Monday, October 27, 2003

Unofficial Report on the DC Protests

The following report is from my friend who was on duty during the "Anti-War" demonstration on Saturday:

Well the protesters came, made noise, and most of them have left the city now. (We kept a few who excercised poor judgement.) They left behind a ton of litter, some graffiti, and negative impressions of the Left, but not much else.

First off, the group was a lot smaller than they'd claimed would be there. They stated beforehand that they'd have 40,000 to 50,000 people, and even their own counters now credit them with about 8,000. They did manage to stick more to the anti-war issue than at previous events, but they still have the "Free Mumia" crowd (Mumia-Abu-Jamal, to cop-murdering leftist darling still on death row in PA.) and a few other hangers-on. Most of the protest signs were professionally printed and issued to marchers by either A.N.S.W.E.R. or the Socialist Party. Those two groups appeared to be co-organizing the event, so that tells you where they're really coming from. The Dennis Kucinich supporters were out in force as well. None of the other Democratic Presidential candidates were represented there but there were tons of Kucinich signs and shirts. Kind of tells you where Kuchinich comes from too.

I was assigned to a Reaction squad, so I got to stand out on full riot gear in the hot-spot areas. I started out on the edge of Lafayette Park where the protest parade went by. It sure was nice of all of those "peace marchers" to let me know that I was "facist", a "Nazi" and a "pig". I was called those things several times, as were my contemporaries on the line. My photograph is probably going to be on every Communist Party website tomorrow based on the number of times they ran up to take my picture. I had a great spot where I was the only officer for 25 yards so I attracted more attention than those standing shoulder-to-shoulder a short distance away.

After the parade passed by, we moved down to Constitution Ave, where the parade was supposed to end. Several officers had to be detailled off to go deal with leftists who were threatening Free Republic counter-protesters, but I wasn't one of them. Instead I was part of a team sent to get between the leftists and a few religious counter-protesters who were preaching at the masses with a bullhorn. Of course the left wasn't about to let the religious speakers or the Free Republic speakers exercise THEIR First Amendment rights. They tried to overrun both groups and would have but for our presence. Then that sat there and jeered at us for protecting the people trying to speak. Let's see...a few minutes ago we were protecting YOUR right to speak and assemble, and we were pigs and facists, and now we're giving someone else the same protection and you're actually angry. Is the Left really that clueless about the rights everyone gets here? I guess they think that they're the only ones entitled to Constitutional protections.

All-in-all, the protest was pretty meek and mild. Per our Intelligence division, the big groups had warned their members in advance to behave as a result of their past encounters with Park and DC Police. The word's apparently out now not to get stupid here, and that's ok by me.

One final note about the message and the message-bearers...I couldn't help but notice that most of the attention was focused not on Iraq or our troops but only on excoriating President Bush. The lefties mainly used megaphones to shout obscenities about the President or carried signs cursing him. Very little attention was actually devoted to our troops overseas. Kind of interesting, as it was supposed to be an "anti-war" rally. I also noticed that 99% of the crowd appeared to be white. There were very few minorities there, suprising since the military has such a large number of minorities serving in it. Most protesters appeared to be college kids or college-age slackers, with a few senior citizens tossed in. I theorized afterwards that the entire batch of them probably could have dropped into a big hole in the street and America wouldn't even notice much less miss them. I saw very few people there who even gave the appearance of being productive adults. Also most of the protesters appeared to be angry. They weren't happy people. Now the Free Republic crowd, they were having a ball. Those folks were a laugh a minute according to the squad detailled over there. But the lefties were generally unhappy people and it showed. I guess it must suck to be a poor politically-marginalized white kid.

All in all, it's over, we're all home safe and I got paid pretty well for the day.

And here's a pic of a few of us in action.

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