By Dan Wilcox on 9/25/2005, 10:36am PT  
Special BRAD BLOG / Velvet Revolution coverage
of the Sep 24-26 Rally in D.C.
Guest blogged by Dan Wilcox

{Katrina Wilcox, of, and her husband Dan, are in D.C. for this weekend's rallies, and are covering them for us here at BRAD BLOG.}

Katrina asked you if you were tired of writing, calling, and signing. Today, you answered with a resounding “Hell, Yes!”

We got to the Metro to take us into downtown D.C. There were a bunch of people at the ticket dispensers trying to figure out how to get tickets and how the machines worked. It was obvious right off the bat that this was no ordinary tourist trip. Tie-dyed peace symbol shirts, protest signs, people helping each other with a knowing “Oh, you too” smile. We get on the Metro. “Where do we get off?” “Metro Central. Then you can transfer to the Federal Triangle or the Smithsonian or like me, you can walk from there. I like walking, come on with me”. At each stop more shirts, more signs, more smiles. “Is it going to be big?” “Do you think there will be enough of us?”

We pour out onto 13th street. The sidewalk is already crowded with smiling, friendly people headed “that way”. “I see the Washington Monument”. Our destination. A square, a rally. “Montana Women for Justice” or maybe it was “Code Pink” with all the pink balloons. The streets are starting to swarm with US, stopping traffic as the rainbow river bursts across. We're starting to impact Washington and the march hasn't even officially begun!

We're supposed to meet someone. We call and are told to meet by the soundstage. Crowds of people gathering in “The Ellipse” where there is loud music interspersed with loud cheerleading. “Troops out now.” The crowd starting to make their voice heard. Lines of pictures of dead soldiers on the ground. THIS is why we're here. “Not one more. Not one more. Not one more” the crowd chants.

Wrong stage for the meet. Go across the street (just US now, no vehicles allowed). The Washington Monument. People scattered around. Tents. Exhibits. Camp Casey. Crosses lined up on both sides of the path. Really brings it home.

We meet up, get our “Press Passes”. Head back to The Ellipse. Jesse Jackson gives a rousing oration. Cindy Sheehan with a passionate call to end the war now. The crowd roars their support. George Galloway gives it to us straight. Why can't we have some politicians with that kind of passion and straight talk?

We start heading out to the corner of Constitution and 15th where the march is “officially” going to start. More and more people joining US. A guy up on the street sign leading the crowd in a cheer. “One. Two. Three. Four. We don't want your stinkin' war!” We move slowly. A living river from sidewalk to sidewalk and as far as the eye can see. A cheer goes up. “Are we finally moving?” The big white dove, the Buddhist monks, the College not Combat, the individual cells of this writhing animal surge forward. We're off with many a different chant. We get up to Pennsylvania and turn the corner. Cops lined up in front of the Treasury building. Guarding our money from US. The mass thickens and comes to a halt. We get rammed from behind by some media types. “Get out of the way”. “There ain't no place to go!” Rude buggers but at least they are covering some of it. It is Cindy & Jesse so I get a great photo op. They do an end run.

We continue on to Our White House. The crowd is now huge and spread out in front. “Shame! Shame! Shame!” WE chant, shaking our fingers at the occupants. “Liar! Liar! Liar!” But of course George is off “hopping around OUR country like a flea on steroids” (Jim Hightower), leaving only the snipers on the roof to hear us. We don't care and the crowd gets raucous. We stay there for about an hour while the river of people never stops coming. No wonder George ran away. He would not be comfortable with hundreds of thousands of irate citizens just outside the gates demanding an end to his senseless war.

The rainbow river meanders on. Up 17th and down H. The streets are eerily devoid of all but US. Lines of cops at each intersection keeping US away from THEM.

We work our way back towards the beacon of the Washington Monument. Just before we turn the last corner onto Constitution, we find the “massive counter demonstration”. One block. One person deep. 150 hate spewing people. Like monkeys in a cage, they are kept behind barricades, protected from US by a line of police. “Look, they finally have some Republicans behind bars.” We laugh. “You suck” is their repeated harangue. I guess they haven't evolved into intelligent beings yet, still unable to have a discussion with the huge flowing peace river.

Past Camp Casey again. Up to the “Entertainment” stage. Joan Baez. The fragrant smell of ganja in the air. Déjà vu. Is this 1969? Cindy. Al Sharpton. Woolsey. Lee. The Bellrays, Steve Earle (well, we had to have SOMEONE teach the crowd how to spell effyou seekay!) Man are we tired, but so energized! It is sure nice to sit and relax amidst the huge crowd of people that are joined together in the common cause of “peace now”, and “throw the bums out!”

Back to the Metro. Meet more people. Exchange email addresses. “Wow, wasn't that great!” “It was so cool!” The train discharges US one by one, until there are only a few of US left for the end of the line. Drive around lost looking for a Taco Bell. Man, did that taste good! Didn't realize we were that hungry! Been high on adrenaline all day. Get home (thanks for putting us up, Ted and Lyn). Download pictures. Video will have to wait. Gotta get some sleep and “get up and do it again. Amen.”


{more apologies from Winter Patriot: we don't have the pictures --- but we'll post 'em when we get 'em!}