Oct 30, 2005

YellowCakeWalk: Weekly White House Protest

people Photos by DC photographer Isis

(Washington, DC) The war in Iraq was controversial before US troops first set foot on Iraqi soil, and quite a few groups have formed in the past three years to provide outlets for people who disagree with the policies of the Bush administration.

One of the more unusual of these peace groups is known as YellowCakeWalk, who gather each Saturday from noon until dusk to protest the war. This loosely-organized collection of activists combines street theater, political humor, and serious issues into a form of protest unlike any other in recent memory.

I spoke with Nukular Noodle, the activist around whom the YellowCakeWalk movement has coalesced.

“We have been here since March 2005, and generally have at least a half-dozen people out here in front of this neo-con shrine,” he said in reference to the White House. “There is not a set format for the forms of protest that people develop; we have different small groups of people with all sorts of different forms of protest.”

Nukular, who is by training an engineer, said that the security forces in and around the White House have not been a problem for the protesters.

“The Park Police and the Secret Service have in general been very polite,” he said. “We have also tried to go out of our way to be cordial with them, because they could make our lives very difficult.”

The difference between YellowCakeWalk and other protesters is the emphasis on street-level protest, and weather permitting, they continue their Saturday theater until dusk.

“Some groups spend much more time on the Internet with their websites than on actual street activity,” said Nukular, whose name is an approximation of President Bush's pronounciation of the word 'nuclear.' “We have a website, but we devote most of our time trying to keep the White House as a place of protest.”.

Nukular, who said the an anti-war stance is only a part of YellowCakeWalk’s emphasis, said that the White House is a “low-hanging fruit” that is a natural mecca for protesters.

“There are tourists here from all over the world, and we have placards in 80 languages,” he said. “Most of us speak multiple languages, and we try to engage as many people as possible in conversation. The great part about this is that tourists take their photos back with them, and the message gets disseminated all over the planet.”

Part of the uniqueness of the protest are the wide variety of placards; passersby are encouraged to pick up a sign and take their own photos.

"In this way we encourage participation in the process," said Nukular. "Kids who have never seen a protest before learn that it's OK and normal to express dissent."

Images copyright 2005, Cool Isis

Visit the YellowCakeWalk site at YellowCakeWalk.net


Anonymous said...

the bloody hand is disturbing

liberal_dem said...

"Kids who have never seen a protest before learn that it's OK and normal to express dissent."

Do you mean to say that protesting is NOT anti-American?

Are you saying that protestors really are NOT pinko commies?

Well I'll be darned. There really IS hope for our nation.

Lisa Renee said...

Sigh...I'm going to make myself unpopular but I don't believe in children being used as part of a protest. If adults want to protest? More power to them but to use a child to promote a cause? Is wrong to me.

The fake bloody hand doesn't bother me. These do though:



Not to mention signs like this isn't exactly something I'd want my younger children to "learn it's okay and normal to express dissent" from. There are alot more at the site, these are not the only ones like this.


That's why I don't personally support this kind of protest. I don't think it's necessary to use that kind of language on posters that children are going to see especially in front of the Whitehouse, let alone use children. To me it demeans the whole message and frankly it's about time people stop and think about our children. If the idea is to make the world a better place by ending wars? Then lead by example. If they want to show children it's okay to dissent? Then do so in a manner that is appropriate for children to see.

End of rant....

IsisDC said...

Lib*Dem- Even if the protesters WERE pinko commies, that area in the closed off street in front of the White House is legal to protest. It is not legal, however to stand on the sidewalk to protest for a length of time.

When tourists come to town, it is amazing how many of our own fellow Americans don't know the rights we have to protest.

Some even threaten Yellow Cake Walkers with violence because they have never come across anyone who disagreed with their conservative views before, and they don't know what to do.

This past Saturday was very interesting, as there was another group there promoting their anti-war demonstration for this Weds : www.worldcantwait.org which I hope Mike and I will be covering.

Their crowd had a wonderful large banner and set up a sound system with a handful of vetrans against the war speaking their piece (or peace?).

The reaction from the tourists were more awe and amazement than I have ever seen before.

The Anti-war movement is growing bigger and is becoming a stronger force than they probably ever imgained as they got to see "The World Can't Wait" crowd, "Yellow Cake Walk", Worse Than Watergate" and other political protesting groups all over 1600 Penn in full force.

The country is a changin fer shur!

liberal_dem said...

Yes, the country is changing for sure, but the damage has already been inflicted and i wonder if it will ever fully recover and at what expense the recovery?

Bush and his neo-con cadre has pushed our nation so much in the direction of fascism that the wealth-shift, for sure, will never be reversed. The gaping hole between 'them' and 'us' will remain so for decades or forever.

This two-tier society reminds me of the colonial period of Mexico and Central America. The peons and the wealthy landowners.

So, I agree that Americans are beginning to arise from their Kool Aid induced slumber, but for the most part, it is way too late. Nothing short of a revolution will be able to remake our society into the true democracy that it once was.

Hooda Thunkit said...

I am in awe of any county that allows open protests, especially such graphic ones as this.