Live from D.C.: Throwing Their Last Shoe at the White House


photos by Josie Lenwell

After eight years of protesting the Administration, two anti-war groups gathered in Dupont Circle (the wish-it-were-Tompkins Square Park of downtown Washington D.C.) for one last hurrah on Monday afternoon, and threw worn shoes at the White House.

Code Pink and Veterans Against the War formed in 2002, and both groups become well-known nationally for their outspoken tactics. While America has slowly forgotten that we are at war (or had grown accustomed to it), these folks are as dogged as they were when Colin Powell first held up a vial of anthrax before the National Security Council: even now, the press can count on someone from Code Pink to interrupt General Petraeus when he gives an Iraq progress report.

After a bunch of soapbox speeches, a few dozen scruffy veterans, accompanied by Code Pink women wearing hot pink boas, grabbed a bunch of old shoes and marched on the Capitol. When they reached the White House, or at least a few blocks from it, they hurled their ragged shoes.

“We hope this is the last shoe,” said Josie Lenwell, a photographer who had flown from New Mexico to celebrate the inauguration. Did she feel that there was nothing left to protest now? Not at all. “Now we just have to help Barack Obama stick to his promises.”


This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 20, 2009


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