception, and I got that funny feeling while riding the Metro going in.  The feeling always evaporates once I get there and things start to get going.  I attribute it to nervousness, and it only happens ahead of political demonstrations.  It doesn’t happen for Anon raids, which have become somewhat routine.

Arriving at Farragut North, I headed to the Teaism location, and found no one there.  No problem, since I had a backup plan.  If I found nothing at Teaism, I was just going to go into Lafayette Park.  I went into Lafayette Park, and after passing through the gauntlet of people handing out flyers for various socialist organizations (fairly typical of ANSWER marches), I spotted a group of people near the middle of the park with red-and-black flags.  I think I just found my group.  Turns out that this was a group of SDS-ers, primarily those from Rochester.  The amount of masks in the group was even less than what we had at Funk the War, with many of those who went masked at Funk the War going unmasked at the ANSWER march.


The ANSWER demonstration, gathered at Lafayette Park.  The ANSWER demonstration, gathered at Lafayette Park.

The ANSWER demonstration, gathered at Lafayette Park.

The ANSWER demonstration, gathered at Lafayette Park.


I also ran into Maggie, whom I first met at Funk the War 8.  Maggie’s sister Kate was also in attendance, and the three of us got into a conversation for a while, even playing with Maggie’s bandanna for a minute, and getting a silly photo out of it.  When we heard one of the ANSWER speakers say, “The people, united, will never be defeated,” Kate came right back with a comment about that, saying, “The slogan, exhausted, to never be repeated.”


Maggie and Kate.

Maggie and Kate.


Playing with Maggie's bandanna resulted in this photo.

Playing with Maggie’s bandanna resulted in this photo.


After a while, the SDS group headed northwest, out of the park, to a spot on the east side of the 800 block of Connecticut Avenue NW, in front of the United States Chamber of Commerce, where the breakup letter was read the day before.  This was to make the meeting where I had previously found no one.  We stood and chatted for a bit, and then, finding no additional SDS-ers, realized that we were the SDS group for this march.  So we headed back into the park, returning to a place near our original spot.

Now, having returned to the park, we had a discussion to decide what to do.  A number of options were presented.  Did we want to join the ANSWER march and march with them to the end?  Did we want to join ANSWER for part of their march and then break off and go independently from there?  Did we want to do an entirely separate march from the ANSWER folks?  We also had reports of a Tea Party event at the Capitol.  Did we want to troll them?  If we trolled the teabaggers, how would we get there?  March or Metro?  We also wanted to lend support to a surround-the-White-House event with Cindy Sheehan.  Lots of decisions to be made.

Whenever SDS discusses, the format usually involves a moderator, whose main job is to determine the order of the discussion.  Basically, people raise their hands, and the moderator goes, “You, you, you, and then you,” and each person then adds to the discussion.  Eventually, we came to the decision that we would march with the ANSWER folks for a while, and then break away and march separately towards the White House, to join up with Cindy Sheehan’s event.  We also agreed that our independent march would stay on the sidewalk, and that we would not attempt to take the street.

Of course, in order to put our plan into effect, we had to wait on ANSWER’s march to get going.  Which meant that ANSWER’s speakers had to finish blathering on, preaching to the choir, so to speak.

Eventually, though, we did get moving.  The march started out heading west on Pennsylvania Avenue, making a right turn at the World Bank.  Of course, this being ANSWER, the march certainly was in no hurry to get anywhere.  After all, ANSWER’s marches are characterized by walking about five feet, and then waiting for five minutes (I’m exaggerating a bit, but you get the idea).


SDS joins the ANSWER march... for a while, at least.  SDS joins the ANSWER march... for a while, at least.

SDS joins the ANSWER march… for a while, at least.

SDS joins the ANSWER march... for a while, at least.  SDS joins the ANSWER march... for a while, at least.



The ANSWER march is underway, with SDS right in the thick of it.  The ANSWER march is underway, with SDS right in the thick of it.

The ANSWER march is underway, with SDS right in the thick of it.

The ANSWER march is underway, with SDS right in the thick of it.  The ANSWER march is underway, with SDS right in the thick of it.

The ANSWER march is underway, with SDS right in the thick of it.  The ANSWER march is underway, with SDS right in the thick of it.



 


A simple, if slightly uncouth, anti-war message written on a pair of feet.

A simple, if slightly uncouth, anti-war message written on a pair of feet.


As the march neared the World Bank, the chant changed to, “World Bank, shut it down, IMF, get out of our town!”



 


“Hey, hey, USA, how many kids did you kill today?”


At 18th and L Streets NW, we broke off.  While the ANSWER march continued in a northbound direction, we turned east on L Street.  Our new route took us east on L Street, and then south on Connecticut Avenue, past Farragut Square, and on to Lafayette Park and the White House.  The police were quite strict about our staying on the sidewalk.  I put one foot out into the street to line up a shot (with the other still on the sidewalk), and a police officer immediately told me to get back on the sidewalk.  Yikes…


The SDS group, now independent from the ANSWER march, is on its way!  The SDS group, now independent from the ANSWER march, is on its way!

The SDS group, now independent from the ANSWER march, is on its way!

The SDS group, now independent from the ANSWER march, is on its way!

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Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4 – Part 5 – Part 6 – Part 7 – Part 8

Part 4