I just got back from the Empire's capital and have some news to report: The Empire is truly making war on its own. And I believe that Revolution is coming. from www.dc.indymedia.org "Insurgents" Delay "Second Coming" of Bush The dreams of the faithful who came to honor the Christian crusaders were shattered today amid chants and tear-gas, when what was expected to be a grand victory march down Pennsylvania Avenue descended into an embarassing public spectacle for the president that temporarily brought his motorcade to a complete hault. With all eyes on Washington, DC, viewers across the nation and around the world were treated to parade images of waffing smoke and pepper spray, as police battled protesters right on the inaugural motorcade route. At one point, the fence barrackades on Pennsylvania Avenue about a mile ahead of the presidential parade were brought down by demonstrators during a prolonged clash that first slowed the president's motorcade, ultimately bringing it to a stand-still. Moments before the motorcade stopped, it was actually forced to speed up briefly in an attempt to spare the president a prolonged exposure to an expanse of protesters who dwarfed the numbers of Bush supporters on the parade route at the site of the ANSWER rally. Large signs designating the president a fascist and his actions war-crimes framed the presidential limousine, and on mainstream television the voices of commentators attempting to downplay the significance of the protests were drowned out by the loud and angry shouts of "Fuck Bush!" This was followed almost immediately by a request from police to slow down the advancing parade due to a continuing confrontation between security forces and demonstrators several blocks ahead on Pennsylvania Avenue. Police used tear-gas and pepper spray in their attempts to clear the street, and several media outlets including CBS captured images of the clash. Yet other television stations like CNN refused to air these pictures, focusing on the parade route while their commentators actually stated that they had no intention of "making too much" out of the displays of opposition. The day began with a Critical Mass bike ride through DC early in the morning. A few hours later, a massive rally at Malcolm X Park, sponsored by the DC Anti-War Network (DAWN), was followed by a march to McPherson Square -- a march estimated by police to be 10,000 or more strong. A second march from the rally ended in civil disobedience at Lafayette Park, at the end of the parade route and in front of the White House. Splinter marches broke off from the main DAWN march and moved into the city streets, and one of these groups met with extensive police violence including pepper-spray and battons, and there were several reports of some sort of projectiles being fired by police -- either rubber bullets or pepper-balls. DC Radio Co-Op reporter Darby Hickey, covering the protests from the field, was injured by the police actions. During Bush's speech prior to the parade, Code Pink dropped a banner reading "Bring the Troops Home", but were quickly removed, as were several individuals who shouted other remarks in opposition to Bush. After the speech, the victory parade began, soon to be followed by the embarassment at one end of the parade route and large-scale fighting at the other end. During the large battle between police and demonstrators at 14th and Pennsylvania that halted the motorcade, there were injuries on both sides, with police reporting one officer with a broken arm. A stand-off set in, riot police lined up in front of protesters while tear-gas drifted in the air. Sixteen journalists had been pepper sprayed by the time calm resumed. Several sets of protesters linked up to form a spontaneous and unpermitted march up Massachusettes Avenue towards Union Station. The march swelled and took up an entire lane of the avenue, and police moved in on motorcycles. The bikes were used to drive the marchers off the street, and several demonstrators were hit by police cycles in front of the Post Office on New York Avenue. While they were forced from the street itself, the marchers still made it to Union Station -- their destination, and the site of the so-called "Freedom Ball" for the Inaugural celebrations. The mood outside Union Station became festive as the diverse group played music and regrouped, but shortly the arrival of Republican attendees of the Ball led to confrontations that included a fight between a demonstrator and a Republican -- the demonstrator being promptly arrested by police, and the Republican allowed to enter the party. Minutes later, another partygoer assaulted a photographer outside Ball, in full view of police who did nothing about the incident. Late into the evening, yet another march started to form and make its way up Columbia Road through Adams Morgan. Protesters chanting, "Bring the War Home" were on their way to the Washington Hilton's Inaugural Ball, when at least 100 riot police lined up at 18th and Belmont while all roads and allies off Columbia were closed. The marchers were pinned in, and police were not allowing them to leave. The march turned onto the only road out, 18th street, and were totally cut-off by the police. Two buses appeared on 18th street, and four more on Columbia Road, as police moved in and started to arrest demonstrators while a helicopter overhead spotlighted the entire scene. DC Radio Co-Op reporter Darby Hickey was reporting live from the scene, and police approached and told her to "take a walk", a warning that was followed by physical assault when an officer shoved her. Protesters were still being arrested as the entire section of Columbia was totally shut down and 30 additional riot police marched into positions on the road. Shortly, the two buses were gone along with 100 to 150 protesters who were arrested. A bank window was left shattered, bricks had flown, and some of those arrested were pepper sprayed by police even after they were adequately restrained. Another 50 people were on their knees being arrested in an alley just off Columbia Road as reports continued to come in from reporters in the field well into the early morning hours. There is a clear sense that the oppressive tactics witnessed in DC, as well as during the RNC in New York and the trade protests in Miami, are increasingly the undeniable traits of an expanding police state. And yet, for all of the chest-thumping about the extensive security in place, protesters managed to carry their messages and their dissent right onto the parade route, through the streets all across the capitol of the Christian crusaders' empire, and make their voices heard around the world.