WASHINGTON, D.C. By DavidSwanson of AfterDowningSreet.com
[THIS POST IS BEING CONTINUOUSLY UPDATED:]
I went to the protest at the American Petrolium Institute at 8 a.m. It’s now 9:15 and there are stil crowds on the four corners of the intersection of 13th and L Streets NW. People have blocked the streets several times, but the police have just dragged them to the sidewalk and let them go, after which the same people block the street again. The police really want to avoid making arrests. A group of bicylclists almost chained their bikes across one street, but the police stopped them before they could get both ends of the chain locked. The police have now started preventing people from crossing the south and east crosswalks, so people are crossing the other two very slowly, with the police hurrying them along but not yet arresting anybody – although that may be coming soon. A lot of college students are taking part. People have set up windmills, hung large banners, and are takign green hard hats and clipboards around to poll people on behalf of oil addicts anonymous. Apparently API has announced a move to clean energy and will be notifying Congress that it can stop funding the occupation of Iraq. I shot video that I will upload ASAP.
I’m told that over at the IRS protesters blocking the doors were arrested by Homeland Security, which is a new twist. Usually it’s rent-a-cops, DC Police, Capital Police, Park Service, or one of the other more familiar of the endless gun-toting agencies in our Empire’s Capital.
There are sirens and police vehicles driving in every direction around the K Street area, and police radios keep picking up reports of protests in various intersections.
I’m told a group blocked the intersection of L and 17th Streets and locked themselves together. The police cut them apart, dragged them to the side, but did not arrest them.
It appears we have Stay-Out-Of-Jail cards today. We’ll see if the Park Police behave the same way over at the White House when we wrap it with Crime Scene tape.
Thirty some arrests at the IRS.
Demo at Native American Museum and at Archives.
March of the Dead – Black robes and White masks taking over the streets downtown.
Students holding dance party in intersection of K and 14th. Nobody arrested.
Great images of earlier event with women in L and 17th – one legal observer arrested. Women cut apart and dragged aside and let go.
This strategy of not arresting people is backfiring on the police, because the same people are causing them new trouble throughout the day in various locations.
C-Span is showing actions, I’m told.
I’m in Franklin Park and hundreds of students are playing music and dancing and taking over K Street.
If police are getting frustrated and shifting attitude it’s not showing. Mostly they seem to be enjoying the endless party while avoiding the hassle of arresting people. They themselves of course have no vested interest in killing Iraqis.
300 some people have shut down the military recruiting station on L Street.
IVAW has taken the top steps of the Archives with flags and then chained themselves to a flag pole to defend the Constitution from all enemies… domestic.
Grannies are starting to sit down and knit stump socks for amputees in front of the VA.
Ted Stein is jamming in McPherson Square and people are dancing!
NEW AT 1:15 pm EDT.
I’m at White House now. Lots of people here. Getting ready for a waterboarding. Vets for Peace et al just marched through and headed to the VA where the Grannies are knitting. Some of these vets did everything to get arrested at the Archives but weren’t arrested. So, now they’re marching through streets carrying flags. I don’t think the strategy of th epolice is reducing the media coverage and disruption. I think it’s increasing it, and in quantity if not quality it will be good.
Light rain starting.