Skip to comments.DC Chapter Forms "Human Shield" to Protect White House Sunday, 1/19/03 -- After-Action Report
Posted on 01/20/2003 2:36:33 PM PST by Angelwood
Kristinn came up with the idea to stage a freep at the White House and stand as Human Shields to protect the White House against the anti-war demonstrators organized and backed by IAC/ANSWER (a front group for the World Workers Party communists).
We had intelligence that small groups would be marching from the Justice Department around the White House and that some of the protesters planned to demand the inspection of the White House for weapons of mass destruction. There were also reports that 50 or so protesters had volunteered to participate in civil disobedience and break the law in order to get arrested.
We planned a "stealth" freep, keeping details under wraps to prevent the anti-war groups from getting wind of our plans and disrupting us. It isn't easy to keep such plans secret.
At 10:00 a.m. most of us were on the way to the White House, bundled up in double and triple everything in order to keep warm. It was marginally warmer than on Saturday, but it was windier as well. In fact, the wind unfurled our flags and showed the stars and stripes off beautifully, but it also made holding foam board signs difficult.
We found parking by the Veterans Administration and walked a block to Lafayette Park. There were maintenance workers putting fencing into place and closing off the edge of the park bordering H Street as we walked into the park on our way to the front of the White House. Lafayette Park was practically deserted except for various police departments already in place for the scheduled anti-war protest march.
The permanent anti-nuke protesters were in their usual spots, along with the Code Pink ladies that have recently taken up a permanent protesting presence at the White House as well.
Stretched out along 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue were Park Police and DC Police vehicles of every description: Large truck vans for detainees (arrested individuals), horse trailers filled with the horses used by the Park Police for crowd control, vans, cars, unmarked cars, motorcycles and trucks. Both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue at 15th and 17th were blocked.
Doctor Raoul was first on the scene, followed closely by BufordP, LisaFab and her friend, Ed, Xthe17th, kristinn, tgslTakoma, Angelwood, Jimmy Valentines brother and Taxman. There were enough of us to hold up the signs that tgslTakoma hand painted in PINK, which spelled out our purpose to protect the White House from the protesters HUMAN SHIELDS. We were joined a little later by a man carrying a flag from the 82nd Airborne (please contact us so we can get the pictures to you), two young and enthusiastic College Republicans from American University and a Gulf War vet who wanted to stand with us.
We started out standing on the sidewalk in front of the White House, but the concrete barriers were in the way. So, we moved into the street. Somehow, police cars blocking the view were moved away and we soon had a wide area in which to stand with our signs spread out.
We immediately generated some discussion from people who had obviously been part of the anti-war rally and a couple of photographers stopped to take photos. A man stopped to ask if the woman accompanying him could have her picture taken in front of us. She declined to hold a sign, but said she wanted to stand up for what she believed in.
We chanted some of the catch phrases that we used on Saturday:
(We had some help from a coach on the sidelines for that one he gave us some good advice. He also stunned the Code Pink ladies by telling them what good is having the biggest nuclear arsenal in the world if you dont use it!)
A few high school football chants were even aimed at the Code Pink group, which was yelling several chants of their own. It was all in good fun.
Stretched out the way we were displaying our HUMAN SHIELDS signs and flags, there were many discussions going on at the same time. A couple of guys were at the left side of the line talking earnestly to our troops. As they left, one of the men turned back and asked, Did I convert anyone? There was plenty of laughter from our ranks.
Three girls with their faces masked stood behind us for awhile talking to Doctor Raoul. He has a funny story to tell about this encounter.
A college student from the University of Florida stopped by with a tape recorder asking if she could interview us to get a balanced view for a research paper she was doing on the anti-war protests and the counter-protests. She was here mainly to join in the anti-war rally, but wanted to include our viewpoint in her paper. Kristinn gave her an interview.
There were some people who stopped to talk. One of the guys spouted the half a million figure of how many people attended the anti-war protest on Saturday. He said, What are there...a dozen of you? Oh, I take that back. On second count, there are 11. What do you hope to accomplish? He didnt stay long to hear our answer. He wasnt really listening.
It was cold and we took breaks now and then jumped up and down, ran in place. A few of our members left the area and were allowed back inside because they were with the group with the flags.
