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October Rebellion

Part 1 – Part 2

Part 2

On Saturday, I got up, and I was ready to cheer. Big Mavica was fully recharged and ready to go on Saturday, and I was refreshed after having had a little sleep.

This is where preparation can make or break you. I had laid out my entire cheer outfit ahead of time, so after I got out of the shower, I just put it all on. Black tights, black shorts, and black shirt went on. Those red and black arm things with the zippers and chains, my red cheer hat, my red cheer shirt with the anarchy signs on it, several bandannas, and my two waters went in the backpack (which, thankfully, had totally dried out since last night). Additionally, my Chucks were dry, and my black hoodie was dry. The hoodie wasn’t there necessarily to see action on Saturday, but was there just in case it was cooler than I expected. It was basically the same radical cheerleading outfit that I had worn the previous halloween, with a long-sleeve black shirt replacing the original lightweight black t-shirt. Additionally, due to the outfit’s use in an actual protest this time around, and not just as a costume, I left the “flair” at home, even though I recently added an SDS pin to my collection of political flair. And lastly, I didn’t paint my nails black again like I did the first time. That was deliberate – I’d determined that black nails required too much effort for the small amount that they added to the ensemble.

So in tights, shorts, and black shirt, with backpack in tow, I hopped in the Sable and drove to Forest Glen station. At Forest Glen, I got Rohr 1291 for my trip out to Tenleytown-AU station to meet up with the rest of RCDC. While on the train, I overheard a conversation a few rows back from me. The conversation centered on the Georgetown march the night before – specifically the woman who was struck by the projectile. This really kind of set the tone for the day, as everyone at the protest was kind of down that what was otherwise a wildly successful action was marred by an accident involving a bystander. I later learned via discussions with other demonstrators that just about everyone involved with the protest, as well as those observing our action from the outside, agreed that the brick incident was horrible, though it was fortunate that the woman was able to walk away. Still, no one was proud of that incident.

Arriving at Tenleytown-AU station, I went up to the street, and met up with the one radical cheerleader that had arrived thus far. As time went on, more people arrived. I added the red shirt portion of the outfit, and we practiced our cheers. We did our new cheer, 3-6-9, several times, and also practiced the old standbys – “Ugly”, “George”, “Supersonic”, and “Fraggle Rock”.

Eventually, we decided that we could always practice some more on scene, and better to be there early than late. So we all went back into the world of Metro, and caught Rohr 1229 in the direction of Glenmont.


Descending the escalators at Tenleytown-AU into the world of Metro.

Descending the escalators at Tenleytown-AU into the world of Metro.

Descending the escalators at Tenleytown-AU into the world of Metro.


We rode over to Farragut North, and headed up to the street. While we were walking the few blocks towards Franklin Square, where the opening rally would take place, I completed my outfit. I took my glasses off and put them in the hard case. I put on the red hat with the anarchy sign on it. I put on the red and black arm things, tucking the sleeves of the black shirt I was wearing inside the arm things. That kept it all looking neat. I also put my watch over the arm things. Then I also tied on a black bandanna, low around my neck. I did “mask up” briefly, but only long enough to do a fit-check before pulling it back down. Since I was in the radical cheer outfit this time and not full black bloc, the bandanna was mainly decorative – part of the outfit. I had no intention of masking up in the cheer outfit. Not that kind of day. Nonetheless, though, the outfit was now complete.

Arriving in Franklin Square, we quickly met up with Maddy and a few others, and so our cheerleading squad was complete!


Maddy's here!

Maddy’s here!


Maddy then got a photo of me in my full radical cheer outfit. As you can see, it's most definitely the same outfit that I used in 2006.

Maddy then got a photo of me in my full radical cheer outfit. As you can see, it’s most definitely the same outfit that I used in 2006.


Wandering around, I ran into Sascha, a coworker of mine.  Sascha helped a bit with the organizing for this weekend’s events, and so it was awesome to see him on scene. Normally, we see each other looking professional. Dress pants, nice shoes, nice shirt, etc. Today, Sascha was dressed down, and of course, I was in my cheer outfit. I was like, “So what do you think?” and he was like, “Nice!” After all, that’s definitely not the way I dress to go to work.


Sascha smiles for the camera in Franklin Square, wearing a "¡Ya basta!" t-shirt.

