Thursday, October 06, 2005

9/24/05 ANTI WAR DEMO REPORT CLICK PICS TO ENLARGE

This being my 5th demonstration against this War I was very excited for I was hoping for a very large turnout. After packing up for me and my lil Joe we hit the road. On the drive down from Pennsylvania I was despairing because of the lack of vehicles, particularly ones with bumber stickers that were from the left. It was over a hour along Interstate 70 and 270. All that was dispelled when we arrived at Shady Grove Metro Station in Gaithersburg MD. There were 6 buses already unloaded and 2 more arrived by the time I got lil Joe and everything unloaded. I parked a few spots away from the (a?) Peace Takes Courage Bus(you can see a lot of their vids posted at bushflash.com) that was unloading a whole bunch of kids. Each one held a sign(I forgot what it said) with a multi-colored tassel sticking out the top. I immediately dug for my camera and found that the battery had died. Well it did last over 2 years and lots of photos. When we entered the station we found it packed with people. It took about 10 mins. To buy the fair card. Metro had posted a very helpful people to assist the riders, most of whom had not ridden Metro before. I had many times, though it had been a while. He told me the exact fair to purchase for a round trip to the Smithsonian stop which saved a few minutes for us because we did not have to penetrate the crowd around the kiosk where the fare rates are posted. We found the escalators not running(they hardly ever are on the system) and not wanting to wait for the elevator I picked up the baby carriage with lil Joe in it and all our stuff a charged up the concrete steps. With cheers from the crowd of “go dad go” I made it up. Barely. I’m really out of shape and just a few years ago it took 3 miles of running for my legs and feet to feel like they were full of lead.

After just a few mins. wait the train came and I thought it was pretty full but as my usual custom(learned from when I commuted daily by Metro) is to find a car in the rear that is usually less full, I found a seat and worried that others would not be able to board at the following stations. However people shuffled about and by the next few stations we were very packed in. I had shoved my hiney over so an elderly man could sit. He was accompanied by a much younger man. I not being any where near shy learned that they were both Chemists from State College Pa. and worked at the school. The both looked alike however it was not because of relations. Its seems to me both could be tagged as nerds from 500 paces. The older man had planned on coming for a while to the demonstration and the younger fellow had just on the fly joined him. We talked about the War and such which caused another passenger to join in. The “new fellow” asked the young chemist what he thought about the mercury reported in vaccines. The young chemist stated that he had looked into it and found that none of his peers had come to the conclusion that it caused Autism and that the FDA would not have approved it. As I had researched the subject myself (remember MY baby was right there) I informed him that the FDA is Corporate controlled and the study that he and I as taxpayers paid for had been turned over to a private company and they refused to release it. As they are not subject to Freedom of Information Act we will never know the results and I pointed out to him that there is a motive not to release it. I also sighted a Bill Moyers show that revealed the corporate control over the FDA. One of the persons highered by you and I was compelled to remain silent on a certain drug that he found to cause deaths in children. The cameras were rolling when the review board which was membered by 6 out of 7 panelists that were Corporate employees asked if anybody had anything to add. Our government employee had to sit there without saying anything. Well all the young chemist could say to that was he did not believe it. Of course I was insulted and let the conversation turn to the “new fellow” and him. The young chemist went on to state he knew about Rumsfeld being on the board of a big Pharma Company and during the Nixon admin had help get a drug approved by that very same company after joining the government. He went on to say he did not believe in conspiracy theories and it could have been coincidence. I after gathering my thoughts (ok ammo) asked him if he thought Rumsfeld’s and cohorts power had increased since Nixon. He said they had but that does not prove anything. I then asked him what vaccines had thimersol . He tried to dodge the question a few times but finally answered he did not know. I then stated that it was put in multi-dose vaccines and not single dose. I then added it was when “researching” that it was that type on minutiae that he might want to look at. This garnered snickers from the “new fellow” and the old chemist. With his face turning red in embarrassment he stated that he had not come to a conclusion. The “new feller” agreed that he had said that. I said scientists never do which got laughs all around. I changed the subject back to the days endeavor and they got off a stop before Metro Center.

