Over the weekend my time crossing the Mall got me into contact with two groups of protesters, the anti-Health Bill protesters and the Immigration Reform protesters. (I hear there were also anti-war protesters around, due to the 8th anniversary since the Iraq War started and with no end in sight despite having a Nobel Peace Prize winner in the White House, though frankly if the Grammy for Best New Artist was given to Obama I'm sure that wouldn't make him suddenly sing well either) The anti-Health Bill protesters (who I understand included a lot of Tea folks) were mostly older and mostly white; the Immigration folks were mostly Hispanic and (judging from their flags) Salvadorian. As I was planning to make El Salvador my retirement home, I half wanted to ask some of those protesters if they'd like to trade IDs. With my luck, the one I asked would likely be an undercover INS agent and it'd be prison for this guy.
Seems that D.C. has always been the go-to spot for protests, as you can't get a better backdrop than the Capitol Building and there's always some good spot to park the tour bus. Unfortunately, the Mall is right in the middle of the city, meaning cars will be backed up, and you wont' be able to cross the area without getting some pamphlets and hearing a lot of clever chants. I'd propose the D.C. folk get together to stage their own protest, arguing in favor of "keeping off the Mall lawn" and "stop blocking traffic" and my personal favorite, "if you can't figure out how the Metro turnstiles work then get out of the way so you don't back us all up". (Yes this makes me a hypocrite when I'm at foreign subways but hypocrisy doesn't make me wrong about my underlying statement!).