On the 21st of March, Donald Trump spoke at AIPAC along with all the other candidates except Bernie Sanders. A huge crowd jammed the area around the Verizon Center where at least Trump’s speech was held. Code Pink managed to get to a strategic position limiting access to the doors and blockade it with a sit-in. The only way past was to squeeze behind the cops until cops removed other barricades to create an alternate route for the Trump supporters and other facists at AIPAC. Some of the seated blockaders were kicked-pushed and thrown by cops, one was arrested.
Trump’s speech was at the Verizon Center, presumably due to crowds too big for the Convention Center. The ticket cost for attendees was an obscene $599. Dense crowds of Trump and AIPAC supporters clogged sidewalks and cops struggled to keep the streets open. The traffic situation was essentially that of a blizzard of facists falling on DC streets and sidewalks. Some of the AIPAC attendees, however, found the similarities between Trump and European dictators of the 1930’s a bit too close to home and boycotted Trump’s speech. Some even protested outside alongside other anti-Trump protesters.
Police tried to limit protesters to what amounted to a protest pit, but this effort actually backfired when the bicycle police line used to separate it became effectively part of the blockade by narrowing the choke point that protesters had reached. Since the area on the inside side of that line was not controlled by a checkpoint, protesters were easily able to fill in behind it, then set up the sit-in right at the narrowest part of the chokepoint. Just as their are checkpoints in Occupied Palestine, so did Trump and AIPAC supporters have to get past Code Pink’s checkpoint. When police realized they were being used as part of the blockade, they withdrew the line of bike cops to create more space, which in turn simply filled up with more protesters as police forfeited the position.
Protests dogged Trump all day in his visit to DC. Code Pink was at the Old Post Office building when he showed up to check progress on his conversion of this public property into a luxury hotel. After the AIPAC mess he went to CNN, again with other candidates for President. Again protesters showed up, seeking to block him into CNN’s building and keep him from leaving. After about two hours and a short effort to blockade a loaded luxury SUV, there was some debate about whether Trump was still inside or had slithered out by another exit.Protesters packed it in, vowing to return anytime Trump comes backto DC.
Code Pink’s strategically positioned blockade on the sidewalk leading to the doors of the Verizon Center.
Another view of Code Pink’s sit-in blockade
This fence and closed road compressed the crowd entering the building, creating a natural chokepoint in which Code Pink set their blockade
The view outward from the area held by Code Pink
The scene at CNN’s driveway as Donald Trump was either speaking on TV or preparing to speak