Sascha smiles for the camera in Franklin Square, wearing a “¡Ya basta!” t-shirt.


Once the rally got going, one of the early events was a round or two from RCDC. So we all got up front, and we did two cheers. We did the new 3-6-9 cheer, and the “George” cheer.

And then the speeches began. Meanwhile, a number of us kind of milled around for a bit, saying hello to some of the other people in the crowd, watching some of the speeches, and seeing what’s going on. Some of the other cheerleaders practiced various dance moves. There was again a strong black bloc presence, though not everyone who attended the bloc on Friday night was still in full black bloc on Saturday. I was in the radical cheer outfit, and Missy, with whom I spent most of the evening on Friday, went “straight” and brought her dog with her.


A woman sings from the podium.


A woman shares poetry from the podium.


A crowd had assembled for this event.  A crowd had assembled for this event.

A crowd had assembled for this event.

A crowd had assembled for this event.  A crowd had assembled for this event.


A number of people took a moment to make signs in the park.

A number of people took a moment to make signs in the park.

A number of people took a moment to make signs in the park.


Meanwhile, it seems the whole crowd was here, with David Barrows in his "devil Bush" outfit, as well as people in the Condoleezza Rice and Dick Cheney heads with the prison stripes.

Meanwhile, it seems the whole crowd was here, with David Barrows in his “devil Bush” outfit, as well as people in the Condoleezza Rice and Dick Cheney heads with the prison stripes.


A few large banners stood out in the crowd, such as this one stating "Dignity, autonomy, solidarity".

A few large banners stood out in the crowd, such as this one stating “Dignity, autonomy, solidarity”.


Meanwhile, RCDC for the most part kind of hung around, and some people practiced various dance moves.

Meanwhile, RCDC for the most part kind of hung around, and some people practiced various dance moves.

Meanwhile, RCDC for the most part kind of hung around, and some people practiced various dance moves.  Meanwhile, RCDC for the most part kind of hung around, and some people practiced various dance moves.


Meghan and Abby try out a cheer.


A number of the radical cheerleaders practice some dance moves.


We also took a few minutes to work on some of our cheers, practicing 3-6-9.  We also took a few minutes to work on some of our cheers, practicing 3-6-9.

We also took a few minutes to work on some of our cheers, practicing 3-6-9.

We also took a few minutes to work on some of our cheers, practicing 3-6-9.


Some people really went for creativity, such as with the paint job on this bucket.

Some people really went for creativity, such as with the paint job on this bucket.


All the while, Missy led her dog around on a leash.

All the while, Missy led her dog around on a leash.


Eventually, we got word that after Son of Nun performed, we were going to start marching. The march organizers asked that we get up front, so that we could cheer as the crowd passed by.


Son of Nun performs for the assembled crowd.  Son of Nun performs for the assembled crowd.

Son of Nun performs for the assembled crowd.


Adam Eidinger "got down" in the polar bear suit he was wearing. Goodness knows how warm it was inside that suit on this particular day.

Adam Eidinger “got down” in the polar bear suit he was wearing. Goodness knows how warm it was inside that suit on this particular day.


Even "Dick Cheney" got into it, boogeying to the music. Note "Dishonorable DICK" written on pink tape on the top of Dick Cheney's head this time around.  Even "Dick Cheney" got into it, boogeying to the music. Note "Dishonorable DICK" written on pink tape on the top of Dick Cheney's head this time around.

Even “Dick Cheney” got into it, boogeying to the music.  Note “Dishonorable DICK” written on pink tape on the top of Dick Cheney’s head this time around.


Later, Maddy got a photo of me posing with Dick Cheney's head.

Later, Maddy got a photo of me posing with Dick Cheney’s head.


After the march got started, we took up a position in the southwest corner of the park to cheer. We did 3-6-9, George, Ugly, and Supersonic. As we did Supersonic, Sascha walked by just as we were doing, “George, you know the kids all freak!” with the related motions, and he saw me in the act, and commented. I cracked up.


The march is now underway!  The march is now underway!

The march is now underway!


The march itself was typical of World Bank/IMF marches – relatively short, but intense. We went out of Franklin Square via the park’s southwest corner, marched up 14th Street to K Street, then up to M Street, back down to K Street via 16th Street, and finally straight down 18th Street and into Murrow Park.

