Saturday, September 24, 2005


Looking Down Pennsylvania Ave. in front of the White House..the line extended behind at least as far as in front, and went on around the block about 2 miles. This pic represents (in my estimation) about 15% of the total.

Having calmed a bit....

There were alot of people at the rally today. Too many to ignore.

The criticisms are appropriate. Like any gathering of liberals, there were too many speakers, too many issues, and a lack of focus. Some of what I'd call fringe groups got a big say-so (free the Cuban 5, Hati), but then they put up some organizing money and volunteers. So, they got 10 minutes on stage.

There is no doubt in my mind that people gathered because they were pissed at Bush about IRAQ, not the other issues. The organizers missed some focus, but the protestors didn't seem to mind, even starting the march while the speeches were still going on. And since when have liberals ever shown "focus"? It's not the point and if anyone highlights this aspect of what happened today, they're missing the point.

Make no mistake about it. From someone who was there and understands human nature. This was not a crowd of left-wing freaks. Yeah, there were some there. But anytime you gather people, you'll have some of those. I was impressed with the number of people, like myself, who are ordinary people who quietly walked with a shirt saying "end the war" or "bring the troops home". This march looked like Cindy Sheehan, not a freak show.

The most impressive part of it was the Iraq veterans who led the parade. They literally marched, while chanting the same end the war chant over and over and over and over. It was quite moving....and sad in a way.

The press is describing it as a marathon and that it was. There was a concert tonight on the ellipse which I just couldn't make. But I have no doubt that there was a huge turnout for that as well.

Will any of this make any difference? Who knows. A smart politician would have been checking out the demographics of the crowd and realized that there's opportunity there.

One final note. Jan pointed out something (actually two things) that I think are small and symbolic. First, there was zero violence or even arguing. Even with the very very small number of counter protestors, there was some back/forth, but really they were pretty much ignored by most. Second, and this is really a small thing but maybe more important. There was ZERO litter. And EVERYONE was handing out literature, signs, and selling water/food. Yet the streets were clean. I even saw a person next to me bend down and pick up an eaten apple core. The trash cans were overflowing, but any trash was right there and nowhere else.

I've been to a lot of big events and never seen this. Not quite sure what that says except that perhaps it's indicative that this was not a group of rowdy anarchist types. More likely a bunch of moms and dads who are just as likely to gripe at you to clean your room as burn down the White House.......


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