Theres a funny picture that tgslTakoma took during one of our breaks. We rearranged our assigned letters to show our opinion of the IAC/ANSWER organizers SHILS! It was an accident, really. Good thing we didnt have a full deck of alphabet cards at our disposal. We could have been really creative! (We did have to remind JVb a couple of times that it was I before E.)
We also visited the Code Pink ladies to have some fun. We reshuffled some of our alphabet signs to spell DUH and stood in front of them. Kristinn spent some time talking with members of their group trying to convert them. What do you think his chances are?
We knew that the marchers were getting close when the mounted division of the Park Police saddled up their horses and started limbering them up in the park. All of the horses had warm-looking blankets on them, but some of the saddles were equipped with special blankets that covered the policemans legs for warmth. We also saw special leather covers on some of the motorcycles that protected the riders from the frigid temperatures.
As the marchers approached from opposite directions on H Street along the edge of Lafayette Park, we could see two different groups converging. We saw a great deal of activity with people running and the mounted police moved swiftly to the NE corner of the park. The motorcycle police quickly made their way to the same spot.
We could hear some shouts and radio reports and realized that people were jumping over the fencing separating the park from the street. We heard from nearby policemen that anyone jumping the fence would be arrested. Some of the paddy wagons were moved into place nearby for the individuals being arrested. We were too far away protecting the White House from terrorists to see much of what was happening and everything finally calmed down.
One of the groups had a portable stage positioned outside the Hay Adams Hotel at 16th and H Streets. We could hear many loud noises coming from the stage, occasionally see someone standing and waving their arms wildly about and hear some of the chanting. We valiantly tried to tell them to SWIM TO CUBA, but we were without our megaphones and they were on the far side of the park. Still, it felt good to tell them where to go.
We had been protecting the White House for more than three hours when the demonstrations began to break up. One of our members called and said he was nearby but the Park Police would not let him cross the line (or jump over the fence) to join us. We met up with him later.
We packed up our signs, made plans for a late lunch/early dinner and marched back through Lafayette Park with flags flying high. It was a good day. Mission accomplished.
The photos are really fantastic and tgslTakoma will be posting them very soon. Stand by and FReep On!
Thank you DC FReepers!
WAY TO GO, DC Chapter!!!Here is a link to FreeTheHostages' thread from yesterday, with the AP photo of kristinn:
DC Chapter Forms "Human Shield" to Protect White House Sunday
Associated Press photos | 1/18/03 | Associated Press
Posted on 01/19/2003 10:32 AM PST by FreeTheHostages
As those of you watching Foxnews national know, the "peace" protestors continue to protest here in Washington. They're on a march from the Justice Department to the White House, and one of the things they say they want to do is inspect President Bush's "presidential palace" for weapons.
Saddam uses humans as shields in times of war. But of course these "peace" protestors wouldn't harm innocent civilians. So some members of the DC Chapter of Free Republic are forming a "human shield."
Guns Before Butter.
I can't imagine standing out in that cold for 30 seconds, let alone 3 hrs! Thank you all for having the courage to do this for the rest of us!
I'll see all of you to a round of hot chocolate when I hit DC in a few days--LOL!
(click the thumbnail images below to see a LARGER picture)
|Pro-war demonstators hold up signs while standing infront of the White House Sunday, Jan. 19, 2003. Hundreds of demonstrators rallied Sunday against the possible war with Iraq and ``racist witch hunts'' by U.S. authorities following the Sept. 11 attacks. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
- Jan 19 3:39 PM ET
|Pro-war protester Raoul Deming, of Takmoma Park, Md., holds up a sign while standing infront of the White House Sunday, Jan. 19, 2003. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
- Jan 19 3:41 PM ET
"Pro-war demonstators" [sic]Hey Associated Press, how about calling them "anti-TERRORIST" demonstrators, next time?
What do we want?
What kind do we want?
US Park Police Sgt. checking out Raoul and Kristinn's signs, as the rest of us boldly proclaim our role at the White House this day. :-)
Teasing the Code Pink(o) girls.
Playing Scrabble to keep warm, we came up with a slightly misspelled description of the IAC A.N.S.W.E.R. protesters.
A shot of the police line manning the metal barriers along H Street. Beyond the line, mostly out of sight, are the communist-led protesters... protesting!
More links to photos later. I have to do some home stuff...
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