Activists rally nationwide. War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing!

Tens of thousands of anti-war activists rallied near the White House yesterday, hoping their voices would catalyze opposition in the rest of the country and force a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

Protest organizers estimated 300,000 people participated, triple their original target. District of Columbia Police Chief Charles Ramsey, who walked the march route, said the protesters achieved their goal of 100,000 and probably exceeded it. Asked if at least 150,000 showed up, he said, "That's as good a guess as any."

books not bombs button

Yesterday was as lovely a day as any to get off my duff and be a part of an important exercise in free speech. Rode one of two buses leaving from Brooklyn Heights to D.C. along with other members of Brooklyn Parents for Peace. Got up at 4:00am and returned home at 10:30pm so it was a long but rewarding day.

Ironically, for all the concern over being arrested or injured, I ended up not actually marching as the march route along Constitution Ave was absolutely jam-packed when we arrived, not to mention that my knee was still rather sore from earlier in the week. Organizers announced that there were 300,000 protesters present while some mainstream press estimates put the headcount at over 100,000. There were supposedly a few hundred counter-protesters present somewhere, but I didn't actually see any. I overheard one account of mounted police charging at protesters with horses, and supposedly this was caught on film.

Mother to young boys: "No fencing with the peace signs!" Some would question whether children can be a meaningful part of a protest as they may be too young to fully understand the slogans they are parroting. To this I say it is not much different from taking children to church. After all, we tend to indoctrinate our young with the values that we hold dear. Speaking of church and ingrained values, I had to draw the line at buying a button depicting Jesus looking upward to Heaven with a speech bubble saying, "F*ck Bush!" Blasphemy, no doubt, but it makes me laugh just thinking about it.

While browsing the tents at the Peace and Justice Festival, I heard from a distance that Ralph Nader was speaking so we scurried over to listen to one of my heroes and the candidate whom I had voted for last year. Definitely one of the highlights of the day for me. Finding the "books not bombs" button that I have long sought was another. Later in the afternoon, I was standing just a few feet from Jesse Jackson for the second time in my life (the first being when he was running for President). Didn't actually hear him speak on stage, but I was intrigued nonetheless to see him in attendance.

A couple of years ago, I skipped the huge organized protest in NYC as it was freezing cold on a Saturday morning. I rationalized to myself that it was no big deal as I would just be hanging out with people who felt the same way, a "preaching to the choir" type of situation. Later, I regretted not going and vowed not to repeat that mistake. Now I can say there is something fulfilling, even energizing about being with similarly-minded people. There are certainly radically different opinions among us, but there is also strength in numbers, and I am determined to put an end to those days of sitting on the sidelines when the long-needed time comes to send a wake-up call to others.


Nothing like a little mosquito hunting at 2:00am to start off the day. Looks like Rita has mostly spared Houston, possibly at the expense of Louisiana. Got up an hour earlier than I had planned, but luckily that gives me the extra time to make lunch, recharge my camera, and spend quality time with Mr. Kitty.

Today a major anti-war protest takes place in D.C., and I am very excited about attending my first. Perhaps more so because I missed the big one in New York City (Feb 2003) that preceded the war. Off to grab a bus in an hour...


NYPD Unplugs Cindy Sheehan. Police bust up anti-war speech in Union Square.

Moments earlier, Zulkowitz had been chastising Parks officials for refusing to grant a permit to the encampment, and accusing the police of trying to harass the antiwar protest away. Contrasting the liberal Big Apple with the hostile environs Sheehan faced in Crawford, Zulkowitz told the crowd: "You would think that here in New York City, at Union Square-our Hyde Park-you would think that we would little difficulty having a 24-hour vigil to oppose the war. In fact, we've had two arrests and eight summonses and endless harassment from the police for doing what we do."

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Hooyah! Got my bus ticket for next weekend's anti-war march in D.C.

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Just noticed today that T-Mobile has sweetened its prepaid offering considerably. Previously, Gold Rewards kicked in after spending $250, but that threshold is now a mere $100 (effective May 2005?), which is roughly the amount I spend per year since Cingular increased the minimum purchase (from $20 to $25) to extend account expiration by 90 days. On top of that, upon attaining Gold Rewards membership, all refills (not just $100 cards) last 365 days.