A very busy day in the nation’s capital yesterday (From the Washington Post):
Demonstrations drew thousands of people from around the country to the White House and the streets of downtown Washington on Saturday afternoon in peaceful protests.
In one, participants called for an end to the continued violence between Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. At the same time, advocates converged in the District to urge President Obama to take administrative action on issues involving undocumented immigrants. Both groups ended up at the White House in the afternoon, seeking a stage to voice their concerns.
The larger group, supporting the Palestinians, arrived by bus from big cities and many others drove hundreds of miles to participate, organizers said
“Free, free Palestine, killing children is a crime,” the crowd chanted. Several people held Palestinian flags, cardboard boxes representing coffins or posters with graphic images of the wounded. …
… At the same time, hundreds gathered — first at the Mall, and then at Freedom Plaza and at the White House — to push for immigration-policy reform..
I don’t usually go around the White House on Saturday, but I was biking to Northwest Washington to see a friend headed off to China, and just saw mobs of people everywhere and a huge police presence around 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. For some reason, there were also a lot of people lined up to go on the White House grounds, and I didn’t think they had tours on the weekend.
And I will say that although this story gives the impression that both demonstrations drew equal attention. the reality is that the immigration gathering was nothing compared to the Gaza demonstration. I biked by Freedom Plaza and saw a very small group of people for the immigration rally. And to be honest, I’ve seen more people at the regular Sunday night tango sessions in Freedom Plaza than at the immigration rally.
For those of you who never pay attention to international news, you are aware, in the abstract, that people are getting killed as Israel and Gaza exchange rocket and missile fire. There are pretend cease-fires, but the minute one is announced, it’s broken. This is the death toll so far (click to enlarge):