Washington

'I'm Paying for My Own Suicide': Scenes From a Quieter Night of Protests in D.C.

A heavy but hands-off militarized police presence squared off with demonstrators in the nation's capital tonight.

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The fifth time's the charm for anti-police demonstrations in Washington, D.C. Tuesday's protests drew large crowds and a heavy, militarized police presence, but less of the violent crackdowns or vandalism that characterized the last several nights.

The 7 p.m. curfew issued by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser remained in effect for today, with exceptions granted only for essential workers, media, and people voting in the District's primary elections. That didn't stop a crowd of several thousand from gathering along H Street just north of the White House across from a newly fenced-off Lafayette Square well into the evening.

The same area was the site of some of the worst violence yesterday when police rushed a peaceful crowd—firing smoke grenades and possibly pepper balls or tear gas—so that President Donald Trump could make a short speech in front of the adjacent St. John's Episcopal Church. On Sunday night the church was briefly set on fire.

Today was much more relaxed. Demonstrators perched themselves on the St. Johns building, using a megaphone to shout directions at the crowd. Protesters kept up a steady stream of now typical chants. ("Black lives matter." "No justice, no peace." "I can't breathe.") Others circled through the crowd offering free bottles of water, granola bars, and hand sanitizer. There is a pandemic happening, after all.

Periodically, the crowd would take a knee, urging the riot police and National Guardmen positioned on the other side of a large chainlink fence between them and the White House to do the same. (They did not reciprocate.)

The tensest moments (and it's a stretch to even call them tense) came from protesters shaking the fence, an action that drew sharp rebukes from others in the crowd.
Some outspoken demonstrators shouted taunts of "oink, oink" or "get another job" at the police. Most didn't get that personal.

A few people sparked up joints (something that's legal in the District, though not in public and not after curfew). One man wearing a dinosaur suit complained that he had to pee. A middle-aged woman picked up litter dropped by more inconsiderate protesters.

Between the chants, there were snippets of real talk. One black woman observed you couldn't tell which were the good or bad officers just by looking at them. Another complained about her tax dollars going to fund the military and police, saying "I'm paying for my own suicide."

Approximately an hour past curfew a large number of demonstrators marched from the White House to the U.S. Capitol, nearly two miles away. Their path was flanked by a heavy presence of military vehicles and federal law enforcement officers, who had already made their presence felt throughout the downtown.

Crowds of agents wearing FBI- and DEA-emblazoned vests kept pace with protesters, as did a contingent of bicycle-riding officers from the city-controlled Metropolitan Police Department. All kept their distance.

At one point, a gaggle of FBI-jacketed officers walked beneath a giant stone rendition of the First Amendment on the side of the now-shuttered Newseum.

The march culminated at the Peace Monument outside Congress, where demonstrators held a moment of silence for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, and other black victims of police violence.

Another demonstration outside the Lincoln Memorial also went off without any incident, though the law enforcement presence there was notably massive.

The entire affair felt almost normal. It was certainly a far cry from the chaotic, dystopian-feeling clashes of the previous days. The mix of a large but lower-energy crowd and a more hands-off approach from law enforcement helped keep the peace.

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  1. Another complained about her tax dollars going to fund the military and police, saying “I’m paying for my own suicide.”

    It’s your suicide, I don’t want to have to pay for it.

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    3. Is there a way to force Hobby Lobby to pay for it?

    4. So she’s a libertarian now? Ohh, she’s going to keep voting for the major parties, because this time they’ve really learned their lesson. Cross their hearts.

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  2. So, what Trump proposed seems to be working?
    Just asking for all the TDS victims…

    1. Not in the New People’s History of the United States, by Howard Zinn’s Ghost.

    2. I don’t think anybody ever doubted the ability of the US military to quell domestic uprising. That is why we need to legalize recreational nukes. 2A only works if the playing field is level.

      1. Why fight when I can just emigrate with the Law of Return?

  3. “Another demonstration outside the Lincoln Memorial also went off without any incident, though the law enforcement presence there was notably massive.”

    I think you might have meant to use the word “because” instead of the word “though”.

    1. Hey let’s have the cops go home and put the word out to the Rolling Thunder Crowd that the monuments are being vandalized. There won’t be any “militarized cops” there anymore. But there will be 500,000 armed bikers. I wish Christian and his BLM buddies luck with that.

    2. Fox Butterfield, please call your office.

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  6. Will the reason staff please get rid of the fucking spammer con-artists? Every fucking time.

    1. If they would learn to code they could automate the process.

  7. “Lot of feds, MPD, but overall very peaceful”

    “but”?

    1. Libertarians apparently don’t seem too good at recognizing trends.

      1. Just one little flaw in your observation…

  8. So….the law enforcement authorities, buttressed by Federal officers, dominated the streets, and nothing happened. Imagine that.

  9. “The same area was the site of some of the worst violence yesterday when police rushed a peaceful crowd”

    Christian, do you read Reason?
    I ask because this lie has been exposed by multiple sources, including this rag.

    1. They pay her to write. Not sure the budget can cover much else.

  10. “…so that President Donald Trump could make a short speech in front of the adjacent St. John’s Episcopal Church.”

    So the police were protecting his 1st Amendment rights. Or do only the protesters have 1st Amendment rights?

    1. “Or do only the protesters have 1st Amendment rights?”

      Oh no, if it were a bunch of Tea party tax protestors without a permit, then it would be totes ok.

  11. exceptions granted only for essential workers, media, and people voting in the District’s primary elections. That didn’t stop a crowd of several thousand from gathering

    Obviously the protesters are essential workers.

  12. No peace, no justice.

  13. held a moment of silence for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, and other black victims of police violence.

    As someone pointed out the other day, this is the biggest reason why this will never be resolved peacefully. These people notably can name every (black) victim of police violence, but ask them to name a single person who was killed by someone in their own neighborhood, and you get crickets.

    There’s no more deadly demographic to black lives, than other black people. None. Even with all the gang violence between Hispanic and black gang members, black people kill more of their own race than any other demographic in this country. It’s not even close.

    But you’re not allowed to bring this up. These protesters are looking for scapegoats, not solutions. Because solutions might involve taking a look in the mirror, and that’s not what they want.

    1. The journolist talking points are out.

      Instead of this being about unaccountable government murdering civilians of all colors – which mostly involves Democrat urban strongholds – and thus threatens the wrong egg basket, this simply must be about race. Because in this situation that is what the political playbook demands.

      Heaven forfend the urban hoi polloi ever be given an actual alternative to the status quo.

      1. Black Lives Matter.

        https://twitter.com/i/status/1267860675642220546

        Sometimes.

        When it’s convenient.

        #AllTheSmartKidsKnow

    2. Pandering and suggesting self reflection for the people they pander to would be a very unwoke contradiction.

  14. Fun fact. See that picture that Christian has of the first amendment on the FBI building? They actually don’t have urinals in the FBI buildings. All the bathrooms just have holes where you piss on the back of that.

  15. “A heavy but hands-off militarized police presence”

    Eh, how were they militarized. All the items you listed were common policing items.

    I expect Reason to have a higher standard to the truth than your average media product. Not just use terms for their scare factor.

  16. A high probability that the woman is a Federal government employee and working, protesting or sitting idle the taxpayers are paying for her suicide.

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