Sunday, October 31, 2010

Behind the Signs and Costumes

Photo Courtesy/Kim Mahoney
We arrived at the rally several hours before it was scheduled to start, but the streets were already packed. When we stepped from the metro we suddenly became a part of a stream of people rushing to the National Mall. The first person who caught our interest was Hassan Francis, resident of Bronx, New York, as he was holding a sign and gesturing violently in order to convey the impact and significance of his speech.
Francis was protesting against illegal immigration, believing that politicians were doing nothing to solve the problem, calling them “spineless and cowardly.”

“It’s about time that we stand up for our country before it’s too late,”  Francis said. After collecting a pamphlet, we continued on our way.

Photo courtesy/Kim Mahoney
As we walked to the National Mall, we met a variety of characters. Brian Craigie of Hoboken, New Jersey was adorned in pirate attire and held a sign which read “People who are different than me are scary. Keep fear alive.” Craigie said: “I’m here to have fun and maybe to tell people to take it easy.”

Photo courtesy/Kim Mahoney
 A man who wished to remain anonymous, but gave us permission to call him “V” also shared his motivation for attending the rallies. “I’m looking forward to some sanity for people to think for themselves,” he commented.

Although many people depicted grievances with government or society, there was an overall acknowledgement of desire for peace among all.

Nate Cotanch of Colorado greeted us with smiles and the promise of “Free Hugs” which radiated from his sign in bold letters.

Photo Courtesy/Kim Mahoney
“If you want a free hug, come get one,” Cotanch said.

We could all learn a lesson from this act of kindness.
- Molly Moser
- Kim Mahoney

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