A "Stop Violence Against Women" rally was held at 14th and U Streets, N.W. It was in support of Patricia Scales, 45, who had recently been set on fire by her boyfriend, Terrance James. Protestors held signs that read, "No Mo Violence 2007" and "Violence Against Women is a Crime Against Humanity."
A female community activist said, "We came out to talk about what are we going to do to stop violence against women in particular and violence in general. As you all know we have seen in the past few months women hit, burned by someone who was supposed to love them. We have to say this must end. We have to say this must stop."
"We must make the courts respect us. Respect women. We must say to people we know who perpetuate violence that we are not going to talk to you any more. We are not going to be your friend anymore. You are going to have to leave our community."
Mary and Joseph led a "Christmas Procession for Bethlehem," a candle-lit walk around the White House which began and ended at Lafayette Park. Unfortunately, the wind kept blowing the candles out. Some marchers carried signs that read, "Free Bethlehem," "Free Palestine" and "Peace to all." The event was sponsored by the Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace.
A group with the rallying cry of, "I Stand with Darfur," protested in front of the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, D.C. against the genocide in Darfur. The demonstrators shouted , "Save Darfur. Genocide No More," and "One, Two, Three, Four. No More Genocide in Darfur." Some people driving by blew their horns in support. One speaker said it had been three years since the UN had recognized the genocide in Darfur and "if the [world] governments will not act, we will act." He said that the government of Sudan was breaking the law and "this Embassy here is conducting business as usual and that’s not acceptable. They are breaking the law of genocide. [The world] said never again after the holocaust."
Sharing Jerusalem, an organization which supports “a two-state solution that would include a Jerusalem that is "shared" both politically between Israel and Palestine, was one of the sponsors of a rally at Dupont Circle. There were probably two to three hundred people. It was very windy and a fellow was trying to place posters along the walkway, but they kept blowing away. The hot pink and green signs read “U.S. End the Boycott Against Palestine,” “Qibya Oct 1053,” and “Qana 1996.” Another organization represented was savegaza.org.
Protest in front of the Chinese Embassy against “China’s violent action towards North Korean Refugees,” sponsored by the North Korea Freedom Coalition. Suzanne Scholte, Chairman of the Coalition was one of the speakers. Probably less than 100 people in attendance. One fellow could not speak English so spoke in what I assume was Korean. One fellow was there with his two children. The girl was probably around seven years old and the boy was slightly older. The father and son had on jackets and the girl had on a short sleeve cotton dress. The air was chilly (around mid 40s). She was obviously cold as she kept folding and rubbing her arms. I kept wondering why the father didn’t give her his jacket. I had on a cotton turtleneck and sweatshirt and sweater on top of that and thought of giving her my sweater. When I was getting ready to leave I went over and gave her my gloves. Her father turned around and asked her if she was cold and I said look how red her hands are. She was very happy with the gloves and put them on. I proceeded to walk away and after I had gone about a half of block, the son caught up with me, handed me the gloves and said, “My father said she does not need these.” The father may have been oblivious to how cold she was as he was listening intently to the speeches. Debra Liang-Fenton, Executive Director of the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, also spoke.
The Fannie Mae Foundation sponsored the 19th Annual Help the Homeless Walkathon on the National Mall. Thousands of people representing various organizations, church groups, etc. walked - some jogged. The crowds were enthusiastic, some doing impromptu dancing for the cameras. A fellow with a WTOP microphone was standing on a riser and announcing the names of the groups as they passed by. A number of people came up to him and requested that he call out their group’s name. He suggested that next year they bring signs so that he would know who they were. It was a great day - a little chilly - a perfect day. The course used to swing around the U. S. Capitol; this year it went around the Tidal Basin. (Stopped in Macy’s, formerly Hecht’s, to browse for a few minutes. Going down the the escalator from the third floor, I scanned the men’s department. It struck me how many stacks of sweaters and shirts and racks of pants I saw. The abundance was overwhelming and I thought, “This is just one store.”)