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A Protest Against the War

Introduction – Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4 – Movies

Part 1

Freedom Plaza was the official meeting place for this protest.  This area was set up with a temporary stage, and sound equipment for the speeches that various people gave.  In addition, the media was all set up to cover it, with communications trucks and communications antennas ringing the perimeter, just outside the plaza’s retaining walls.  On the perimeter inside the retaining walls, there were various booths set up.  Some were selling items like shirts and such, and others were distributing literature.  The protesters themselves initially milled about before the speeches began, and then those watching the speeches gathered up close to the stage once the speeches began, while those who continued milling about did so in the back half of Freedom Plaza, before the march began.  So let’s go in, and open our eyes to a plethora of different viewpoints…


The most prevalent signs around were those made by International A.N.S.W.E.R., which stated such things as "End the Occupation of Iraq", "Act Now to Stop War and End Racism", "Fight the New Colonialism", "No War For Empire", "Vote No War", "Money for Jobs Not War", "No War on Iraq", etc.  The most prevalent signs around were those made by International A.N.S.W.E.R., which stated such things as "End the Occupation of Iraq", "Act Now to Stop War and End Racism", "Fight the New Colonialism", "No War For Empire", "Vote No War", "Money for Jobs Not War", "No War on Iraq", etc.

The most prevalent signs around were those made by International A.N.S.W.E.R., which stated such things as “End the Occupation of Iraq”, “Act Now to Stop War and End Racism”, “Fight the New Colonialism”, “No War For Empire”, “Vote No War”, “Money for Jobs Not War”, “No War on Iraq”, etc.


These International A.N.S.W.E.R. signs were also free for the taking, and in plentiful supply.

These International A.N.S.W.E.R. signs were also free for the taking, and in plentiful supply.


Those protesters who brought homemade signs, however, were much more memorable.  One theme was patriotism.  Peace is patriotic, and protesting is patriotic, according to these signs.  Those protesters who brought homemade signs, however, were much more memorable.  One theme was patriotism.  Peace is patriotic, and protesting is patriotic, according to these signs.

Those protesters who brought homemade signs, however, were much more memorable.  One theme was patriotism.  Peace is patriotic, and protesting is patriotic, according to these signs.


This protester had a number of different signs clipped onto a large pad.  This was the first of the series.  "In A.D. 2003, war was beginning."  Some may not get the reference, but this is indeed a reference to the All Your Base Are Belong To Us Internet meme.  I encountered this guy later, and his sign read "All Your Base Are Belong To Us".

This protester had a number of different signs clipped onto a large pad.  This was the first of the series.  “In A.D. 2003, war was beginning.”  Some may not get the reference, but this is indeed a reference to the All Your Base Are Belong To Us Internet meme.  I encountered this guy later, and his sign read “All Your Base Are Belong To Us”.


This sign of an altered $1 bill was part of another theme - money, claiming that the war on terrorism was a matter of following the trail to the money.

This sign of an altered $1 bill was part of another theme – money, claiming that the war on terrorism was a matter of following the trail to the money.


Following this "money" theme, we found protesters carrying American flags altered to show corporate logos instead of stars, a man dressed up as Uncle Sam (the hat also carried this corporate-logo theme), and one man went all out and wore a suit and a George W. Bush mask, holding a modified $1 bill similar to the large sign.  His companion had a number of news logos all over her person.  Following this "money" theme, we found protesters carrying American flags altered to show corporate logos instead of stars, a man dressed up as Uncle Sam (the hat also carried this corporate-logo theme), and one man went all out and wore a suit and a George W. Bush mask, holding a modified $1 bill similar to the large sign.  His companion had a number of news logos all over her person.

Following this “money” theme, we found protesters carrying American flags altered to show corporate logos instead of stars, a man dressed up as Uncle Sam (the hat also carried this corporate-logo theme), and one man went all out and wore a suit and a George W. Bush mask, holding a modified $1 bill similar to the large sign.  His companion had a number of news logos all over her person.

Following this "money" theme, we found protesters carrying American flags altered to show corporate logos instead of stars, a man dressed up as Uncle Sam (the hat also carried this corporate-logo theme), and one man went all out and wore a suit and a George W. Bush mask, holding a modified $1 bill similar to the large sign.  His companion had a number of news logos all over her person.


Freedom Plaza has a green area in the center of it.  This area was used on this particular day for those protesters who wanted to sit down or lie down, and relax, nap, or watch the speeches that were to be given.

Freedom Plaza has a green area in the center of it.  This area was used on this particular day for those protesters who wanted to sit down or lie down, and relax, nap, or watch the speeches that were to be given.


Look who I ran into!  Two friends of mine, Arianna and Linda, of Potomac Hall at JMU.  They decorated shirts for the occasion, with Arianna having "NOT MY WAR" written on the back of her shirt, and Linda having WWND on the front of her shirt stating "What Would Nixon Do", and on the back, had the "oil logo speech" parody ironed onto the back of her shirt.

Look who I ran into!  Two friends of mine, Arianna and Linda, of Potomac Hall at JMU.  They decorated shirts for the occasion, with Arianna having “NOT MY WAR” written on the back of her shirt, and Linda having WWND on the front of her shirt stating “What Would Nixon Do”, and on the back, had the “oil logo speech” parody ironed onto the back of her shirt.