Getting off at Metro Center and jumping on another line to go to the Smithsonian 1 stop down was like being in the wildebeest migration across the Serengeti. What a site greeted us when we arrived above ground. A whole lot of people carrying signs, leafleting and speaking through bullhorns. There was also a book fair sponsored by C-SPAN 2 going on also and it was easy to tell those who attended it for they carried canvas bags embossed with the C-SPAN 2 logo. The tourists were easy to spot for they were either had angry faces or stunned ones. Walking to the ellipse area many people had set up encampments and set up signs. Catty-Corner to the ellipse is a souvenir shop and I bought a battery for the camera and took the 1st shot of the day. Lil Joe in front of the Veterans For Peace Bus. It was then 11:45 and the ellipse rally had already started and the crowd had already filled the streets on the east and north side of the ellipse. We had lunch across the street from the ellipse under a friendly tree. We ate, we played and then lil Joe started stalking a group of 3 teenage girls also lunching on the grass. He got up and ran. Coming up behind one of the girls lounging on the grass he threw himself on top of her. With the other girls saying “I thinks he likes you” she, with a full red faced grin picked him up and handed him to me. After about a half hour of chasing the lil guy around we tried to penetrate the crowd at the ellipse to no avail. It was then about 12:30 the scheduled time for the march to start.


Going to assemble in the street I saw a crowd of media gathered around someone. I soon learned it was Jesse Jackson. My intention was to be on the outside of the march so I and lil Joe could fall out easily if either he got upset or the Government attacked us. With the street full we settled on the sidewalk. Soon after that a throng of people came barging on through led by a little old lady with a bullhorn telling us to move into the street. We all started to move into the street. I found this very difficult to do because of trying to manage the baby carriage in the shoulder to shoulder crowd. I heard cries of “way to go Jesse” and such. Quickly grabbing my camera and upon seeing Jesse I snapped this shot. At that same time the little old lady put her bull horn right up to me and blared “MOVE BACK”! I was very upset at this and without thinking yelled “F***IN A LADY CAN’T YOU SEE I’M TRYING. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO MOVE AGAINST THIS WALL OF PEOPLE.”! The crowd immediately fell so silent you could of heard a pin drop. The cameras that were following Jesse were turned on me. I immediately felt the whole world was watching and felt very bad. Jesse then reached out and gestured to me to calm down. I grabbed his hand shook it and looking him right in the eye said “Jesse stop being a Democrat. Republican or Democrat they are not for the people.” His throng moved on and a couple of media types with cameras and notepads came up to me and asked what I said to Mr. Jackson. I told them and the lady questioner asked “so it’s partisan?” I said, “No it is Corporate. Both parties are wholly owned by the corporations”. A couple of people yelled out “that’s right”. Scribbling away she said, “Thank you” and rushed off Feeling badly because of my language I yelled out that I was sorry for my language. A whole bunch yelled out “no way man, she deserved it” and such. It was only after I got the film developed that I saw that I not only caught Jesse on the image but Cindy Sheehan, Jesse’s Bodyguard and the nasty little old lady.


We were soon pressed by the crowd into the middle of the street, just where I did not want to be. Thinking we would start marching soon and not wanting to struggle out to the edge of the crowd (which I could not see) I decided to stay where we were. Big mistake. After 45 minutes during which time lil Joe and I made friends with the people around us he started getting real upset. I quickly mixed up a bottle and that calmed him down. It was 1:30 when we started marching. Inch by inch. It took till we got on Pa, Ave for the crowd to space out where one could make a full stride. I did not believe that we would be allowed to march in front of the White Palace because at the other 3 marches I was at (the other 1 was to Rumsfelds house last year) we were not allowed to do so. Even Lafayette Park was always closed to us. For those who don’t know until the Glorious Leader took the throne Lafayette park was always the site of some people demonstrating.

