I’m crossposting this from dailykos, but stay tuned. I’ll post a Docudharma exclusive very soon.
Having decided at the last minute to fly rather than drive to D.C., my son and I were separated by virtue of our seat assignments. I asked the young man sitting next to me if he was going home and he said yes, but only for a brief visit. He asked why I was going to Washington and I told him to march against the war. “That’s interesting,” he replied, “I’m headed for Iraq.” Turns out he works for an NGO and had been to Iraq twice before. He had recently graduated from American University with a degree in International Relations with a specialty in the Middle East. We had a fascinating conversation for the duration of the flight. I encouraged him to write about his experiences and invited him to consider blogging at dailykos. Hopefully he will.
On the shuttle to the hotel we found ourselves in the company of a woman who had 25 years in the Air Force, had served in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and who works in the Pentagon. When she first learned why we were in town, she looked at us a bit askance – okay a lot askance. We had a friendly but spirited back and forth about the war, the military, diplomacy, international relations, the hiring and firing of Generals and such for the entire ride into town. By the time we dropped her off she was wishing us well and warning us what to avoid (such as certain areas of D.C.).
After checking in at the hotel, since we had time to kill before the demonstration the following day, we got directions and hiked to the White House, which was a couple of miles away. We then hiked to the Smithsonian only to find it closed, all except for the Fleer Art Gallery, which stays open until seven. It was 6:45. So we had an exhilarating fifteen minutes in the Fleer. The exhibition was of Oriental Religious Art. It was among the best fifteen minutes of my life.
The following day we made it to the meet-up site early and waited to see who would show.
By and by others began to appear…
As time went by more kossacks trickled in…
As high noon approached, we headed out for the rally point at Lafayette Park.
Finally the march began…
It took some doing but I finally managed to drag the kid away from the front lines before he could get himself arrested. I tell you he whipped himself into a state of revolutionary fervor. He was not happy being reeled in, but when you’re a dad…
Leaving the demonstration with Victory Coffee, CTLiberal, DemMarineVet and my son, we ended up witnessing the herding of the arrestees. Here’s a busload of them headed for the hoosegow.
Later that night, after the Mexican food, the drinking and the drunken blogging (which have all been covered in previous diaries), we met by happenstance one of those who got arrested. He said it took them 8 hours to get out of jail, cost them $100 each, and they have to go back for court in a week. His name was Brad Blanton. His business card identifies him as the chief troublemaker at radicalhonesty.com.
Thank you Brad, and thank you to everyone who braved arrest and who marched to send a message to those who have mislead our country down the dark path of unjust war, torture, fascism and all the rest. Thank you to the kossacks who sacrificed their time, money and comfort and who risked their own safety to help right the wrongs that have been done in our names. And thank you to all of you who supported us from a distance. Together, we struck a mighty blow for freedom and democracy. We are going to have to do it again and again, but for now we can take pride in what we’ve done.
Until next time…peace out!