A significant and spirited group of protesters converged on World Bank President and Iraq War architect Paul Wolfowitz's home yet again at 7104 Pinehurst Parkway in Chevy Chase after 9PM on Friday night. Some came by bike, some by car for a spirited and raucous protest that ultimately spilled into Western Avenue after leaving the house. Police tailing the group blocked many cars from getting through.
There were no arrests, and except for a few isolated incidents, no trouble from police. Unlike recent encounters, there were no private security, a sign that Wolfowitz was not home (though his car was in the driveway). In fact, for the first time in several encounters, his immediate neighbors seemed to be gone as well. This suggests that the neighbors are getting keyed in on the protests and are being affected by them. This is one of the aims of these protests. A mass murderer lives at 7104 Pinehurst Parkway, and it's our responsibility to do something about it, to confront any member of our community who is committing such crimes. In Paul's case, many thousands are dead, many thousands are displaced due to policies he's directly responsible for both when he was Deputy Secretary of Defense and now in his position as World Bank President. Many have no homes due to World Bank policies, due to Paul Wolfowitz; it's not illegitimate to stand in solidarity with these people at his home as we call on this murderer to resign.
For the first time in any of these protests, DC police were there as well, joining Montgomery County Police.
In and of itself, this protest was not much, but that's deceptive. When we organized this, we thought he would be at a hotel, but we knew it was important to go there anyhow. As part of a campaign that has already lead the neighbors to share rumors about Wolfowitz's supposed desire to move from the location, it is significant. Neighbors are reacting. Some in the past bring their children out to watch. Others get upset. All of them are beginning to realize that the protests are not going away. It's possible, even likely, that many will blame the protesters, but all must consider the issue of whether we are are brother's keeper, that is whether we are responsibile as a community for the crimes of our own neighbors and whether we should do something to stop them. That is one reason we chant, "World Bank shut it down! Paul Wolfowitz out of our town!"
In a day of action that included office demos that startled workers in their workplaces and for a moment could not be invisible, a direct confrontation with G7 delegates, the Wolfowitz action capped off a productive day. People in the protests felt empowered, and that's the most important thing of all. That empowerment will only energize more actions.
Some may think the action was meaningless because he wasn't home, but these demonstrations this week are merely part of an ongoing campaign, a tactical and strategic shift, away from the mass mobilization and toward sustained direct action that personalizes the crimes of systemic institutions. People commit these crimes; the World Bank is people.
We are all responsible, and we must all be touched by it.
Tomorrow, the actions continue.