May 22, 2017
Art, politics, angels, demons . . . and righteous dogs.

Occupying the District

On November 6th, on the way to the protest to surround the White House against the proposed XL pipeline horror, I was delighted to find Washington’s own Occupy encampment.

Occupy D.C. - McPherson Square
Not far from the White House is McPherson Square, with a statue of Major General James B. McPherson, astride his horse, looking down upon orderly rows of tents, filling out the edges of a very large park along 15th St NW. To my eye, it was even larger than the Zuccotti encampment, and on that day at least, the picture of comity, cooperation and peaceful protest.

Occupy D.C. - McPherson Square

Many features of the park were lifted from the Occupy Wall Street tradition, including the library.

Occupy D.C. - McPherson Square

A beautiful ’60’s-’70’s touch to me was the inclusion of the frisbee-catching dog.

Occupy D.C. - McPherson Square

This Margaret Mead quote was everywhere. She’d be proud.

Occupy D.C. - McPherson Square

On that morning, it seemed that I was up before a lot of the protesters.

Occupy D.C. - McPherson Square

…and the ever-present pizza.

Occupy D.C. - McPherson Square

Sign production is vigorous, and they are easily seen, spread out on the lawn.

Occupy D.C. - McPherson Square

It was fueled by the young, but every age group was represented.

Occupy D.C. - McPherson Square

The Chess Tent

Occupy D.C. - McPherson Square

Someone’s tribute to Scott Olsen, the Marine protester wounded in Oakland.

 

XL Pipeline Protest

Finally, at Lafayette Park, the anti-XL Keystone Rally was beginning, pretty much as it ended with the holding of hands. The goal was to mass enough protesters to completely encircle the White House and communicate to Obama that it was up to him to stop this toxic pipeline proposal.

XL Pipeline Protest

All participants got to wear this cool orange vest!

XL Pipeline Protest
Another monument in Washington gives its blessing to the movement, this time Andy Jackson.
XL Pipeline Protest
There was a great spirit among everyone. A sense of political renewal and mutual generosity — and fun.
XL Pipeline Protest
Before we move out, the Occupy Earth sign is spread right in front of the White House.
 A peek behind the sign.
XL Pipeline Protest
 We start to move out. My section is sent to the furthest point, to the South side of the White House to meet the group coming around the other side.
XL Pipeline Protest
Not everyone’s young, but many are, and high spirited!
XL Pipeline Protest
 Along the way we meet the big pipeline balloon!
XL Pipeline Protest
The feeling of the day was bordering on the euphoric.
XL Pipeline Protest
The optimism of the day seemed crystallized in the face of a blond girl with a ukulele.
Both sides finally meet at the rear of the White House, and hold hands. The circle is complete.
It turns out, the line around the White House goes about 5 deep.
Then crazy, spontaneous singing breaks out.
XL Pipeline Protest

 

Within 48 hours, Obama deferred the decision, effectively killing the Pipeline (for now). Woo hoo!