It’s funny how you never see the sights and do the “local” stuff in your own town. I went to Paris once, and stayed with a friend who had lived there for sixteen years, and had never gone up the Eiffel Tower until I dragged him.
Me, I’ve lived in the Washington DC area for years and years and had never gone to a protest. Which seems a shame: people come from all over the country to march and protest here. For me, it’s just a Metro ride downtown.
So when I found out that there was going to be a
series of coordinated protests
against California’s Proposition 8 across the country, I figured I
should go. I’m neither gay nor Californian, but I figured I could
raise the body count. Especially since the “coordinated” part meant
that the ones in Maryland and DC were going to start at 1:30. I pity
the poor Hawaiians, who had to be out on the streets by 8:30.
Photos are here,
if you want to follow along.
People gathered in front of the Capitol (where they were setting up
bleachers for Obama’s inauguration) until 1:30, then started marching
down toward the
phallic symbol Washington monument,
around that, and up to the White House for speechification, cheering,
and milling about.
It got to raining pretty hard on the way, but it didn’t seem to deter
anyone. Plus, it led to a rainbow later on. Always a nice touch at a
gay rights rally.
The cops were there, but they just directed traffic. No riots for us,
thank you very much. I even got to exchange a few words with the lead
cop, and commiserate that he had to come in to work on a Saturday.
Changing Anyone’s Mind Quotient: meh. Do protests ever change anyone’s
Quality of Chanted Slogans: 3 out of 5 stars. Nothing you haven’t
heard a million times before: “Hey hey, ho ho, <insert phrase>
has got to go”, and “What do we want? <Insert cause>! When do we
want it? Now!”
It would have been nice to hear something original, maybe in haiku
Took away gays’ civil rights
but I suppose that’s hard to chant.
I tried answering “What do we want?” with “an umbrella”, but it didn’t
Best sign: </H8>
“The Bible: Slavery good. Gays bad. Snakes talk“.
Opportunities For Picking Up Women Factor: low.