Home

Home Page

Accounts

Syndication

Media Centers

Home
Richmond IndyMedia Live! Every Tuesday, 12:30 - 1PM on 97.3 WRIR LP-FM, and streaming online from wrir.org!

LOCAL Review :: Protest Activity

Reflections on the Millions More March

One Richmond resident's experience at the Millions More March in Washington DC:

Three buses were waiting for passengers at the K-Mart on Midlothian Turnpike in south Richmond. Parents, children, old and young folks were anxious to board.

Our group was among the first to arrive in DC. As the hours passed, more and more people began to arrive. The speakers were many in number, Tavis Smiley, Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton and others. Emotions were building in anticipation of the main speaker, Minister Louis Farrakhan. The message of the speakers was filled with new ideas as to what can we do for ourselves to make our communities better.
On the day of the Millions More March, three buses were waiting for passengers at the K-Mart on Midlothian Turnpike in south Richmond. Parents, children, old and young folks were anxious to board. My husband, Van Archer who is retired military, was well prepared for our daylong stay in the nation’s capital. We packed a lunch, had a tent, a table, and two folding chairs. We were excited and ready for a history making day. Arriving in Washington DC in the early morning around 4 am on October 15th, the temperature was in the low 50’s and there was a stiff wind. Our group was among the first to arrive, but already there were folks there selling stuff, cameras, bottled water, papers, and bean pies. Unlike demonstrations I had attended in the past, this was technology filled with huge video screens all along the grassy area between the Capital to the Washington Monument. There was music playing that could be heard along the way as well. Also, unlike demonstrations in the past, security was “post 911?, tight. Our usual campsite was off limits to the public. We made our way to the grassy area across the pond in front of the capital. It was there that we pitched our tent had a cup of coffee and waited for the program to start.

As the hours passed, more and more people began to arrive. The program started around 8 am with singing, jazz, gospel, and contemporary. We never encountered anyone we know personally, but new friendships were made. By noon, hundred of thousands of people had arrived. It was truly a sight to behold. “Love? was definitely in the air, love between brothers and sisters. A man and his wife from California stopped by our tent for a chat and took our picture. On the big screens, video was played of interviews taken in the crowd with people representing many states. Some men were there with their sons who had attended the Million Man March with their fathers ten years ago. One man from Arizona was there with his wife who was on her first visit to the east coast. The stories were many.

The speakers were many in number, Tavis Smiley, Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton and others. Emotions were building in anticipation of the main speaker, Minister Louis Farrakhan. None in attendance were disappointed, the Minister spoke with the same commitment and fervor as usual and plenty of “amen’s? and “that’s right? responses could be heard in the crowd. The message was the same with new ideas as to what can we do for ourselves to make our communities better.

Knowing that there would be pandemonium in the DC metro, my husband and I pulled our tent down and packed it up along with the table and chairs and left before the Minister finished his speech. I commented to my husband, “We can hear the entire speech on C-Span when we get home.? Occupants of bus #2 slowly trickled onboard, tired, children asleep in their parent arms, but all with a sense of renewed commitment to working in our communities to make our lives better. The bus pulled into the K-Mart parking lot at 10:30 pm and everyone was happy to be back in Richmond. As soon as Van and I were home, we tuned into C-Span and heard the rest of the Ministers speech.

Now I must tell you that I was hesitant about going in the beginning, but because I didn’t want my husband to go alone, I went and I am so happy that I did.

Francine Archer
 
 


This site made manifest by dadaIMC software

[Valid RSS]