It all started at 3:45 on a sweltering day. Throughout the morning, I had been researching for my article about Syria [which I’ve now finished] and in the time leading up to my departure from my parent’s house in the suburbs, I finished a double-sided sign. Unlike the march for Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning, a march against Monsanto in my community and the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, I was alone. What I mean by this, is that when I came there, I came alone. Riding on the bus down to the stop was a bit nerve-racking as a little girl looked at my sign and I smiled, but was too nervous to say anything. Then, getting off the bus, I walked over a block, and there it was at the end of the block at Washington Monument as the above picture shows.
I was the only one who brought my own sign (at least it seemed that way at the beginning), as the rest of the signs seemed to be given out by the International Socialist Organization or ISO which is NOT associated with the ANSWER Coalition (an earlier version said they were which was incorrect). One YouTube video of the event says the following about the protest:
On late Friday afternoon, August 30th, peace and justice activists held an anti-war demonstration. Their message was clear and cogent: “No U.S. war with Syria!” The rally took place at Centre and North Charles Streets at the base of the Washington Monument, in the historic Mt. Vernon District. The activists insisted there was no clear evidence that Syria had perpetrated any “chemical attack” on its own people. They also cautioned against any rush to judgement in this controversial matter, especially in light of the 935 serial lies and deceptions, via the Bush-Cheney Gang, which led the U.S. into the disastrous and costly Iraq War…One of the fears expressed by an activist at the rally was that U.S. missile strikes will only trigger more misery for the Syrian people and for the over one million refugees, about half of them Christians, who have been residing there in order to escape the horrors of the Iraq War…Speaking on camera are activists Stephen Roblin, Charley Cooper and Sharon Black.”
I can say that this is very accurate. I was in fact interviewed by Hi-Span TV, but I haven’t found the video of myself being interviewed recently, in fact I was cut out of the final video (wow). However, there is a short video about this subject posted by TCHallMedia which does a better job at showing the diversity of people who were there. When staying around, holding my sign, I did meet two people: Leo who I had talked with on twitter and another person who had gone to Towson High School (and I had previously seen at Manning Protest) but this was the extent of the people I knew. I was hoping to see Mair, but I didn’t see her there. Maybe another time. Regardless, Leo gave me a book and I talked to his friend about Syria and issues involving intervention. Eventually, I met a number of people at the protest and it was a good time.
While standing there for hours at the corner protesting a Syrian war I talked to a number of people. It just made it much better there and more enjoyable. There was Bonnie Lane of Word on the Street who was very nice and is running for Mayor in 2016, possibly with the Green Party. Then there was a middle-aged woman I talked to [her name escapes me] and we talked about a number of issues including the invisible patriarchy prevalent in American society. But the best part of the whole time I was there (from about 5 PM to 8:30 PM) was the chalking. One of the protesters, whose name I will not reveal at this time, wrote in chalk on the marble embankments “Don’t Bomb Syria” or something like that. Later, after a number of the people were marching away, I stayed there with Leo and some others, and the police came. Apparently one person had called the police saying that chalking was a “destruction of property” on someone involved with the protest. After some bit of arguing with the police, saying that chalk on the marble was an addition, not a subtraction. While this was going on, I stayed there, and a group of two older white people (a couple, male & female) came up, criticized the chalking by saying that it was a destruction of property probably because they had a pro-war position. They also called all of us despicable and said one of us who was filming had “anger management problems.” In all, it was utterly hilarious, as by which time the protest had basically faded away. After this, as it was getting late, I said goodbye to my fellow protesters, and got onto the light rail. For the first time I had ridden it, they asked me for a ticket and I didn’t have it, meaning the fare officer said I needed to get off at the next stop. I didn’t do this, but I still got home safely as my parents drove me back in their car.
In order to get a fuller story, here are some of the pictures I took while at the protest. Enjoy!