On the 13th of April, US Park Police tried and failed to confine a protest against Obama’s assasination drones to Lafayette Park. In addition, they tried and failed to drive away Code Pink’s tripod mounted replica of a Reaper drone.
Protesters arrived to find Pennsylvania Ave taped off with yellow tape. Police entered the rally in Lafayette Park, demanding that the tripod mounted drone be removed from the area. Another videogreapher (not me) was threatened with arrest for recording Park Police as they browbeat and threatened protest organizers. He told them to put up or shut up, and they back off. Protest organizers did the same, and when I heard someone say to “call Mara” from the Partnership for Civil Justice, the police squad retreated. They had tried to order an organizer to leave the rally with them but were rebuffed.
Within minutes the yellow tape was down and the crowd surged forward on to Pennsylvania Ave and across to the White House sidewalk. Organizers had a permit for both places, but there was a report that police had received orders to “harass them any way you can” in an effort to drive people away and reduce turnout. The harassment was a complete failure, and the US Park Police had to eat their words, looking very upset afterwards.
Flags were attached to child-sized coffins representing those murdered by Obama’s drones in countries like Pakistan and Yemen, and marchers in the White House sidewalk picket took them up.
Shortly before 2PM, the whole protest marched three blocks from the White House to the DC office of General Atomics, maker of the Predator drone. There, the flag draped coffins were laid at the door of the corporation that has filled so many while stuffing their pockets. Speaking there, Rev Hagler went so far as to say that Barrack Obama is “George W Bush in blackface” for contining so many Bush era policies and wars,
Finally the entire group continued up Penn Ave, en route to an anti-drone conference at GW Univiersity.