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General News    H4'ed 10/4/18

Women's March against Kavanaugh, Washington, DC 10/4/18

'Fight for Freedom'
(Image by Marta Steele)
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The crowds seemed endless. Thousands, mostly women, 99.9 percent white, a few with children, a few special-needs, several seniors. We marched to protest Senate approval of the most despicable candidate for the SCOTUS seat imaginable. That is, so far imaginable. If somehow the Senate votes him down, which seems unlikely, we may be confronted by an even more exact Trump-clone. The Obstructionist himself, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), plans a vote tomorrow to confirm this monstrosity. "Whose courts? Our courts!" was one of the chants. Others will appear below.

In front of the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse, which contains the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, Linda Sarsour, co-chair of the Women's March, presided over the brief roster of speakers. But the sound was poor. I could see Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), but not hear her. No one thought of using mike-check until instructions for marching unobtrusively were given at the end of this portion of the protest.

Photographing the protesters on this beautiful, cloudless early-autumn day, I waited for the line of marchers to end, to try to estimate how many were there--the WUSA cameraman I asked didn't try to estimate when I asked him, and the police will no longer confidently give out a figure you know to double to reach an accurate number.

I went to march even though I knew, as we all did, that Mitch (not to be mistaken for "The Mooch") had already planned a vote on this totally and ridiculously unqualified nominee.

Of course, in that most of us were female, the police couldn't have been sweeter or more mellow. Two helicopters flew over us at the beginning of the march, and people speculated that Trump was flying over us and laughing. They awaited his reactive Tweets later in the day. They expected sarcasm and ridicule.

The heart of the protest was, of course, the chants and posters, some of which follow below:

"Shame! Shame!"

'I March so My Children Don't Have to'
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"Say it loud! Say it clear! Kavanaugh's not welcome here!"

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"The People united will never be divided!"

The march begins
The march begins
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"We believe Christina Ford! We believe Anita Hill!"

One of the few
One of the few 'pussy hats' I saw today
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"November we will Remember this!"

'Kavanaugh Lies!'
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"Nonviolence is not passive!"

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"Tell me what democracy looks like! This is what democracy looks like!"

'Unfit to Serve!'
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The march ended at the SCOTUS building. I had to leave before then. One of my last interactions, though, was in answer to a woman who said, "God bless you!" when I walked by and then, when I asked who she was, identified herself as a suffragette (that is, technically, the British counterpart for the U.S. term "suffragist"), but who needed to quibble? I opted for God. It's one of those times to opt for God.

'Suffragettes' : 'God bless you!'
(Image by Marta Steele)
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Footnote: Most significant, though as far as I know unnoticed, was the scaffolding surrounding the Statue of Freedom atop the U.S. Capitol, interpreted by many as an emblem of feminism. I will quote the government website's description of the Statue, though. Now, take a deep breath: " . . . a classical female figure with long, flowing hair wearing a helmet with a crest composed of an eagle's head and feathers. She wears a classical dress secured with a brooch inscribed "U.S." Over it is draped a heavy, flowing, toga-like robe fringed with fur and decorative balls. Her right hand rests upon the hilt of a sheathed sword wrapped in a scarf; in her left hand she holds a laurel wreath of victory and the shield of the United States with 13 stripes.

The helmet is encircled by nine stars. Ten bronze points tipped with platinum are attached to her headdress, shoulders and shield for protection from lightning. She stands on a cast-iron pedestal topped with a globe encircled with the motto E Pluribus Unum (Out of many, one). The lower part of the pedestal is decorated with fasces (symbols of the authority of government) and wreaths. The pedestal is 18-1/2 feet high and almost doubles the total height."And so she wears a bellicose helmet, carries a sheathed sword and fasces decorate the lower part of the pedestal. Nuff said? Perhaps she should remain scaffolded. I don't mean to antagonize my readers.
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Marta Steele is an author/editor/blogger who has been writing for since 2006. She is also author of the 2012 book "Grassroots, Geeks, Pros, and Pols: The Election Integrity Movement's Nonstop Battle to Win Back the People's Vote, (more...)

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