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March 17, 2007, as the War on Iraq was beginning it's FIFTH year, protesters converged on the Pentagon

The following is a report from Wellfleet's Chuck Cole; a report from Dr. Brian O'Malley of Provincetown is below that.

We'd left Orleans at 7pm with 30 on board... we picked up another 5 enroute and drove through the edges of a New England Nor'easter... 6 inches of snow in Connecticut... with most of the tractor trailers waiting it out til morning... We had a crazy drive south...our bus driver was amazing... in outrageous Snow/ slush/ ice conditions...
Yay! for Henry...

Our Cape Cod... (and then some)... Bus ... disembarking!!!!@ 23rd and Constitution Ave.
Noticed a LOT of Black jacketted Veterans about as soleil and I made our way down the Washington Mall for a quick tour of the Buildings of the Capitol !!!!hmmmm a little of a "vibe" , too... we headed out for a quick tourist jaunt... with flags flying!!!!!

The Lincoln Memorial at a distance..those flags at the Washington monument were "roaring"... we weren't allowed to approach , Closely... with our Peace Flags flying!!!!!

Soleil and I had a sweet jaunt towards the Capitol..a bright and sunny morning..2 miles worth!!! before we turned around amongst the Older buildings of the Smithsonian Museum..and headed back toward the Lincoln Memorial... turned right in front due to a pedestrian Detour... saw Lincoln sitting in his marble chair and tried to make our way to OUR rally site... but we were now on the inside of a maze of snow fencing that now seemed to feel more like a fish weir funnelling us toward WHERE... we weren't sure!!! tho' those around us became more and more hostile to our Peace and Rainbow flags !!!!soon we realized that we were closing in on the end of the Vietnam Memorial visitors line... between THERE and 10,000 American Flags put up "special" for this counter demonstration!(didn't count em)... we made our way ...slowly... on toward Constitution Ave...

try this link... Sunday's Washington Post!!! it does a great job describing what we were up against!!!!... the paragraph about the taunts being aimed at peace folks... w/kids... would be US!!!!

at the mouth of the "eagles' " "fish weir" !!

we had been on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial... and wanted to get to the "other side"... we were behind... hmmmmm... what felt like 'enemy lines'!!!twas more than VERY uncomfortable... had to navigate a purposely created "gauntlet of snow fencing" that decreased in width to barely enough for the stroller and a GATHERED EAGLE on either side!!!!!... til we realized that we were at the end of the Vietnam Memorial outramp!!!!!between THAT and the encampment of Rolling Thunder/Gathered Eagles.imagine 10,000 American flags!!!!!... we "popped out the other side" and were on the sidewalk along Constitution Avenue... at the moment when Code Pinkers walked by..enroute to the rally site... right by... through the Gathering of Eagles... I realize now... probably quite calculatedly... on BOTH "sides"!!!

Even so... we felt to have arrived in a circle of friendly fish... Our school... so to speak...

as it turned out... that put us in the sights... front row center... middle of the torrent!!!! The following link makes THAT VERY clear!!!

If you go to the FREE REPUBLIC SITE (down toward the bottom of this!) check out end of the first page of comments... a LONG letter all the way at the end from a Michelle Malkin!!! ... and then go to the second page of COMMENTS #51-100... and scroll down to the Graphics after #96... I guess we don't have a wrap on the "power of the INTERNET"...whewie!!!! and YIKES!!!!!

Somewhat oblivious to the "prior build-up"... soleil and I were accepted as "honorary Code Pinkers" for the whole march across the bridge to the pentagon... Soleil was presented with a Code Pink pink tambourine... gloves to keep her fingers warm... and a pink and purple boa... NO... TWO of them... Medea Benjamin told her friends, cohorts and companions... when soleil showed that she was "some scared" that "this little girl needs some 'lovin' ... girls!!"Our Outer Cape Outrageous Code Pink types can be VERY proud of our littlest peace-nik... twasn't a FUN rally... though there were moments... a GREAT experience... all-round..she'll NEVER forget it... ask me when we next meet... or even better ... ask Soleil!!!! twas a GREAT Flag day...

a Code Pink Pow Wow with the Priests that gathered and walked to the rally from the National cathedral where 2800 had gathered on Friday night!!!!at the start of the march across the bridge... a line of "patriots*" is out of sight but quite loud when we were there!!!
* read: Angry Pro-war Veterans!!!!!

Fleetian Marchers ... before the March... by Sara Hutchings

Department of Peace by Sara Hutchings

check out this YouTube video ... It's like you were there with us...

and one more video that ends with a "Peace Guy" from Paine Hollow!!!!!!
The March itself was mostly CLASSIC antiwar folks... saying what feels IMPORTANT ...these days and on the eve of the Four Year anniversary of Shock and Awe...

from the Washington Post... at the Arlington Cemetery side of the Bridge... I understand that many of our Cape Cod contingent were in these first few rows... with John Bangert - Carlos A. etc...

Soleil and I were about halfway/two thirds the way back in this photo... left of Center... so to speak... surrounded by PINK!!The March took a Hard LEFT before we got to the assembled "Patriots"... to walk the rest of the way to the Pentagon Parking lot...

link to above video (if it doesn't work here) a little PEACE ... at the pentagon!!
[more video of the event (including speakers)]

The Rally on the pavement near the Pentagon was windswept and COLD... we heard Cindy Sheehan and cheered... and made our way back through the Daffodil field to the Bus... the Bus left DC around 7pm... we got back at 5 Sunday am... whew!!!!...

thanks for asking... love and light!ly... ch... and soleil

Towards a more Peaceful World... Stop the War on Iraq...

Our Wellfleet Vigil Last night 6-7pm... [3/19/2007] 15 kids and dogs and moms and dads and grandfolks... standing and drumming for peace on the 4th Anniversary of SHOCK AND AWE !!!

Dad and soleil!!... guess where?? 10 am... in the spirit with which we arrived in DC...

Smiles in DC

For MORE see Ted Goodnight - Afghan vet for Peace travelled from Cape Cod with his son)

They came dressed in MC leathers, studs, decorations, and boots.

Not quite a uniform, but it had the effect. A crowd of aging white (mostly) men angry and ready to fight. There, ostensibly, to defend the memorial wall, allegedly threatened by the marchers. And apparently, to defend their government in general. The "Safer since 9-11" signs would seem to suggest that they support this administration.

And yet...

The group which seems to have organized the counter-demonstrators, The Gathering Eagles!

They are angry that men were left behind in Vietnam - by the government that had, lying about the real reasons for the war, sent them there. And they are concerned about the treatment that returning veterans receive after they have served the needs of their government.

But they focused their hatred on us, instead. And it was hate. Ugly, nasty, swearing verbal assaults all along.

Our friends, Carlos and Melida Arredondo, marching with the traveling exhibition remembering their son Alexander, bore the brunt of some especially vicious outbursts. They bore them with dignity and composure.

The situation had every potential for explosion. We were yards apart, with no physical barriers, and only a very sparse police line, between us. Had there been a hothead reaction, on either side, that became physically violent, I suspect this could have easily spun out of control. And there weren't going to be enough cops to break it up. They were all across the river making sure we didn't threaten the Pentagon. (There wasn't much chance of that. We were permitted to rally in a vacant parking lot, separated from the Pentagon itself by a six-lane highway.)

Angry words this time. No injuries. We need to listen, and understand. We need to find ways to the understanding that we fight a common struggle. That we must together demand that we protect our troops best, by bringing them home, now, and providing them with the care they will need to try to recover, for the rest of their lives, from their physical and mental injuries.
My thanks to all who made this such an experience, especially John and Jennifer.
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