Friday, March 25, 2011

No Justice, No Peace, US out of the Middle East

I know that I am the worst at updating this, but here are some snippets of my write up about Saturday's protest 
Spring Lobby Weekend, Saturday
Arriving at 11:30 am, everyone is gathered in the park across the street from the White House, and the Code Pink Ladies are there singing a song on stage.  Jade and I split up, and I ran into Mark and Bruce, where we chatted about last night, and what was going to go today. 

After about half an hour, I walked around snapping some pictures, and the usual types of people were there.  I saw some people from Courage to Resist, some people from World Can’t Wait, and tons of VFP and IVAW members. 

Eventually Mark found me, and we went to the sidewalk in front of the White House, and unfurled the Bring Our War $$ Home banner, and everyone was stopping to take pictures of us, and one woman, probably about my age,  even wanted to get her picture taken with us, which I thought was super interesting.
There were quite a few younger people there, there were these two teenagers sitting in front of the stage for the speakers, and they painted their fingers purple for when they would flash the peace sign.  Daniel Ellsberg spoke, which was interesting, and he talked about Bradley Manning and how someday he would be revered as much as DE is now. 

Chris Hedges talked about the moral compass of Christianity and how a Christian soldier is damned, not for killing someone, but for sleeping with a prostitute, and how that is so wrong.  He also talk about

Then the march around the square started, which was an interesting experience, it seemed like quite a few of the cars who were parked along the side of the street that we were marching on were irritated with us because they had to wait.  While we were walking along the backside of the park, someone drove by with a Wikileaks van, and tons of people ran up to try and get their picture taken with it, including quite a few of the Code Pink ladies.  The van was pretty awesome, and on the back it said Free Bradley Manning.  There was one guy from Texas, who cut in front of us, and said that he wasn’t going to wait for all of us to pass before he could pull out. I was surprised he didn’t hit any of us. 

When we got back for the protest part, Jade and I got out of the line of people who were going to be behind the barricade, and we were in the front row, snapping pictures like crazy, when someone told me to just climb over, and that I would be fine as long as I listened for the warnings,  so I got up on the wall with Mark and Bruce and it was pretty awesome.  They watched out for me, and made sure that I left at the right time to make sure that I wouldn’t be arrested.  So I was on the white house wall for probably 15 or 20 minutes yelling and chanting, and it was AWESOME. I eventually got down after warning number two, and found Jade where we managed to maneuver ourselves into a nice front row seat to the arrests that were beginning to take place.  There were more people who were there as supporters, and quite a few of them were younger people, and they had drums, and tons of chants.  The most memorable ones were
·         Money for school and education, not war and occupation
·         Libya is the new Iraq, what do we do? Fight back
·         No Justice, No peace, US out of the Middle East 
The first person that they arrested was a middle aged woman, and when they brought her behind their white screening vans, she fell on the ground, and was screaming for ten minutes, and it was terrifying, because we had no idea what was happening to her.  Then all of a sudden, one of the men to the left of us, about ten feet down, kicked some of the barriers up, and I almost had a panic attack at the thought of the crowd rushing forward.  But luckily that did not happen, and the police came up to him, and told him that if he did it again that he would be arrested, and he did not do it again thankfully.  

The crowd began chanting “You should be ashamed” after about a minute of the woman screaming, and there was one of the police officers, it was the younger African-American one stood there, subtly nodding his head at us, which was interesting, because all of the other 20 or 25 cops that were there were giving us dirty looks, and one of the woman on the horses was even texting for most of the time (Which goes to show that they know that they don't have to worry about us going crazy).  At one point, two of the younger male cops who were in the arrest area, got right up in the faces of one guy, and their supervisor I guess had to come and tell them to back off.  It was clear that they were super uncomfortable with us and with our presence there because we did not let up on them at all.  

Every time someone was arrested, there was tons of cheering of support, we were super loud for Bruce, Mark and Lisa 

One woman yelled “Don’t’ arrest Santa Claus” (Sadly this was not in reference in to Bruce)

The protest was an interesting atmosphere, it was tense at times, fun and lighthearted at others, but it was an amazing experience that I will never forget. 
I'll update soon about the Bradley Manning Rally I also attended.