At the south park blocks, many hundreds more protestors were gathered, including the usual contingent of anarchists, identifiable by their black clothing, their masks and bandannas, and their average age of maybe 18.
Maybe I'm a prejudiced old crab, but I don't like or trust these guys. They don't seem as interested in trying to make a difference as they do in trying to make trouble. Essentially, it seems to me like they want their lives to be part of a grand drama, and for that they need dashing young heroes, (themselves) an unattainable goal, (anarchy) and a corps of snarling, scheming villains. (The Forces Of Repression, i.e. cops or anyone involved in government) The drama doesn't work if the Fs of R fail to try and destroy the noble heroes, so these guys are the ones you most often see provoking the police and trying to start a fight.
From the park blocks, we marched further downtown towards the Hilton, traffic being completely stopped by our sheer numbers. Most of the drivers seemed to accept the delays with a species of weary good cheer, and some with enthusiastic support.
The police, who had first been seen at the north park blocks, were around at this point, in the person of bicycle cops, generally easygoing and professional, not to mention quite friendly. We first encountered a blocking line of them when we reached the point where the presidential motorcade was to pass. The street became blocked off after half of the march had crossed it, which confused and agitated many of us, but did mean that Bush got to see both sides lined with people who were less than supportive of him and his administration.
As you can see, the police at this point were still the bike cops, in their shorts and yellow shirts, looking very little like The Man. The protestors mostly (not all) didn't mess with the cops, saving their ire for the limo as it passed us, and there was no incident of note that I saw.
There were some really good signs and symbols among the protestors. My own attire and signage garnered a number of favorable comments, but my two favorite pieces of work were these:
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