Falun Gong Sightings

Damn these kids are popping up everywhere. Last night, as I went for a long afternoon run, Falun Gongers were over at the White House close to stopping traffic on 17th and making the Secret Service very nervous.

Down by the Capitol Building, they were doing a little back and forth march on the Mall side, the Capitol Police keeping them off the green Capitol grass.

Back at the McPherson Square protest site, the clean-up crew was bagging all the trash, and to their credit, even separating out the recycling.

Still, I doubt they were very effective at much past annoying locals and intriguing tourists. Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived late last night, long after the protesters went to sleepy-time.

9 Comments so far

  1. phoenix (unregistered) on April 20th, 2006 @ 10:12 am

    Now I have to admit, I wasn’t there for the protests, and in reality they’re such a fact of life in DC that I don’t take much notice unless their either a: interesting to me or b: particularly large, but sheesh-the way you talk about them, you’d think all of us in town hate these kinds of things (argh! Those ornery protesters and my rush hour commute again!) or that you’ve got it out for the falun gong’ers. So which is it? ;)

  2. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on April 20th, 2006 @ 10:40 am

    Trust me, DC natives absolutely hate protests that tie up their traffic, wreck their public spaces and cause havoc. Any group that seeks to disable the city with their presence is going to have some negative feelings harbored by the people who live there, whether they agree with the cause or not.

  3. wayan (unregistered) on April 20th, 2006 @ 10:52 am

    Having lived in China when Falun Gong first was banned, I’ve followed their increasingly shrill protests over the years and I wrote about yesterday’s protest in sadness that their impressive organizational skills (three sites at the same time!) were wasted on non-starter topics (Down with the CCP!) and bad timing (Hu Jintao wasn’t even in town).

    Most protests, including the usual Falun Gong ones, I find add a fun flavor to this city and are a reaffirmation of our basic rights – freedom of assembly in a nation’s capitol and all.

  4. Paulo (unregistered) on April 20th, 2006 @ 10:57 am

    I sympathize with Falun Gong practitioners regarding suppression by Chinese authorities, but watching their demonstrations, I really can’t help but wonder if the cultic aspects of their faith got them banned for a reason:

  5. phoenix (unregistered) on April 20th, 2006 @ 1:27 pm

    Well color me learned. :) I didn’t realize that the poor guys had such horrible timing…and topics. Ah well.

    @Tom: That being said, I have to admit, having lived in the city for as long as I have, I don’t mind the protests and things at all; granted I generally don’t get caught in snarled traffic (back streets, metro, all that) but I can see how some people would. I just don’t know many people who are.

  6. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on April 20th, 2006 @ 3:22 pm

    Anyone who works downtown knows.

    Anyone who’s ever had to deal with the stinging smell of teargas on their way to work knows.

  7. wayan (unregistered) on April 20th, 2006 @ 3:25 pm

    Tom, some of us do work downtown, do know the smell of tear gas in the morning, and would walk through it daily to preserve the right to protest just the same when we felt the need.

  8. Don (unregistered) on April 20th, 2006 @ 3:43 pm

    You need to get with the modern program, Wayan. Free speech is only cool when it’s yours. Or a justification for downloading music or nekked pictures off the internet. Not all this hippie political free expression shit.

  9. phoenix (unregistered) on April 20th, 2006 @ 3:46 pm

    @Don: I was about to say the same thing..

    @Tom: Come on down from that ledge, man…I know it’s annoying if you have to deal with it, but it wouldn’t be DC without it. No need to be aggro. :(

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