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Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Personal Report from the #Pedogate March


This is me. 

Today I attended the first part of the #Pedogate / #Pizzagate march. 

Here is my poster.


I chose to focus on human trafficking (#humantrafficking), the broader problem. Others are focused on the underreported and unexplained phenomenon of missing African American girls in Washington, D.C. (#missingdcgirls)

The march organizers took a middle course, emphasizing community concerns that law enforcement is dragging its feet about investigating child sex trafficking by influential people connected to Washington, D.C. elites. (The term "elites" covers anyone with money, political power and influence.)

The social media icons used to advertise the march used the hashtags #pizzagate and #pedogate. This has been made fun of repeatedly in coverage by The Washington Post and others who repeatedly suggest that concerned citizens are victims of a conspiracy theory "which falsely linked Hillary Clinton to an alleged child-sex-trafficking ring operating out of a D.C. pizza parlor."




In fact, the term "pizza" refers to two things. 
  • Number one, leaked emails that have never been contested with respect to their validity. Those emails contained references to pizza that do not appear to have anything to do with pizza. 
  • Number two, graphic sexualized images of pizza and children that appeared on the public social media accounts of a pizza shop proprietor. (I leave it to the reader to Google these images.)
It is noteworthy that the Department of Homeland Security released a video for human trafficking month (January 2017) showing a minor being trafficked outside a pizza parlor. The symbolism was hard to ignore.

In any case, I was at the march as it began and documented some of the goings on. 

The most noteworthy thing, to me, was the focus on children rather than on a particular person or place accused of wrongdoing. It was clear that the event organizers (as you can see from the poster behind me) seek their safety. The poster contained three demands, as explained by event organizer Neil Wolfe:
  • Release the children being held captive
  • Surrender to law enforcement
  • Beg for mercy
Wolfe stated that he planned to organize a protest in front of the NYPD, which reportedly has incriminating evidence from Anthony Weiner, to demand that they release it.

We know that organized sex trafficking of children by people at all levels of power is real.


The second thing that stood out was the emphasis on prayer. I saw two people praying as they stood on the podium. This video shows researcher David Seaman, there to give a speech on the topic, praying for our Nation to have the strength to deal with this issue, to bring the perpetrators to justice, and to heal. (He, too, previously has shared his experience of being targeted for covering this issue on numerous occasions; here is just one example.) 

As far as the people who attended the event, I can only speak about a few. 
  • Speakers: I was there for the introductory remarks, mentioned above. During researcher David Seaman's speech he talked about someone who was filming him at the event, and everyone got distracted by the interchange.
  • Journalists: When I was there it seemed like there were as many cameras as protesters. There seemed to be people filming the event and asking questions in a genuine way.
  • Attendees: I spoke with a woman who was outraged that John Podesta had not been arrested. She said that this cause was very much a matter of "light against the darkness."
  • Passers-by: A woman from South Africa asked me what the protest was about.
I did not get the impression that people attending were "crazy." Rather, they seemed sincerely concerned about kids. If anything, observing conversations, it was clear that they were self-educated, and trying to get some official information. This is a sentiment I wholeheartedly share: Let's get the facts.

Getting an official investigation going, without citizen investigators having to do the work, was the entire purpose of the protest.

It is not acceptable to tell young Black girls to "stay home" to avoid getting kidnapped and trafficked.

I left at around 11:30.

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All opinions my own. Photo of myself, and video, by me.