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#ShutDownAIPAC! DC Rally 31 | by Stephen D. Melkisethian
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#ShutDownAIPAC! DC Rally 31

Washington DC, The Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the afternoon of March 1, 2015. Around one hundred social justice activists affiliated with Code Pink, Jewish Voice For Justice, AVAAZ, US Campaign To End The Israeli Occupation, Boycott From Within, Answer Coaltion and other peace and faith groups demonstrate in front of the Convention Center to protest the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) yearly DC meeting. AIPAC is regarded by many as the most powerful lobbying group in town. AIPAC has a policy agenda that's out of step with the values of most Jewish Americans and other participants in civilized society but they call the tune because our corrupt political culture is fueled by money, not decency. In an act of peaceful civil disobedience, five demonstrators, all women, were arrested for failing to obey police orders to remove themselves from the granite in front of one of the Convention Center's many doorways. They were given three warnings before being arrested. I photographed one of women as she was being lead away in plastic handcuffs. "I'm a Jewish mother!" she proclaimed. I gave her the 'thumbs up'. It was great to see Jews, Muslims, Christians and others joining together to promote peace. Maybe the people themselves will do what governments apparently no longer can? Am I just dreaming?

Most of the DC cops kept their cool but when some of the demonstrators got in their face a brief scuffle ensued. Some of us locked arms and and helped lift up one of the Code Pink ladies who was almost knocked down onto the steps by a DC officer who lost it.

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Taken on March 1, 2015