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September 12 March on Washington September 13, 2009

Posted by Beth in Personal, Politics.
Tags: ,

Below is the email I received from my friend Chris Cardiff who was able to participate in yesterday’s March on Washington. He was one of many thousands who gathered on the Washington Mall to protest government’s increasing attacks on our rights to life, liberty and property.

Dear Family & Friends,

Today I joined several hundred thousand people who, for a variety of reasons, feel our government is heading in the wrong direction. Yes, it was the 9-12 March on Washington – and what a remarkable event it was. Early estimates of crowd size range from a few hundred thousand to 1.5 million; and around the country 200+ protests were held at the same time. A detailed account starts at the next paragraph – you can skip and go right to the photos if you want!

The plan was to assemble at Freedom Plaza starting at 9am and then march down Pennsyvania Avenue to the Capitol starting at 11:30am with keynote speeches scheduled to being at 1pm. My own plan was to take the metro downtown and arrive around 11:30 for the start of the march. Well, neither I nor the organizers planned adequately for the turnout. When I arrived at the metro station at 10:45, it was packed with people waiting for the next train. And downtown at Freedom Plaza they were so many people spilling out into the side streets that they had to start the march 90 minutes early.

Even so, I arrived in time to join the tail end of the march up Pennsylvania Avenue. Pretty cool walking in the middle of an eight lane boulevard with a few thousand cheerful protesters.

When we got to the Capitol the crowd got thicker. After taking a few pictures, I wriggled my way to a spot where people were surreptitiously climbing over a small opening in a short wall to reach the Capitol lawn; the area was patrolled by police officers who were not allowing any more people in though there was much more room there than outside it. Each time the police officers moved away, a half dozen people scrambled over (I went over the wall as part of the third batch).

The speeches started promptly at 1pm; after some introductory remarks a singer led the crowd in The Star Spangled Banner. I listened to speeches for the next couple of hours (I enjoyed Senator Jim DeMint and Andrew Garber of the National Taxpayer Union the best – the conservative rap singer, Hi Caliber, was pretty interesting too). Then I headed for home. Speeches were still going on and people were still arriving.

Had a great chat on the metro on the way home with an older woman from South Carolina. She and her husband drove up (seven hours!) for the event (he was sitting several rows away – the metro was not as packed as when we arrived but was still rush-hour full). Her sister drove all the way from Florida – pretty dedicated! Several speakers mocked Pelosi’s astroturf comments, noting how not a single person had been paid to attend the event. Some of my favorite homemade signs are below – enjoy!


Chris’ photos and captions:

The Newseum opened a couple of years ago; it is situated on Pennsylvania Avenue and has this monster version of the First Amendment on its several story facade. I found the the last clause peculiarly appropriate for the day’s event.

2nd Ammendment

Marching down Pennsylvania Avenue…

signs Out of my wallet

Arriving at the Capitol – or at least as close as I could get before I started wriggling through the crowd. This shot is from the far side of the reflecting pool:

mall- capital

Chris at 912 March on Washington:


Possibly my favorite protest sign – and by far the most unique. What can I say, I’m a LotR geek. This guy has to have incredible photoshop skills:

You shall not pass

Note the disabled woman to the right. In addition to folks in wheel chairs, there were also a number of elderly using walkers as well as some cancer victims. It was humbling to see them there:

Whaere will Canadians go

Signs, signs, everywhere the signs…


Obama’s logo was everywhere. Another favorite, which I could not get a picture of, simply said in two foot letters “OOPS!” [I think this is my favorite..other than the one with Chris’ smiling face!]:


If the police could have reached these folks, they probably would have ordered them off the statue. The police were thicker and more aggressive about keeping people from climbing on things around the Capitol lawn:

climbing on statue

There were a few people dressed in colonial garb but this lady was my favorite:

Ms. Liberty

The Gadsden flag with the “Don’t Tread On Me” logo with snake, was everywhere. However, this large version of the snake mounted on poles was pretty cool. His tail even had rattles in it, which the lady holding up the back half kept shaking:

Don't Tread on Me

Looking backward – the crowd was reputed to stretch to the Washington Monument, far in the background. The Capitol reflecting pool is in front of the General Grant statue (to the left of the Washington Monument:

Mall - Wash Mon

Final shot as I’m heading over to the Capitol South metro station:

Don;t Tread on Me flag

Thank you Chris!!


1. Bob Snizek - March 29, 2010

I was wondering, are you the photographer? I would like to use the last photo for commersial purposes…

2. Beth - March 30, 2010

I am not the photographer but I can send your request on. Email me at haynesbe at gmail dot com.

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