Friday, January 21, 2005
While the limousines and marching bands were parading down Pennsylvania Avenue, death filled the streets of Washington on a chilly presidential Inauguration Day. In a half-dozen protests, more than 10,000 activists demonstrated the human cost of the Bush administration’s policies in dramatic and visceral terms. The women’s anti-war group, Code Pink, staged a funeral march from Dupont Circle, complete with a New Orleans-style horn band and cardboard coffins paying homage to the death of civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights and other issues.
In a separate march from Malcom X Park, the D.C. Anti-War Network (DAWN) carried dozens of coffins draped in American flags and black fabric to represent the dead from both sides in the Iraq war. The two met in a spirited protest in McPherson Square, blocks from the White House, as some of its members staged a “die-in” in the middle of the street, and others infiltrated the parade route to carry signs directly to Bush’s motorcade.
“You have to take what is being hidden and bring it out into the light,” said Jodie Evans, co-founder of Code Pink. “The war is really about people dying — our troops and the Iraqi people. Bush wants to sweep that under the covers.”