Monday, February 1, 2010

Scattering to the Winds

Today, my Buffalo group (Vicki Ross, Jim Anderson, and Tom Casey) left Washington, D.C. It was great to have them with me over the weekend. I look forward to seeing them soon, as I am heading home on Wednesday morning.
The Washington, D.C., portion of the Peaceable Assembly Campaign ends early tomorrow afternoon. After that, as the saying goes, we all scatter to the winds. We've already started scattering. We will have a small group for our last vigil in front of the White House tomorrow. The police (both Park police and Secret Service uniformed police) will have other groups to babysit.
One of the interesting things about vigiling in front of the White House is all of the different people who meet us and want to take pictures with us. Today, a large curious group of tourists descended upon us. They had already taken out their digital cameras and were ready to click away. It wasn't hard to persuade them to get into the picture.
"Where are you from?" we wanted to know.
"Russia!" said one of the women.
The Russians smiled gleefully as they held up signs calling for an end to war, an end to military aid to Israel, and the immediate closure of Guantanamo and Bagram.
After the photo session, the Russians walked away, chattering with great animation.
Another interesting thing about vigiling in front of the White House is watching all of the various characters who seem to come there on a regular basis. There is a man who dresses in a black suit and a top hat. He actually looks as if he belongs in the nineteenth century. He has a stick and uses it for some sort of elaborate display that looks as if he is saluting a king, instead of a president. He never speaks. There is another man who goes to the other extreme. He dresses us as some sort of superhero (but none that I would recognize) and he carries a big sign critical of President Barack Obama. Then he shouts about the government wasting money and collecting taxes. The man in the black suit came to the White House. The superhero has been missing for a few days. Either he ate some kryptonite or he's off fighting the good fight against all comic book villains.
Well, those are just two of the characters who frequent the street and sidewalk in front of the sidewalk.
I'll add some more stories and photographs after I return home.
Bye for now.

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