## Digital Scrap from dc.indymedia.org ##
Date Added: October 22, 2005
1/18/03 Rally & March Personal Account
I started the day a little bit slowly. I was hoping my neon orange jumpsuit would arrive in time so I could dress as a weapons inspector, but alas, I’ll wear it to the next protest. My backup outfit was a suit and a mask. I decided to be King George, and my makeshift sign that said “Stop the Madness of King George” I thought it was fitting, and for some an educational opportunity to see history repeating itself. The mask itself was of Dan Quayle, but only a handful of people guessed that. I also draped my Adbuster’s Corporate Flag around my neck to add another element to my message of dissent.
After packing up my food and water, I made my from GWU to the mall. I arrived at the Washington Monument at noon and was hoping to see that the crowd had nearly filled the mall. I could see the crowd but they were farther off than what I expected. I made my to the rally walking by many tourists that weren’t there for the rally, but after a few blocks I could see the entire crowd. I don’t remember who was speaking when I arrived and for the next 20 minutes or so I walked around the crowd. This is my favorite part of all protests, rallies, and marches; seeing all diversity present. I also love looking at the various signs and costumes that people come up with. During this time I managed to take all literature that was offered, and even went to the tables and picked up every leaflet available. To me, the act of collecting all the info is probably just as important as being at the rally itself because you can take this info with you and continue the fight elsewhere armed with more knowledge than before. There was someone who was handing out fake dollar bills that were laden with website URLs that deal with the 9-11 conspiracy, which I found to be my favorite leaflet. As I walked around I was stopped every two minutes to do a photo with someone. I wish that people could see the smile I had through the mask, but the fake giant grin was good enough.
International A.N.S.W.E.R. setup the sound system better at this rally than in October. This time around each block there was another stack of speakers which allowed for the crowd to be less jam packed to hear the speakers. I made my way to the podium to listen to Jesse Jackson speak, and I enjoyed his speech immensely. Around that time people began moving away from the podium and they started moving toward the march route. Since the rally on the mall was so spread out, it was hard to really gauge how many people were there. When I finally made my way to the route, I cut through an area and I could see that most people were on the other side of the fence on the street. I took a panoramic photo, but I wish I would have taking the entire fence that was behind me! Nonetheless, I was amazed at how people there were.
The march started by going up Capitol Hill, and from the bottom of the hill it was nothing but marchers all the way up and all the back around the corner, quite a site! I tried to walk with different groups through the march and I was able to meet a lot of friendly people from all over the country. There was a Starbucks on the route, and quite a few different groups all booed when they walked by it. I even started a mob of jeers when the march went by an Exxon station! It was great! At the point in the march were the route went south towards M St. I stood on the corner for an hour watching people march by me and listening to people laugh and repeat the words from my sign as well as doing another 100 more photographs with people.
When I started walking again the march had bottlenecked and the cops were not allowing people to spread on to the sidewalk. I found that rather annoying! I really enjoyed listening to the cheers and echoes that were created when the marchers began cheering when they marched under the highway overpass. Shortly after that there was one of the largest drum circles I’ve seen at the corner of M st. As I walked west down M st. I could see down the hill and see the entire street filled with marchers. 30,000 people, I think not! I’m pretty sure that marchers nearly filled the entire route from start to finish.
After walking down the hill, I arrived at what was the end of the march, and definitely felt it was rather anticlimactic. I was hoping for another rally there, but instead it was just a lot confusion as people tried to find their friends and buses. The cops had barricaded the street to stop the march from going any further, but they were rather courteous. I made my way to the metro stop and went back to my dorm.
I really enjoyed this rally & march, but I liked the Oct. 28th march better because it was a circle and there were speakers at the end of the march. However, I liked the setup of the rally better at this event. I wish I would have gotten to the mall a little earlier to listen to all the speakers. No matter what, as our government mobilizes troops, it was very good to see that we mobilized as citizens.
I look forward to the February 15th rally. I also look forward to hearing my sister’s account of the rally in San Francisco.
The link below has all the pictures I took of the rally & march.
the photos have been taken off-line