Saturday, April 22, 2006

People You meet pt. 3

Japanese Man protesting in LaFayette ParkSo the title of this post is the hyperlink to a group that specializes in Japanese people who have - according to them - been abducted by North Korea. The Group is called ReACH or Rescuing Abductees Center for Hope. They were having a concert in LaFayette Park near the White House Saturday, presumably to bring attention to their cause. But the sad thing is, very few people were there to hear them.

I originally set out to see if there would be any protests or demonstrations at the IMF or the World Bank. They are meeting here in DC, and a few years ago, there were people in the streets all weekend long. Lots of arrests, lots of cops in riot gear. I thought I could get some photos and maybe even a man-on-the-street interview or two. This year? Nothing. Barricades and buses and tow trucks and limos and lots of men in suits and nothing. A lot of cops standing around getting rained on. You could not get anywhere near the buildings, and even the delegates were having to go through all kinds of security to get in. So that was a bust.

Amica performing in LaFayette Park, April 22, 2006But on my way over there, I heard Asian music playing in LaFayette Park. I originally thought it might be more Falun Gong, like the lady who was arrested when China's President came to the White House earlier this week. So I walked over to investigate and saw this group. A man handed me a flyer to explain it all and I listened to a New-York based pop singer Amica perform her tune "Beyond Self." If you click the hyperlink you can hear it too.

But the thing is President Bush was not there to hear it. He was on his way to California to talk about fuel cells factories and alternatives to oil. So he didn't hear their concert. See the President knows that gasoline above $3.00 a gallon could very well be the straw that breaks his camel jockey's back. Republicans could lose Capitol Hill and then Dubya would have two years of what he has handed other people - frustration.

But these folks weren't concerned about fuel prices or electric cars or Willie Nelson and grain alcohol. They were trying to bring attention to missing family members. But nobody really paid that much attention to them. They had to huddle under the trees to keep away from the spitting rain.

But the sincerity of their cause was evident. At least they were willing to take it to the streets. The Borg had effectively closed down any protests anywhere else.

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