This particular protester doodled his message onto the sidewalk using a piece of green chalk.

This particular protester doodled his message onto the sidewalk using a piece of green chalk.


Just up from the chalk writer, I ran into two masked protesters using black bloc techniques.  These two gentlemen were milling about like everyone else.  Those demonstrators in black bloc eventually gathered at the west end of the plaza.

Just up from the chalk writer, I ran into two masked protesters using black bloc techniques.  These two gentlemen were milling about like everyone else.  Those demonstrators in black bloc eventually gathered at the west end of the plaza.


Black bloc is often used by the anarchist movement.  The poster here pretty much sums up the sentiment.

Black bloc is often used by the anarchist movement.  The poster here pretty much sums up the sentiment.

I, however, contest the accuracy of the statement after having studied the political theories of Thomas Hobbes, where without government we are all in nature, which is essentially a state of war of all against all.  That doesn’t sound like peace to me.  But I digress.


Another prevalent theme was messages about George W. Bush himself, with references to Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, plays on Bush's name (some with a sexual tone), and subtle references to true motives...  Another prevalent theme was messages about George W. Bush himself, with references to Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, plays on Bush's name (some with a sexual tone), and subtle references to true motives...

Another prevalent theme was messages about George W. Bush himself, with references to Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, plays on Bush’s name (some with a sexual tone), and subtle references to true motives…

Another prevalent theme was messages about George W. Bush himself, with references to Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, plays on Bush's name (some with a sexual tone), and subtle references to true motives...  Another prevalent theme was messages about George W. Bush himself, with references to Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, plays on Bush's name (some with a sexual tone), and subtle references to true motives...


The news media was out in force, as to be expected.  Along the perimeter, a communications truck has all kinds of equipment including a big satellite dish, and among the crowds, we found an NBC cameraman shooting video footage.

The news media was out in force, as to be expected.  Along the perimeter, a communications truck has all kinds of equipment including a big satellite dish, and among the crowds, we found an NBC cameraman shooting video footage.

The news media was out in force, as to be expected.  Along the perimeter, a communications truck has all kinds of equipment including a big satellite dish, and among the crowds, we found an NBC cameraman shooting video footage.


While the media covered the protest, protesters also criticized the media.  While the media covered the protest, protesters also criticized the media.

While the media covered the protest, protesters also criticized the media.


This woman's sign questions where this whole war on terror will end, a recurring theme throughout the day.  By this poster, it implies that Bush won't stop until we're the only country left.

This woman’s sign questions where this whole war on terror will end, a recurring theme throughout the day.  By this poster, it implies that Bush won’t stop until we’re the only country left.


"You can bomb the world to pieces... but you can't bomb the world to peace!"

“You can bomb the world to pieces… but you can’t bomb the world to peace!”


"If Iraq is a rogue ant, America is a rogue elephant!"  A new way of saying that people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

“If Iraq is a rogue ant, America is a rogue elephant!”  A new way of saying that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.


A number of more pressing issues are at hand, as evidenced by the sign held by the gentleman at left.  Additionally, he has a peace sign painted on his forehead.  The woman next to him has an oversized hat, stating that regime change begins at home, implying that Bush should resign.

A number of more pressing issues are at hand, as evidenced by the sign held by the gentleman at left.  Additionally, he has a peace sign painted on his forehead.  The woman next to him has an oversized hat, stating that regime change begins at home, implying that Bush should resign.


This protester, through his very own "Technicolor Dreamcoat", reminds us to think of the children...

This protester, through his very own “Technicolor Dreamcoat”, reminds us to think of the children…


As first seen at our White House visit back in February, Code Pink was out in force with a large complement of its own pink-clad protesters.

As first seen at our White House visit back in February, Code Pink was out in force with a large complement of its own pink-clad protesters.


Now some of us simply don't go for the information that Bush provides...

Now some of us simply don’t go for the information that Bush provides…


This is what liberation is NOT... occupation is not liberation, and even more importantly, don't kill me and call it liberation.

This is what liberation is NOT… occupation is not liberation, and even more importantly, don’t kill me and call it liberation.

This is what liberation is NOT... occupation is not liberation, and even more importantly, don't kill me and call it liberation.


Creativity!  These two women used their own natural canvas to draw peace signs on themselves.

Creativity!  These two women used their own natural canvas to draw peace signs on themselves.


These two protesters made three-sided signs.  The left sign said "Shalom", "Peace", and "Salaam", and the right sign said, "Life", "Peace", and "Hope".

These two protesters made three-sided signs.  The left sign said “Shalom”, “Peace”, and “Salaam”, and the right sign said, “Life”, “Peace”, and “Hope”.


A simple sentiment, in giant size...

A simple sentiment, in giant size…


These protesters' signs reflect my own personal sentiment regarding the war.  We support our troops, who are doing their best defending our honor.  Now, the President and his folks on the other hand... that's another story.

These protesters’ signs reflect my own personal sentiment regarding the war.  We support our troops, who are doing their best defending our honor.  Now, the President and his folks on the other hand… that’s another story.

These protesters' signs reflect my own personal sentiment regarding the war.  We support our troops, who are doing their best defending our honor.  Now, the President and his folks on the other hand... that's another story.

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Introduction – Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4 – Movies

Part 1