Preview: State of the Union protests from a street perspective : The "I'm Proud to Be An American" Mix
Preview: State of the Union protests from a street perspective : "The I'm Proud to Be An American" Mix
Later today, possibly tonight, I'll be sharing a report from the streets outside the Capitol from activists who weren't inside the Capitol like Cindy Sheehan and who weren't waiting around with the World Can't Wait.
To preview, let me give you a recap of a few of the highlights. At about 7:30 PM, a group of 15 activists launched into the streets from Judiciary Square. At 3rd before we reached Constitution, Capitol police rushed us with batons, throwing some activists to the sidewalk, cursing at them.
Most of us proceeded to Independence Avenue. When people walking with a banner edged into the street, a group of 11 people found itself facing off with 200 Capitol Police.
That tipped us off that was indeed Bush's route, and so we inundated Bush's motorcade with sound as it rushed by at high speeds.
During the speech, we ultimately decided to walk toward the back side of the Capitol where we had several other exchanges with Capitol Police. They ultimately chose to follow us with no less than 10 motorcycles along the streets of DC.
We made it back to Independence Avenue via Third Street by the end, this time on the Metro Police side of 3rd. There we were greeted by dozens of DC police, who moved along with us and made a point of attempting to block signs, sending officers to stand directly in front of signs and to move as the signs or people moved.
At the end, with a lot of noisemakers and the chance appearance of the Rhythm Workers Union, we saw Bush pass by again and inundated the motorcade with protest noise.
The situation on the street belied whatever it was that Bush said he was fighting for inside. What was going on went beyond needed security; it was a visible attempt to stifle dissent.
More hopefully later, but I wanted to get this much now.