Monday, September 14, 2009

Report from the Washington, DC Patriot's Rally

Hi Everyone:

If you don't have cable and get Fox News or if your AM radio is broken you may not know about the HUGE rally in Washington that took place on Saturday, Sept. 12th. The whole thing was a massive event that grew out of all the Tea Parties and town hall meetings that have been occurring this summer.

"Why bother protesting?" some wonder. "We're doomed," others say. Yes, things do look bleak: The "Cash for Clunkers" program cost taxpayers $3 Billion and the auto dealers were left waiting for their money. ACORN is doing business with pimps and prostitutes using our money. Zillions in TARP dollars have disappeared. "Cap and Trade" is a shellgame that is going to bleed more money out of the economy, And Obama is rallying the Democrat base to ram through a 1,000 page health care bill that few in Congress have bothered to read. Shouldn't we all just give up and shove the country down the driveway and leave it for curbside pickup?

I don't know about you, but I feel revved up.

And, here is an on-the-spot report from the Rally, by Plumwood Road reader and correspondent, Jane Sheridan.

Jane and her husband Flip, who live not far from the real Plumwood Road, have their kids married or in college. Ma and Pa Sheridan dusted off their protest marcher shoes and went to Washington for the Patriot's Rally on Saturday, September 12th. Here, Jane gives her perspective from inside the crowd, where all you can see is up. And that's not a bad perspective.


Here is Jane's report.

On Friday Flip and I flew to Washington to be part of the march on Saturday the 12th.

Washington is always a thrill and it was great to be back there no matter who is in the White House!

We checked into our hotel and then did some wandering. Had dinner and got up the next morning to overcast skies but no rain!

We took off in our sensible shoes,patriotic t shirts, while holding our handmade signs and schlepping our chairs and backpack... we were ready for anything! (Our children would NOT have been proud of the way we looked) We originally were going to meet at the Freedom Plaza at 11 but when we made it to Pennsylvania Ave. the march had already started and there were THRONGS of people parading down the street! They were cheering and chanting and carrying some great signs. We watched for a few minutes and then decided just to dive in and join the crowd!

WOW! what a rush to be in a throng of like minded, happy people ! Some had bull horns to start chants or encourage the crowd, others were in period costume or in some very creative outfits. There were babies and children marching with their parents, there were dogs and people on canes or in wheelchairs. Veterans proudly carried flags.... beside bikers who were said to have ridden from California to be part of this! One man walked along with a trash bag to pick up every little bit of paper so that we did not leave a trace.
The route was lined with others holding signs and calling out encouragement! We were contacted by cell phone by our friends who had taken the train in from Maryland... since they were just behind us in the parade we stood on the side awhile to wait for them to pass by and we were able to get lots of great photos and take our TURN cheering for the "Angry Mob" We were soon joined by our friends and we marched together to the Capitol.

On arrival at the Capitol we were then separated by yellow police line tape and sent in different directions. Many police officers were there and this "funneling' of the group into a small passage and then dividing up had a very negative feeling and immediately impacted the groups overall mood. Several of us wondered if we were going to be going through a metal detector, We were all then dispersed around the pond at the Capitol.... some grassy areas were actually roped off leaving not nearly enough room for people to stand or sit and hear.... the effect of putting the water between us and the steps and speakers was not a positive one.

I called our Son Jeff in Ohio and Daughter Stacy in GA. and asked them to e-mail Fox news to find out what was going on if possible. People continued to mill around trying to find a way to get closer . Later I walked back the way we had come and found that someone had pushed down a section of the cordoned off fencing and now the grassy areas were covered wall to wall with people while back as far as I could see marchers were still coming down Penn. Ave!

A person in a designated" Volunteer" shirt informed us that our group had applied for a permit to assemble on the mall but that it was denied. However a permit was granted to ACORN and at the far end of the mall by the Washington Monuement there were tents and loud music for a group with a sign that said "Black Family Reunion" This was understood to be the Collective Black Family not a family named Black.
We were also told that we were not welcomed on the mall because "THEY" (the administration) did not want anyone to be able to compare the crowd with the group size that assembled for Obamas inauguration ! And that if anyone went there we would not be allowed to have signs.

As you can imagine this did not go over very well with Flip and I ... so I immediately started telling the people who were just arriving and being herded into the crowded spaces that they should go to the MALL! Stacy reported by phone that there WERE protesters on the mall and they had signs! Flip and I then got our chairs and headed for the mall! We could actually hear better from this area.... and people continued to move around and parade along the walk that surrounded the grass in the center. Here we also found that many areas to the sides had been fenced off and again people had "adjusted" a section for access.
There was room for blankets and picnics, a juggler, some football, and a few people took naps. Most of us people watched!
We later broke camp again and moved up past the Conservatory until we wormed our way to the front just below the steps where the speakers were. We saw more costumes, a parade of workers in hard hats and many more creative signs.
There were numerous moments of loud cheering, some spontaneous "USA" chants , very little booing and we did not witness any negative confrontations. Actually only saw one group that opposed us and that was about 6 or 8 young adults in Formal attire....standing at the Navy Memorial. Very well mannered and respectful but stating their view through satire.

Litter was non existent. But trash cans were overflowing. When asked about this the security people explained that no trash cans were allowed within a certain distance of the Capital or other major building due to the possibility of bombs/explosives being concealed in them. Much later as the speeches were ending we made our way back to our hotel in a Sea of Patriots who all felt that the day had been worthwhile and vowed to each other to keep up the fight back home.

After a late night stroll around the historic monuments the Whitehouse we had to agree that there is much in Washington AND the United States that is worth fighting for. JS