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Anger, Vegans and Diabetes at the White House Gate

In Lafayette Park, hundreds of anti-war protesters gathered to wait for the day's speeches, the early arriving crowd for a noon rally to be followed by a 1:30 p.m. march on the Capitol.

On a glorious Saturday, there was a festival atmosphere, with Marvin Gaye blaring on the loudspeakers, socialist worker party activists sellng books, street guys hawking $15-dollar T-shirts and a fleet of vegans handing out "Why Vegan" pamphlets.

At the fence facing the White House, a clot of protestors chatted with a uniformed secret service officer on motorcyle, "I'm just glad people give a [expletive]," the officer told the protestors. "We just hope there are no scary people. We don't like scary people, regardless of which side they're on."

The discussion somehow veered toward what the officer and two of the protesters had in common: Diabetes.

"I got the sugars," the officer said.

"Me, too," said a protester from Wisconsin.

About fifty feet away, Toby Mikle, of St. Paul, Minn. shouted lustily at D.C. police officers on bicycles.

"You're all war criminals," Mikle said. "You're standing between me and the chief war criminal. So you're war criminals, too."

Even after I explained the difference between secret service and D.C. police officers, Mikle insisted that anyone in uniform is complicit in the deaths of thousands of Iraqis.

I asked Mikle what impact today's demonstration might have, and he replied:

"Nothing, nobody came, I'm really disappointed. I guess poeople are too busy wth work. Everybody I know has two or three jobs."

Mikle, a freelance illustrator, said it was his first trip to a Washington demonstration.

By Aruna Jain |  September 15, 2007; 10:58 AM ET
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For the war in Iraq? Who? Halliburton stockholders? Bechtel employees? Blackwater execs? Nutcakes?

Posted by: rj2z | September 15, 2007 11:28 AM

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