The Department of Homeland Security has distributed warnings to downtown firms about the planned antiwar demonstrations set for Wednesday, the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq. "If you have business cards, it may be helpful to have one on hand in case it is necessary to prove you work in this building," one downtown firm said in an alert to workers. Others have a simpler solution: Don't go to work. Most of the demonstrations are to take place near McPherson Square, just two blocks from the White House, but several are expected to clog other areas of Washington from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Homeland Security is telling office managers not to expect violence. Here's a partial list:
-- "Blockade the IRS": Participants will meet at 7:30 a.m. at McPherson Square Park and march south-southeast to IRS headquarters at 1111 Constitution Avenue between 10th and 12th streets NW.
-- "Disrupt the War Profiteers": Student groups and activists will converge upon the streets throughout the day to rally outside the offices of large corporations such as ExxonMobil, Shell, Halliburton, Lockheed Martin, and Bechtel, as well as the IMF/World Bank.
-- "Separate Oil and State": Participants will meet outside the American Petroleum Institute at 1220 L Street NW at 13th Street.
-- "Veterans March for Peace": The march will begin at 9 a.m. at 7th Street NW on the National Mall between Madison and Jefferson streets. Marchers will pass a variety of locations.
-- "Critical Mass": Cyclists will meet at 8:30 a.m. at Dupont Circle. They will travel through downtown, possibly riding south on Connecticut Avenue NW to the White House.
-- "Granny Peace Brigade Knit-in": A sit-in is planned for noon outside the Veterans Affairs office at 810 Vermont Avenue NW. Violence is not likely, and there should be minimal disruptions to routine activities.
-- "Funk the War": Similar to Disrupt the War Profiteers, student groups will converge on the K Street corridor. Participants will meet at Franklin Square Park (14th and K streets, NW) at noon and travel down K Street.
-- "March of the Dead": Dozens of activists will roam the city dressed in black representing those killed in the Iraq war.
-- "The World Can't Wait": Demonstrators will take part in an antitorture rally at 1 p.m. at Lafayette Square Park on H Street NW near the White House.
-- "March on DNC": Participants will gather at 5 p.m. at the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall and march to the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee at 430 S. Capitol Street SE.
By Paul Bedard