This past weekend, as you may know, there were protest marches and vigils around the country marking the anniversary of the start of the Iraq War. A large protest in Washington, DC, was planned by ANSWER. Jane Fonda and Cindy Sheehan were to be there. They were expecting tens of thousands to protest the war. I don't know how many of you saw the reports, but the last time there was a huge protest march for the war, some protesters painted graffiti on the Capitol steps. Many people were outraged by this, especially because the Capitol police were told to stand down and no arrests were made.
This time the protesters were planning to stop by the Vietnam Memorial (The Wall) and wreak a little havoc there. In steps the Gathering of Eagles
. These men and women are mostly veterans, who were motivated to action by the thought of the Vietnam Memorial being defaced by the same sorts of peaceniks who demoralized them and spit on them thirty years ago. Their goal was to stand in a cordon and protect the wall. The put out the call to veterans across the country to make a stand do defend the legacy of their generation and to show support for the men and women fighting for their country now.
Many of the Veterans groups also happened to be motorcycle groups, not unlike the one that Popi belongs to. He wanted to be there, but our weekend plans intervened. I wanted to be there too, but could only be there in spirit.
According to the park police the estimate was that the gathering of Eagles was 30,000 strong. People came from Hawaii, California and all across the country. The peaceniks numbered about 20,000. Did you see this on the news? Of course not. Yes, I am one of those that believes the leftists control most of the popular media and that this narrative did not fit their anti-war agenda so it wasn't mentioned, or it was only misrepresented in passing.
It happened, and it happened peacefully. The park police were on top of things; actually way ahead of either the protesters or the counter-protesters. To get to the Vietnam Memorial you had to go through a security tent and step through a metal detector. This prevented any spray cans from getting through. They had each group separated by a no man's land that was patrolled by police. There were no major incidents reported.
Most everything I have learned about this event I've had to gather by following links from blog to blog. There are a few good round-ups. The link I gave above has some good stuff.This column
, notably from outside the U.S., captures the spirit of the event quite well.This blog account
of the event I particularly enjoyed for the narrative.Here
of lots of good links to blogger accounts of the event.