Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rainbow Rally

It's no secret that babies know a thing or two about protesting. They protest when they're hungry, tired, wet, hot, cold.... So today I decided it was time to teach Louis that protests aren't just a one way street. To cap a fortnight of major firsts for him (the election, the yoga retreat), I took him on his first protest march. I also scored him his first ride in a cop car. Could a five-month-old boy's day get any better? 

The focus of DC's dissent was last week's shock vote banning gay marriage in California. Yes, California, that liberal blue bastion where voters voted for Obama and a ban on battery farming at the same time that they backed Proposition 8, outlawing previously legal same-sex marriages in the state. Sara, a fellow Mother Yogi and one of Louis' friend Alex's two Mommies, invited us to tag along on the rally. That's Alex's stroller you can see above with the 'My Moms are Gr8' placard. 

In true DC style, the march kicked off from the reflecting pool in front of the Capitol, destination the White House. Anti Prop 8 protesters made for a colourful bunch. The artwork on some of the signs was pretty nifty too. My favourite: "California 4 November: Chickens 1, Gays 0." From his vantage point of my shoulder, Louis took center stage, as ever. His beaming face was captured on camera phone after camera phone. I swear he thought the chanting hoards had gathered purely for his benefit.

But back to the cop car. So there we were, the wrong side of the Mall - thanks to the G20's attempt to save the financial world the protesters had to take the long route round - when the heavens opened. The rain was torrential. My pathetic umbrella barely covered us and that was before the wind whipped the rain sideways. Hardly baby friendly. Luckily the police trailing the march were, beckoning us into their patrol car to escape the weather. Louis couldn't believe his luck and I could hardly get him out when the rain eventually eased. 

If that was the highlight of our day, then the marchers' came when the clouds briefly parted to reveal not a silver lining but a gay pride rainbow. 

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