My good friend Laurel was in town this weekend, and the presence of a large, rather unavoidable Iraq war protest punched a hole in our schedule. So, hell, why not, we attended the damn thing. My photoset is here.
Trivial details first: I adore my Nikon D-40. The quick shutterspeed and adjustments allowed me to catch some great personal details, like the beaming expression of a Kucinich booster, and lickety-split action, like this anarchist swordfight. If you have $600 gathering dust, buy a Nikon D-40.
More important details: This was not a small protest. Thanks to a miracle front of warm air that lifted temperatures to around 50 degrees, the crowd grew steadily until it covered about 2/5 of the space between the Washington monument and the Capitol. If I’m not getting the acreage of the Mall wrong, I think that amounts to 20,000 to 25,000 people. With apologies to Lifelike Pundits, it was not a “hippy reunion.” Every left-wing knuckledragger on the East Coast was there, obviously, including a few hundred militants who closed off a street and rushed the Capitol in a nice bit of Marx Brothers homage. The vast, vast majority of marchers, however, were beltway yuppies and suburbans taking advantage of the nice weather to hang out and wave mundane or organizer-provided signs. There wasn’t much attention paid to the nutty speakers on the dais (although I’m told there was when the celebrities finally spokes); just Montgomery County accountants and NoVa teaching assistants walking along the mall, eating sandwiches or sushi as they talked about Jim Webb or how much Bush sucked. Nice people. Occasionally misguided, but nice.