Early on in the march, we briefly paused. Usually, stop-and-go marches are ANSWER‘s trademark, as their marches are known for their intermittent motion. I joked to Maddy, “What is this, ANSWER?” Then later, as we turned onto M Street, I jokingly commented, again to Maddy, that we were heading back to Georgetown. Maddy fake-masked up in response. Still, I’m sure Georgetown would have loved to see us again…

During the march, RCDC did a variety of things. We marched as a group, and took up various places within the march. We cheered as we marched. We followed along with other chants the group was doing. And we also cheered to the side of the march. That would usually involve running up to the front of the march, doing a cheer as the crowd passed by, and then running up to the front of the march again. Needless to say, we certainly got our exercise on this particular day.


Part of the black bloc marches through the streets...

Part of the black bloc marches through the streets…


Meanwhile, RCDC joined in the march, just ahead of SDS.

Meanwhile, RCDC joined in the march, just ahead of SDS.


The chant changes from “World Bank, shut it down, World Bank, get out of town!” to “Whose streets? Our streets!”


 

 

 


“What’s the solution? People’s revolution! What’s the reaction? Direct action!”


RCDC cheers: “Drop the debt! Drop, drop the debt!”


As the march turned south onto 16th Street, RCDC was in the lead. We soon dropped to the end again, though, as we did a cheer.

As the march turned south onto 16th Street, RCDC was in the lead. We soon dropped to the end again, though, as we did a cheer.


The march continues, heading west on K Street.  The march continues, heading west on K Street.

The march continues, heading west on K Street.

The march continues, heading west on K Street.

The march continues, heading west on K Street.


Meanwhile, a small group, while still making forward progress in the march, was also running kind of willy-nilly to the side of the main march.  Meanwhile, a small group, while still making forward progress in the march, was also running kind of willy-nilly to the side of the main march.

Meanwhile, a small group, while still making forward progress in the march, was also running kind of willy-nilly to the side of the main march.

Meanwhile, a small group, while still making forward progress in the march, was also running kind of willy-nilly to the side of the main march.


RCDC performs “3-6-9” in the midst of the march.


“Bring the war home! (What?) Bring the war home!”


We have arrived!

We have arrived!


Arriving at Murrow Park, RCDC cheered on Pennsylvania Avenue, which runs in front of the World Bank. Following this, people just kind of milled around in the street for a bit. A group drew in chalk on the street, while another group spray painted various messages in the street.


Doing 3-6-9 in front of the World Bank.


After quickly breaking through one row of police tape designed to keep us in Murrow Park and off the street, one of the radical cheerleaders added the police tape to her outfit as a bit of an accent.

After quickly breaking through one row of police tape designed to keep us in Murrow Park and off the street, one of the radical cheerleaders added the police tape to her outfit as a bit of an accent.


We had about half of Pennsylvania Avenue, with metal barricades blocking further passage.

We had about half of Pennsylvania Avenue, with metal barricades blocking further passage.


The row of barricades was reinforced with a line of police officers, in that way of saying, don't even think about crossing this line.

The row of barricades was reinforced with a line of police officers, in that way of saying, don’t even think about crossing this line.


While no one crossed the line to my knowledge, some did stand right up against it, and stared at the World Bank building.

While no one crossed the line to my knowledge, some did stand right up against it, and stared at the World Bank building.


RCDC performs “Fraggle Rock” with the bullhorn in front of the World Bank.


“That’s bull—-! Get off it! The enemy is profit! Disease and starvation will not be sold by corporations!”


Meanwhile, the street next to the park was covered with chalk drawings...

Meanwhile, the street next to the park was covered with chalk drawings…


...and real graffiti.  ...and real graffiti.

…and real graffiti.


And then came a moment of surprise. With the call, “Take off your clothes!” a number of people did just that – they took off their clothes. The chant soon became, “IMF is out! Skin is in!” Some women stripped down to their bra and panties, some just took their shirts off and left the bra intact, while others went completely topless. One guy stripped down to his underwear, but most of the men in the group simply went shirtless. No one was completely naked. Meanwhile, people on the roof of the World Bank were watching and filming. Seems that skin was able to keep their attention…

I was shocked. I was speechless. I mean jaw-dropping surprised. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I’d heard about and seen pictures of people going topless at protests, but I’d never seen it in person. Kind of a shock. I was so shocked, in fact, that I stopped taking pictures. Maddy finally got me taking pictures again, basically telling me not to be such a prude.


