Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Day After

On Wednesday, we were all exhausted.  We took most of the day to stay home and relax.  In the afternoon, we played tourist and went to visit the brand new Martin Luther King memorial and the FDR memorial.

The MLK memorial was a mixed experience.  You enter it through a split faux rock, which has symbolism, but is a little corny.  Inside, his words were written on a long, curved wall with a  waterfall on each side of the entrance.  The words were beautiful and moving.  In the center was a faux mountain, with the side that faces the tidal basin carved into a giant statue of King himself, but it is monumental art in the style of China during the curltural revolution.  King looks forbidding and authoritarian and severe.  His arms are crossed in a protective or angry way.  I suppose there is some of the essence of strength and some of the message of "I shall not be moved."  But compared to the sculptures of FDR in his monument, where his head is up, his face looks confident but open and his hands are relaxed and open, the statue of MLK is not moving or attractive.  It is a shame.  Margie said,"He looks like Mao!"  Still, it was lovely to see all the families walking along reading the quotes to their children.

 We rode a pedicab from the Martin Luther King, Jr memorial to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt memorial. The pedicab driver was a wonderful young woman named Shaady, an Iranian-American who was so excited when we told her about the Tar Sands Action that she recorded a video of us explaining it while she was pedaling her bicycle taxi with all four of us in it. 

After our bout of tourism, we dropped in on the training for today's protesters and stood up in front to tell them what we had experienced and observed and learned.  It is very moving to us to see how each group of protesters forms a community of love and energy.  Today we will go be support for them.

Then tomorrow we will go home.