Demonstrating at the White House

Friday, 24 June 2011
While in Washington D.C., I mentioned to my friend Megan that I'd love to make a few protest signs and hold them up in front of the White House. While it wouldn't likely attract any government attention, it would make for some interesting pictures so she encouraged me to go for it. We found a CVS, bought a poster board, some markers and walked to the White House.

First we decided what we wanted it to say. Then Megan got to work (she is a sort of artist and can easily draw block letters). I colored in her handy work and also marked out a saying on the back of the poster.

As you can only imagine, security around the White House is pretty tight. When we walked across the street, I actually felt nervous and full of adrenaline. First of all, I am a television news reporter. I cannot embarrass myself, break any laws or make any kind of scene. Even though our "protest" was going to be passive and fueled by a sense of adventure and fun, sometimes people (read: government officials) cannot take a joke.

Luckily no one was too interested in our demonstration but a police officer did talk to us twice. First, he told us we could not lean the sign against the fence (we didn't know that). Then later he approached us to say if we wanted to video something we had to stand on the street between two poles (we didn't know that either).

A special thank you to Megan for helping me protest the problems we've had with our visa. Here's a video of my "chanting:"

P.S. A young woman came up to me and asked if she could hold my sign up and take a picture as well. Her heart also belongs to a Brit that she is trying to get into the country.

P.P.S. It was very cool to see the White House and think about some of the most powerful people in America possibly peering out the window...

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