Monday, September 17, 2007

Antiwar March in D.C.

An Iraq veteran being arrested after breaching the barrier.

The police line at the base of the Capitol.

On Saturday, September 15th, an anti-war march was held in Washington D.C. to end the war in Iraq. For several hours speakers like Ramsey Clark and Ralph Nader meandered on with standard calls to pressure the Democrats in Congress - even though the Democrats, just as much as the Republicans, are deeply implicated in the crimes of the war. by mid-afternoon, the crowd began to march from the White House over to the Capitol.

The march ended at the base of the Capitol, where protesters were supposed to create a “die-in” on the lawn by laying down and simulating death. As the crowd built up, though, there was a tangible pressure to “do something” at the walled area the police were using to prevent any further encroachment. A few people breached the barrier, including veterans, and faced immediate arrest by heavily armed police. Otherwise, the mass of people were simply there, with no indication of how any of these efforts would have an effect on war policy.

Eventually ANSWER organizers came around with bullhorns telling everyone to lie down for the die-in, which would represent the pain and suffering caused to Iraqis and in turn make Congress aware of the cost of war. The tense mass pressed against police barriers gradually turned into relaxed groups of people laying around on the grass. The protest rapidly began to disperse in this extremely anti-climatic finale, with a very potent sense the absolutely nothing had been accomplished.

"While no doubt there are many prepared to be arrested and jailed to demonstrate their opposition to this criminal war, the self-sacrifice involved in such actions is misspent to the extent that it is subordinated to the orientation of those like ANSWER, whose aim is to get the Democrats to “stand up.”

The "die-in"


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