Report from DC Votermarch May 19
This is my report from the DC Votermarch. (There should be other reports soon, plus pix.)
We met in Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House, and at first there didn't seem to be a whole lot of us. The weather was drizzling and gray, and it took a little while for things to get started. Rose of Fringefolks and also one of our Webmeisterin gave a good, fiery talk, and some other people helped get the crowd energized for what turned out to be a long march from the White House to the Capitol, around the Supreme Court building and back to the Capitol Steps.
I was marching with Carol Schiffler and her husband Dan, Mike, his son Jay, and Sam, one of Mike's buddies from Pittsburgh, Jon Bexell, Chip, and Lori (who joined us a bit later), and met some other CLGers along the way. As we walked along, we got more energized as the sun came out and people started honking in response to our chanting "Honk for Democracy!" I saw people standing on the front porch of Gore's house, so I know they saw us - and they damn well must have heard us and all the honking.
As we continued walking toward the Capitol, the line of protesters started stretching out farther and farther as people joined us. When we turned the corner at the front of the Supreme Court, we saw a crowd already there, waiting for us ... and then we saw a lot of people waiting for us at the back of the Capitol. So although some of us thought we didn't have much voice left, we found something to make it pretty deafening as we marched around the Court, then over to the front of the Capitol.
Some of the speakers did a really good job - I particularly liked Borasage and the guy from Alliance for Democracy - but Mike also gave a good talk about how our votes were treated as throwaway jokes, esp. at the end it was inspiring.
By this time the front steps of the Capitol were pretty much filled, scaring some tourists who didn't think their children should be exposed to democracy in action - wonder how those kids are going to grow up - but we got thumbs up from lots of people in cars, also from at least one DC cop.
One of the best things about the march was the chance to meet people I'd corresponded with over the Net. We had some very good talks in between the chaos of the protest, and for me this was some of the most valuable part of the whole experience. Talking with Carol, Chip, Mike, and the others lifted me out of the pain my feet were causing me and the hoarseness in my throat. We have a really good group in the CLG, people I'd be happy to fight in a foxhole with. I also met a lot of good people from other groups, retirees who had never demonstrated before, young people, all kinds of persons united in spirit, and was impressed by the generosity and grace they showed, as well as fighting spirit and refusal to acquiese in the face of tyranny.
Some of us walked to an Italian restaurant near the Capitol to relax, but as one of us remarked, it was really good to have dinner with a group where you didn't have to explain yourself or be made to feel you should apologize for saying the truth. This was pretty damn liberating!
Would it have been good had more people attended? Sure, but there were enough of us to show those traitors that we haven't forgotten, we'll never forgive, and the sleep the media would have them think we've fallen into is just a dream. We're here, we ain't going nowhere, and we'll move on when they move out!
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