Saturday, In the Park

And no, it wasn’t the fourth of July. A couple of weekends ago I found myself driving through the city. Just for the fun of it really. That’s when I got a call about a frisbee game happening at Anacostia Park. I didn’t have any gear with me, but I figured I could at least toss on the side and heckle at opportune moments.

While I’m cutting through town, a homemade flag grabs my attention. I also see a line of police motorcycles lined up around DuPont circle. Vaguely recalling that there were to be IMF protests, I immediately decided to go where the action was. So I’m ducking in and out of traffic, making my way to Penn Ave, seeing numerous salt trucks being used as street blockades. I’m thinking, “Oh, this is going to be good!”

When I reached the World Bank HQ, I was duly disappointed to see nothing happening whatsoever. I went back to DuPont Cirlce and took in some of the sights. I was hoping to learn more about what was going on, and more specifically where the beef was with such a large monolithic, nearly unaccountable institution.

Folks, this was a bummer on so many levels. There was hardly anyone there. You could tell who the protesters were, they were all dressed alike. No one else was really involved, instead treating the protest like another sideshow at the park. I don’t think anyone learned anything about how the IMF isn’t helping poor nations. I certainly didn’t.

When I think of protests or riots, I generally think of Watts, the King verdict, College Park after a Duke game and other significant historical events. When crowds are large enough to disrupt traffic and bring significant attention to their cause, I feel that they’ve accomplished something. I don’t condone violence, looting or destruction but the threat of it makes for better theatre.

I just couldn’t take this protest seriously. So I went back to my car to find pictures of Cherry Blossoms. Only to find that they had peaked and were beginning to wilt. Drove back home and came across a very interesting sign. It’s at the end of this Flickr slideshow.

3 Comments so far

  1. Kurt Ankeny (unregistered) on May 2nd, 2005 @ 8:24 am

    Surely you’ve seen this picture then?

    http://lilt.ilstu.edu/rtdirks/Features.html

    Kurt


  2. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on May 2nd, 2005 @ 1:21 pm

    I really don’t see what that picture has to do with anything.


  3. John (unregistered) on May 2nd, 2005 @ 3:25 pm

    Sure it does, follow the slideshow all the way to the end, that’s what Kurt was referring to. He has left the interpretation to the reader though…



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