Viewing the reactions of the crowd after a group has stripped down, and is shouting, “IMF is out, skin is in!” as others are joining in all the time.


 

 

 

 


All the while, a number of people watched from the roof of the World Bank. Seems that skin got their attention. One man, at center, was even filming...

All the while, a number of people watched from the roof of the World Bank. Seems that skin got their attention. One man, at center, was even filming


Some people were noticeably uncomfortable while all the toplessness was going on, such as this gentleman, whom we had previously heard speak at A16.

Some people were noticeably uncomfortable while all the toplessness was going on, such as this gentleman, whom we had previously heard speak at A16.


Then the focus switched to occupying the intersection at the World Bank’s northwest corner. This was the three-way intersection between H Street, 19th Street, and Pennsylvania Avenue. It was fairly successful, until all of a sudden a large group of police came in from what seemed to be out of nowhere with sticks. This caught me off guard, and so I did what just about everyone else did, moving to the other end of the park and away from the riot cops with sticks.


Occupying the intersection west of the World Bank.  Occupying the intersection west of the World Bank.

Occupying the intersection west of the World Bank.

Occupying the intersection west of the World Bank.  Occupying the intersection west of the World Bank.

Occupying the intersection west of the World Bank.  Occupying the intersection west of the World Bank.


Occupying the intersection.


Meanwhile, with our occupation of the intersection, we attracted the attention of people at another nearby building.

Meanwhile, with our occupation of the intersection, we attracted the attention of people at another nearby building.


Later, the People’s Tribunal started up, which was basically the closing rally for the day’s protest. Things were winding down, as the speeches began, and people began to take a seat in the grass to listen, as the sun got lower in the sky.


 

 

 

 


The people’s tribunal goes on…


I also was surprised to hear someone shout, “Schumin!” from the crowd. I was like, “Who’s saying ‘hello’ to me?” and then I saw the two people who were trying to get my attention. As it turns out, they were familiar with my work, having seen themselves on Wikipedia in the photo of the black bloc from September 24, and from there, followed back to Schumin Web. Cool!

Meanwhile, after getting with my fellow radical cheerleaders, we’d determined that we weren’t going to be doing any further cheering, so I wished them all a great rest of the day, and I headed out. My mother was in town for a teachers’ convention out in Dulles, and I didn’t want to keep her waiting if the protest was definitely over.  Leaving the protest, I walked three blocks up 18th Street to K Street.  On the way up, I made a minor wardrobe change, taking off all the obvious radical cheerleading bits that I had on, including the red shirt, the arm things, the bandanna, and the hat. So now the only thing I had on out of the ordinary was the tights.  And I put my glasses back on.  The bandanna actually never saw any use other than decoration on this particular day, as expected.  Radical cheerleaders generally don’t mask up, but the bloc does. But it seems that if radical cheerleaders directly join the black bloc, they do mask up. Go figure, I suppose.

At the corner of K and 18th, I ran into a pair from the protest who was looking for Farragut North. The three of us all walked the one block east to Farragut North. In the Metro station, I got Breda 2033 to Silver Spring. That required me to change trains at Silver Spring, since 2033 was going back to Shady Grove from Silver Spring, rather than going all the way to Glenmont. In fact, it was going back to Shady Grove so quickly that it didn’t even follow the normal pattern for Silver Spring, where trains come in on the Glenmont side, go out of service, enter the pocket track north of the station, and then come back out on the Shady Grove side. This train crossed over to the Shady Grove side using the crossover just before the station, and then entered the station on the Shady Grove side. Then they changed ends right there in the station, and returned to Shady Grove.

Meanwhile, since my car was at Forest Glen, I waited a few minutes more, and caught Breda 4099 to go that last little bit to Forest Glen station.


Breda 4099, in a train full of 4000-series cars, leaves Forest Glen station.


Arriving back at Forest Glen, I got in the car, and was back home again before I knew it. Now that the protest was over, I was going to Dulles to visit my mother at the hotel she was staying at in Dulles for her teachers’ convention. After changing into more normal clothes, I was off again, to see Mom, and share the highlights of the day’s protest…

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Part 1 – Part 2

Part 2