Seeing the park was open for us I headed there to get a better glimpse of the situation and take a pic of the crowd.



As we rejoined the march I placed ourselves in front of 1 of the banners carried by a group. For those who have not been to a massive demo, the marchers carrying the banner must march in step and therefore are slower than the people in front of them. Thus creating a nice spacing sparsely populated. About ½ way through I was so tired that the banner was pressing upon us and we took a break and rejoined in front of another banner. All along the route were people sitting with anti-war signs. As we marched I could see down the side streets the people coming behind us.(Check map posted a few articles below). About 3/4ths of the way a long the march a man stood in the center alerting us to the presence of a small flock of Bush Sheeple up ahead. I took a good look at them and although the MSM reported them in hundreds I will say that 100 would be a very generous number. About half of them were of Mil. Age and I yelled why did they were not in Iraq defending my freedoms? This only got abrasive comments, save from one of them. He yelled he had been in Iraq and was active duty due to go back in a few days. I just had to laugh at that for his hair was longer than mine and as anyone in the Mil knows they do not just show up and ship out. About 1 or 2 weeks before they are assembled after being on leave from the training they received. This area had the most Police presence.












After marching the whole way and making our way to where we started next to the ellipse I was surprised to see that people were still assembling up to begin marching! The crowd pouring into the march was just as big as when we started! It was almost 4 when we finished the march route.

We went to the concert area and found another friendly tree to enjoy a nice concert and repose under. (I always wanted to use that word:). 1st up was Joan Baez and the only reason I did not cry (as I usually do) when she played “Where have all the Flowers Gone” was lil Joe was not only taking all my attention but everybody else’s around us. Reps. Woolsey and Maxine Walters then spoke. Rep. Walters was 1st elected to the L.A. City Council when I lived in the San Fernando Valley, California. Yes like for sure I’m really a like a Valley Boy with a mix of influence from Georgia, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

We had to leave soon after for I new it would be crowded on the way home.

And boy oh boy was that an understatement. The line just to ride the escalators down into the Smithsonian Station was well over 1000’ long! I decided to walk to the 9th St. station and we walked along part of the route march again. It was now about 6pm and the tail end of the march was just passing by! The Mounted Police there were assembling to cut off the street and move the stragglers back onto the sidewalk. As I was then near where the Sheeple were set up I thought I would run into some of them. Sure nuf at the station were 2 young bucks with signs that said, “The Republic Is Worth Defending”. I had seen them among the sheeple. (I forgot to tell you I was wearing my Bring Home The Troops Home shirt). I asked if they were for the American-Iraq War and they said no. They came to demonstrate against the demonstrators! They said that the people we were communists. 1 of them became belligerent and said he did not want to talk to me anymore. So me and his buddy who was wearing a “Capitalism is Good” shirt continued the talk. It took about a minute for his bud to try to jump back in. Of course I reminded him that he did not want to talk to me. The train soon came and I left them, going to another car. We transferred to the Red Line(must have been the commies who named it) a stop before Metro Center and the train was pretty empty. Till of course we got to the Center. Packed in like sardines we sang “Give Peace A Chance” and every time the door opened there were chants of “BRING THE TROOPS HOME”!

“NOW’.

It was a day I will never forget. There was way more people than the other 4 demonstrations I have attended. The biggest before this had about 100.000 people in it. Back then I was more mobile and I could scan the crowd much easier. I can safely say this Demo had at least 200,000 participants. As it was a whole day affair the total could easily have been 300,000. We met people from all over America who care about the Common Good.

I’m very satisfied with the turnout and the unity of message. Sure there were a few Commies and Larouches (Boy you want to see people waay out there) like always. There were also a few No Fur people. However on the whole we were of one mind. BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW!


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