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anti-war rally wrap up

January 19th, 2003

Real quick roundup of the anti-war rally; Meet Garth at 10:00am at Metro Center. From there we grabbed some coffee and a bite to eat before heading down to the mall for the rally. There where quite a few people already milling around on the mall. It was freezing cold — the high for the day was only 24 degrees Fahrenheit. Despite the weather there was a really good turnout, around 250,000 people.

Th speakers started around 11 o’clock, including Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton, Jessica Lange and Rep. John Conyers Jr. I have to say I don’t agree with much of what most of the speakers stand for, they used the anti-war rally to speak about various causes that have nothing to do with the war, but that’s the way these things always go. (though I will say there was far less socialist influence than at the anti-war rally I went to in England before the Afghan campaign began.)

By 1:30 the key-note speakers where done and the front of the crowd had begun the march to Navy Yard in Southeast. The march took over an hour, and at one point while Garth and I where at the top of a hill the crowd stretched as far as we could see in front of us and behind us and we where near the front of the crowd when the march started.

On of the best moments of the march was when we passed a group of seven or eight people all dressed up and sipping champaign on a second story balcony with a white board that they had written “hippies go home” on. The crowd stopped in the street below the building and chanted “we are home.”

The protest went off peacefully without any violence or mass arrests. The media gave it better coverage than the last rally in October, so maybe more people will see it and public opinion in favor of Bush’s warmongering can be changed. I don’t think that war is a priori bad in this case, but I think that if the Bush administration really does have evidence of Iraq having these weapons of mass destruction (which I don’t doubt Iraq does have) then they should be taking this evidence to the leaders of the free country and giving it to the weapons inspectors so they can show the world that there is in fact a threat, that we need to use force to deal with this situation.

Anyway, the rally was for a good cause and was a success. Afterwards Garth and I went over to Fado’s and had dinner then bar hopped across Adams Morgan. All in all a good day, that my body is complaining about today.

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