Talk. There is a lot of talk. And you expect the worse because you’ve seen a worse. This one will be violent. Very violent. There could be much destruction, best to be home on Friday – when they’re here. (Here). I just finished an excellent book called “Among the Thugs” by Bill Buford. The book covers the football violence in England during the late 70s and into the late 80s. Buford spent years following these young, English men in search of the answer to Why? He writes about the dynamics of the crowd – how the crowd becomes an “It” how it becomes anything but “Us”. The book was amazing, and while I could go on for pages about how I felt about its contents and ideas, that’s not really what this is about. But it does have me thinking about today.
I have heard a number of sirens this morning. Pennsylvania avenue is shut down. My office overlooks a sidestreet parallel to Pennsylvania, a block away from the “action”. There are cops outside in riot gear, they’re in vans, on bikes, on motorcycles and on street corners. They have issued tickets to visitors drinking on the metro (ha ha ha! Do your research, kittens). We’re about 20 steps from the FBI building, and that’s a site to see. It’s dripping with a police force. They’re oozing out everywhere, like cleavage on a large breasted woman, they spill out onto the street and I can’t help but side-stare at them. I can’t help but wonder.
Oddly, I have yet to see any protestors. I have heard they are north, like a storm coming in, we’re told by media forecasters,
They’re right up there, they’re on their way, watch out for them. Don’t get in their way.” Impending doom, I have yet to see. Which pretty much sums up my entire year. Impending doom.
(Maybe they’re all shopping. Maybe they’re at the Gap. Maybe their Nike shoes are too wet from the rain and they’ve called it a day).
I’m a fearful cynic.
I was living here years ago when the IMF protesters were here. We were literally locked in our building for several hours as they sat below fighting with the police. It was silly. What had we done? We were lowly Graphic Designers who were trying to pay our high rents and bills and college tuition loans back. But I have been told that is their point—to shut it down for the day. The city. They did. It worked.
We’ll see what happens this time around. I can see it from my window and outside on the street I can hear all the noise. A bit later, if it’s safe to leave, I’ll snap some pictures of it all.