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Sun, Apr. 25th, 2004, 08:16 pm
DC March for Women's Lives - Apr. 25, 2004, National Mall, Washington DC

I leave plenty early to hookup with sjo. The subway car fills gradually at every stop until it's bursting at the Smithsonian stop for the National Mall. The platform's also full, so there's nowhere for us to go as we leave the car. I smell patchouli [rollover Definition] the second the train doors open.

I ride the escalator into the Mall and I notice a lot of signs I don't understand, like a snake wrapping around a doctor (?). Dense sea of people at the mouth of the exit. Keep moving, people. Sound from the stage PA and the conversation of people around me that I can't hear the woman ten feet away from me screaming into a bullhorn. There's a Jumbotron display in the center of the Mall, showing the speaker behind the lectern on stage declaring what "we believe." Grrrr.

sjo told me to meet her with the Belly Bus, Massachusettian pro-choice belly dancers. I begin searching.

I see lots of interesting sights and people:

  • A pro-lifer yelling "Hear the words of Jesus!", wearing a shirt that says [rollover Definition] "Jesus. That's my final answer!" Funny, 'cos I was gonna ask him "What's your excuse for not minding your own business?" I lead a good life so I can go to heaven to watch Jesus anally-rape these people with chainsaws for name-dropping him to excuse self-righteousness. I'll be the one oiling and sharpening the blades.
  • Trucker-lookin' dude holding a sign that read "the only Bush I trust is on my wife." That's America, baby.
  • Bumpersticker: "What Would Xena Do?" Why, stomp ass, I presume.
  • Sign: "I shaved my pussy to protest Bush." I took her word for it.

    Times like these make me feel like the only moderate East of the Mississippi. There's lots of booths, but none of them seemed to be staffed with people able or responsible to answer my questions. At a conservative rally I'd get a glossy, three-fold executive brochure with great directions on how, where, when, who and why to hate. You gotta give it to the Republicans for infrastructure.

    Love the Liberal sense of humor, though. The side the comedians stand on continues to be the side of victory. [citation]

    I'm a media whore, so I troll down the side street of media vans looking for interviewers hungry for some spicy Basil. Don't find 'em. Hit the mother lode of police cruisers though. And one police tank. I guess liberals look at a police tank and think "oppression by the police state." Conservatives probably think something like "law and order." I look at a police tank and think "I have got to get me one of those."

    Hundreds of cops, but I didn't see a single one technically "on foot." A few motorcycles. LOTS of bicycles. The bikes look very fat-guy friendly. I want one of those too. I told the cops that most of the protestors looked like vegetarians so they should only expect mild resistance. They didn't laugh.

    SWAT teams. [rollover Definition] No sense of humor.

    Jumbotron shows a braided woman playing an acoustic guitar singing undiscernable lyrics. Pro-lifers in front of National Gallery of Art with big signs of mutilated fetuses. I walk past singing the jingle from the Chili's [rollover Definition] restaurant chain. They don't get the joke. That pleases me.

    A clergyman takes the stage. He mentions Bush's initiative to send a manned flight to Mars and shared his support of Bush's right to go there. The most polite "f--- you" I've ever heard. He had a great quote:

    To be pessimistic is to be in favor of death.
    --Francis Kissling, Catholics for a Free Choice

    A lady replaces him behind the lectern and announces a missing child. There's an irony.

    Still looking for the Belly Bus. Found a group of women in pink called the "Pink Blogue" performing movements in between a line dance and a cheerleading routine.

    Across the narrow side street about 30 feet away is a guy in full battle camo holding a big poster of a fetus head held with forceps. Yeah, that'll teach the cheerleaders a lesson for not having sex with him. I want to ask him what outcomes he expects from his behavior, but I'm too tired to block a knife attack.

    Cybill Shepherd just took the stage. Great line: "This is my third time here marching with you. How many times do I have to come here?" Good point. Another Great Memphian makes good.

    Buncha med students in white lab coats with signs that read "We are tomorrow's abortion providers." But the COOL people were the two I met who were wearing their safety-patrol vests that read "Pro-Choice Clinic Escort." Those are the heroes, the two old ladies voting with their feet. Biggest balls in the Beltway.

    Two and a half hours later I find the belly dancers from the Belly Bus! (Motto: "Our Bellies, Our Choice!") I notice one of them wielding authority. The Alpha Belly. I introduce myself to her. She's Dervish Spin. She's good people. She send us forward until we join forces with a cadre of drummers. Okay, NOW we're a force for change.

    I march until my feet give out. I walk to the subway. I stop along the way to give directions to some very frightened male London tourists trying to cross Pennsylvania Avenue without crossing through a mass of angry feminists. And the Limeys think King's Road is tough.

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  • Mon, Apr. 26th, 2004 12:33 am (UTC)
    sjo

    Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you for coming to the march!

    I owe you a big ol' apology, or something. I was just too completely wiped out to do the March and get to the office tomorrow, and losing my job would help choice in no way. Of course, I wanted to call and tell you this, so my cell phone decided not to work. Gah!

    Anyway, from what I have read, you and the zillions of other people numbered more than the big march in 1992, and hopefully made an impact. You rock!

    Mon, Apr. 26th, 2004 12:39 am (UTC)
    basilwhite

    You have failed me for the last time, Admiral Stephanie.

    I'm just yanking your chain. I had fun. We confab soon, yes?