Photo Essay on the 9/15 March in D.C.

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


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!



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    • OPOL on September 19, 2007 at 12:04 am
  1. these are terrific. looks like a great turnout for peace. kestrel9000’s fashion statement and his special way of saying hello to the w.h. are cracking my shit thoroughly up.

  2. took a stand in DC on behalf of all of us on September 15 has my deepest gratitude.

    Way to go, you were all magnificent!


    • bottom on September 19, 2007 at 12:16 am

    Really wonderful shot of possum. And cheers to pico for the NION sign!

  3. What a great photo-essay!  I can’t seem to get enough of hearing about this.

    More!  More!  More!

    • snud on September 19, 2007 at 12:20 am

    Please allow me to congratulate you on a totally awesome photo essay, OPOL!

    Dang, I wish I could’ve been there.

    When I was 14, I attended an impeach Nixon demonstration (same spots!) and ended up at the Smithsonian after getting tear gassed. I had a busted ankle and was on crutches, trying to get away. I remember my armpits hurt like hell and they had wheelchair service – awesome!

    I tell ya though… That Kestrel (a fellow Virginian, I believe?) – he looks like a ne’er-do-well! 😉 (Love that shirt!)

    You guys kicked ass! My hat’s off to you all!

    • pico on September 19, 2007 at 12:22 am

    Seriously awesome work here.  Glad I got to meet up with y’all, and I look forward to the next time (although I certainly wish circumstances didn’t require another ‘next time’, and probably more down the road). 

    • DWG on September 19, 2007 at 12:26 am

    Thanks, OPOL

    • Alma on September 19, 2007 at 12:28 am

    Pictures and write ups are the next best thing.  Thanks

    • Will2b on September 19, 2007 at 12:34 am

    I didn’t even see this protest mentioned in corporate media. 

    • pfiore8 on September 19, 2007 at 12:39 am


    * * * sigh * * *

  4. and do the die in in Reid’s office?

  5. Nice to get to be there with all of you vicariously through your wonderful photos. It was good to see several familiar faces, including yours. Made me smile. 🙂

    • MBNYC on September 19, 2007 at 12:45 am

    …and I swear with the proliferation of Kos spinoffs, I don’t have enough hours in the day 🙂

    • vigkat on September 19, 2007 at 12:55 am

    Thanks for sharing and giving us your impressions.  I’m sure it felt empowering to be there; I wish I could have made it.  Thanks to you and all the participants.  We are proud of you.

    • SallyCat on September 19, 2007 at 1:05 am

    You all done good! Sending super duper big hugs to you!

    • fatdave on September 19, 2007 at 1:13 am

    I was well and truly kif’d by the time I stopped saluting you guys the other morning. They certainly seemed to be using up all kinds of police officer equipment!

    The BBC eventually put in a 3 minute or so slot on Andrew Marr’s Sunday morning political show.  I had sent the DG some e pie and explained to him about the rise of the piemakers in the US. I was proud just to post on the same site(s) as yourselves.

  6. Just thankyou for going and doing what you did. You’re an example for all of us.

  7. everyone else there. You walk the walk.
    Proud to know you.
    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    • FireCrow on September 19, 2007 at 2:03 am

    This was great OPOL. I’m proud of you and everyone who made it. Makes me feel hopeful.

  8. both protest and resultant essay!

    i now feel guilty for having missed you so much.  but im glad youre back, and sharing this.  thank you.

  9. it made me feel as though I was right there, myself, sharing your experience. (Also brought back memories of me, Alma and Kate of last year!)

    Thanks to you and everyone who went — it does one proud!

    • AnnRose on September 19, 2007 at 7:05 pm

    I’ll be at the next one. 

    • Temmoku on September 20, 2007 at 5:34 am

    definitely more than a few thousand marchers!!!
    Thanks for sharing….

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