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A Protest Against the War

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

Introduction

Two of our greatest rights as Americans are the right to freedom of speech and the right to peacefully assemble, guaranteed to us by the First Amendment.  What better way to celebrate these rights than to exercise them publicly?  On April 12, 2003, approximately 30,000 people assembled in Washington, DC to protest the war in Iraq, as well as American occupation of Iraq following Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In attending this protest, my goal was to get an unbiased look at the protest from a number of different viewpoints and perspectives along the political continuum.  The opinions of those in attendance ranged from what could be considered mainstream anti-war views all the way through to the extreme other end of the spectrum, with the views of anarchist protesters.

The demonstration, organized by International A.N.S.W.E.R., assembled at Freedom Plaza, and then after listening to a number of speeches by other activists, the protesters marched along a route that took them past the White House, the Justice Department, The Washington Post, Halliburton, and other agencies and organizations believed to be benefiting from the war or otherwise helping the war along.  The march ended at Farragut Square.

In the week leading up to this protest, world events took an interesting turn.  I don’t think anyone expected Saddam Hussein’s regime to collapse so quickly, as the regime fell the previous Wednesday, with the statue quickly being pulled down.  However, the protest went on as planned, with some signs being modified and others going out as intended, since the end of the war had not yet been announced, though the looting of Iraq by its own citizens had begun.

I covered this protest in three phases.  I mingled with the protesters for a few hours at Freedom Plaza, then caught up with them again on their march on H Street near the White House, and then caught up with them again at the intersection of 18th and K Streets, about a block away from the Farragut West Metro station.  Along with numerous photographs, I also took a number of movies, which are presented here as well.  Please be warned that the content of some of these images and movies may be unsettling for some, but I present it here for the sake of completeness in the coverage.

All in all, attending this protest was an eye opener, with so many different people presenting so many different views of the same issue.  So join me as we head to Washington, and watch as the people of America exercise their constitutional rights…

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

Introduction