Monday, March 23, 2009

Saturday's Rally in DC

On Saturday, I went to the ANSWER coalition march on the Pentagon and war profiteers. I met up with some UNCG students at 5 AM (brutal) and got in a van to go to DC. The van was late and it was freezing out there! But we finally got to DC around noon and took the metro to the rally point on the National Mall. It was clear that they expected more people, since they had lots of extra signs. (I hope they can save the signs for the next rally, since this ain’t over!) There were thousands of people there, but it was the smallest rally in DC that I have been to, so far.

After the speeches, some protestors picked up fake coffins and we took off on the march. It went over the river and past the Pentagon, into Crystal City. The first stop was Boeing, and then we went to Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and KBR. We made a stop at each of these merchants of deaths and chanted ‘how many kids did you kill today?’ among other slogans. My favorite is ‘from Iraq to Palestine, occupation is a crime’. They dropped off the fake coffins at each stop.

I talked to a German TV news on the march, and one question they asked is ‘do you think this is doing any good?’. I had to answer ‘no, but elections have not solved these problems either’. I just feel that I have to stand up for what I think is right and speak the truth. I wished I would have thought of Sophie Scholl of the White Rose Society and pointed out to them that what she did was not effective, but she still did what was right. She paid for that with her life, and I surely will never have to pay such a price!

One thing that disturbed me on the march was the group of young African American boys dressed in military fatigues. They were marching with a pro-Palestine group and appeared to be Muslims. I just think it is very, very sad to orient children towards using force as a way to address problems. I think our society is much too militarized already.

After the march, we all meet up at the Metro station and headed back to the vans to go home. Dinner was at the Cracker Barrel, and we got back into Greensboro at 1:30 AM. A very long day, but then DC is quite a distance from my home. I am glad I went. I had some great company too.

These are pictures that I took during the rally and march, and below is a short piece about some troublemakers at the march.

Some pictures from ANSWER are here.

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