Large throngs of American military veterans and their loved ones young and old descended on the soggy National Mall today, throwing aside the numerous steel “Barack-cades” which had blocked off our country’s hallowed memorials, and piling them up amid cheers, and amid countless United States and yellow Tea Party/Gadsden flags waving and hoisted high.
Four straight days of almost non-stop rain didn’t thwart the thousands of protesters who coalesced their efforts from two distinct groups, the truck drivers who had planned to shut down the D.C. Beltway over the weekend, and members of the so-callled Million Veteran March scheduled for today.
Both groups’ protests are oriented around putting an oppressive, out-of-control, and failed federal government on notice that “We, The People” are really the ones in charge, and that we can and will, and are, intent on enjoying our God-given liberty, and our nation’s monuments, regardless of how spitefully and absurdly the Obama administration seeks to deny us access to what now are, and always should be, areas open to the public.
Tractor-trailer rigs rolled into downtown D.C., horns blaring, as police vehicles were arrayed to block their paths. Crowds of veterans and citizens formed nearby, with loud shouts for the police to move their vehicles out of the way. Large groups of protesters headed for the White House, carrying numerous black steel barricade gates (or “Barry-cades”–the same ones which had just minutes before sealed off the war memorials) and dumping them unceremoniously outside the White House fence.
Police squads in riot gear formed up outside the White House grounds and throughout the downtown area, however as of mid-afternoon, no arrests are being reported by available sources.
General outrage has developed across the land, over the perception that the federal government has been deploying far more personnel, and other expensive resources, just to close off certain national parks and memorials than it otherwise would to simply allow them to be open for access during this time of partisan deadlock over the fiscal situation and partial federal shutdown. Memorials such as the Vietnam War memorial and the World War II memorial are especially noted for being basically open-air displays, essentially requiring no significant operational management on the part of government other than what is in place anyhow during this “shut-down” period.
Further aggravating many citizens’ sense of betrayal by their government is the fact that a number of democrat members of congress turned out on the mall earlier this week to host a massive rally of illegal aliens right there on the otherwise allegedly closed Mall, with vast expense to the taxpaying citizens adding insult to injury when it was disclosed how many extra police were deployed to basically protect and host the rally–all while actual American citizens were forbidden from accessing the Mall!
Today, republican senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin were on hand at the Mall to join with the veterans and others who turned out for the protest. Reports of the event are still streaming in as it winds down, and video of confrontations between police and protesters are being posted. Updates to follow!
About the author: Donald Joy
Following his service in the United State Air Force, Donald Joy earned a bachelor of science in business administration from SUNY while serving in the army national guard. As a special deputy U.S. marshal, Don was on the protection detail for Attorney General John Ashcroft following the attacks of 9/11. He lives in the D.C. suburbs of Northern Virginia with his wife and son.