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.
Be very, very careful
I want credit for lending you the book “Among The Thugs” dammit!!!
The reports are that the protesters destroyed windows at the CitiBank building and then threw newspaper stands into the streets (that’ll teach those newspaper stands a thing or two about who’s boss). Then they threw smoke bombs at the police. The police decided enough was enough and about 60 arrests were made, but things aren’t getting out of hand.
But, and I can’t stress this enough, tell me how ANY of this gets their point across. Pissing people off is not a way of gaining an audience, it’s a way of alienating.
I heard all that on the news this morning, too. The day had hardly begun, and already things were getting detroyed (did you hear about the tire fire, too?). Say what you will about Chief Ramsey, but I agree with his firm “if you break the law, be prepared to deal with the consequences” mantra. I have to give local police credit for maintaining a sense of stability every time this sort of thing takes place.
BTW, Rob: have you checked out Neal Pollack’s blog? It’s a riot. I nearly pee my pants in laughter every time I read it, and I think you’d get a big kick out of it.
I just came across his blog a couple of days ago and laughed out loud at work. Not a smart thing to do when you’re supposed to be programing. “Oh man, that if-then-else statement I just wrote cracked me up!” doesn’t really work as an excuse.
As for the tire fires, I heard that driving in and my thought was “guess they don’t care as much about the environment as they claim.”
It’s too bad I have an entire book to layout for delivery this afternoon, because there are many things I would like to discuss. Maybe over lunch. :)
I saw a bunch coming out of the McDonalds at metro center earlier.. Is that supposed to be Irony? I am glad that they moved all of the “party animals” in retrospect I can’t imagine what would happen if they decided to knock them over.. Sad really.
The news just hit netscape home. Crazy you guys are in the center of it all.
See, now that just pisses me off. Again, I would like to state, I am all for protest. Healthy, intelligent, well-informed (and backed-up) protest can really make a difference, however when you couple it with pure hypocrisy, I become totally pissed off and lose nearly all respect for said folks—I stop listening.
It’s so frustrating, watching this happen.
I heard on the drive in a report from Union Station about the “big” bike protest. They were supposed to have started a half hour earlier, but they only had 20 people show up at that point. The interviewer asked a girl about the fact that there were more police than protesters.
The girl’s response? “Well, we aren’t getting paid for doing this like they are.” This actually caused the reporter to laugh disdainfully.
Please let the door hit your asses on the way out of my city, you ‘parent’s-gold card-using spoiled batards’.
revolution on daddy’s credit card, yeah!