The Big Bang Theory
Of Anti-War Protest
Sorry, Mr. President: They’re still at it.
Nearby was June Yasuda, 42, a Buddhist with a shared head and round wire glasses who sat on a bright blue square of blanket. In front of her was a small purple cloth underneath a tiny statue of Buddha. On the blanket a wristwatch was laid out neatly. Yasuda struck an Oriental drum that looked a bit like a hard round fan, chanting as she hit the circle with a stick. She is there every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., she said. "It is the tradition," she said. Where is she from?
"Everywhere," she said.
A jovial man named Tony, wearing a blue shirt and white shorts and barefoot in the springlike weather, shouted somewhat incomprehensibly through a cardboard megaphone. He paused later to offer a reporter foreign cigarette. Meanwhile, a man who identified himself as E.L. of Washington pounded a bass drum that belonged to Kodiak Easterwood of Louisa, Va., who was taking a break.
There was a stroller with a baby sleeping in it, under a sign that said "We Want Peace." Another sign rested on an IGA EcoSac grocery bag. There was a man in a multicolored knit cap hitting a copper-bottomed saucepan. Other demonstrators said there have been as many as 100 drummers banging at one time, a great sound, they said.
"One reason [to do it] is that it bugs the president," said 18 year-old Jonathan Stang, who had taken the day off from Woodrow Wilson High School to protest - with his government teacher's permission, he said. "I have to write a paper about what I learn," he said. "The drumming is also unifying; instead of listening to rhetoric, it's a rhythm, a harmony of life, sort of going with the trees and with what's really there."
"It's like the heartbeat of every troop in Saudi Arabia," said E.L. "When I first came down here I did it [drumming] for five days straight with no sleep. I had a lot of anger to get off my chest. Now it's a more peaceful sound."
Staff writer Ann Devroy contributed to this report.