Saturday, January 27, 2007

Just after midnight, early Sunday morning...

you gotta believe me, I had incredible FUN today, but while fun, for me, is indeed a very nice byproduct of this effort we're all involved with, it is NOT what I'm after...

and as i drop off to bed, exhausted, after a day that was exhilarating as well as fun, i am feeling a deep sense of loss... only 200 people or so showed up this morning, and although I am happy and satisfied to accept that result for what it was (and I absolutely value each of the people who DID show up), i am acutely aware of the overwhelming and certain knowledge of the ENORMOUS opportunity that was missed today... after the 200 of us did an hour of phone tree work, trying to rally more numbers, and after finally conceding to ourselves that we weren't going to get those numbers, we abandoned the idea of trying to fill the 410-foot-by-100 foot image we'd outlined with ropes, and instead scrunched ourselves down into an image that was maybe 130-feet-by-70 feet... when the photos are posted at (soon, I hope), you can look at them and understand that had we been able to recreate in DC what we created in San Francisco, we would have had an image that was... well, probably incendiary... there were perhaps thirty factors that needed to work out for that incendiary image to have been created, and every single one of them worked out except for one... and that was the crowd...

the last three things I needed to happen today were 1) sufficient volunteer help to get the image down quickly, 2) to be ignored by the park police just long enough to get a photo of us all lying down, and 3) 940 bodies or so...

1) we managed to get enough volunteers to get the image down in pretty good time...

2) the park police NEVER came around... after the morning event we left the ropes in place, stretched out over their full 410-by-100 feet area, and four of us went out for lunch, regrouped, came back in the afternoon, sent the photographer up into the Washington Monument again, and again tried to rally a crowd... hell, the ropes were still in place, the parade was now ending, people were streaming past us by the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds, and still we couldn't corral a crowd... five and a half hours after we laid the ropes down, we picked them up again and called it a day... not once did we have any sort of visit from any branch of officialdom -- and the possibility of this, of the police arriving and shutting us down even as we were getting started... this possibility has haunted me for days... in fact, part of my strategy in this event was to wait until the last moment to send out email blasts, as, having no permit, I was afraid of alerting the authorities to the plan (seems nutty now)... if I had sent out my emails three days ago, or a week ago, instead of 24 hours ahead of time... well, i'd be typing a completely different story right now

3) 940 bodies -- this was the thing I was least concerned with, most confident about... I knew there would be tens of thousands of people on the Mall today, all of them desperately wanting to see our president sent back to his ranch, and the fact that i was only able to get the news out to a tiny fraction of them, or chose the wrong time for the event, or sent out my emails too late, or whatever factor or factors conspired to give us such a weak image compared with the image from San Francisco... well, I hope to find a way to take some wisdom from this day and carry it forward with me in this project... one thing I think I've learned, and it's probably a lesson every politician has learned the hard way once upon a time: DON"T EVER TAKE PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY YOUR CONSTITUENCY, FOR GRANTED!

When you do see the photos, and think about what might have been, you will undoubtedly understand my anguish...

And, as alway, thanks for your support and good wishes,


howdy brad! so sorry there weren't more of us. i saw the Kagro X post at dailykos saturday morning just before i left for the airport, so first thing i did when i got to dc was to head to the site. came back at 3pm, but didn't see anyone there.

if i'd taken the bus, i would have left late friday night and never would have seen the posting. probably that was the case for many people.

can't wait to see the picture - it was a great idea, wish there could have been more of us.

Though I understand the disappointment, it was a valiant effort on the part of yourself, your volunteers, and those that stayed around. When you're ready to do it again in the area, count me in!
Captain of the "E"
hi Brad, I was part of the exclamation point in DC! Thanks for organizing the event, even though it was tough getting people to stick around/join us. The pictures are awesome, regardless!

I flew from Tucson, Arizona to be in Washington and was glad to have the opportunity to meet so many people that are sick of the policies of this misAdministration.

I have a few suggestions but will send an email instead of taking up more comment space.

Paz - Man Eegee
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