Today, thousands will protest the war in Iraq. And at least one of those protesting will virtually be a neighbor.

The seasoned protesters who organized tomorrow’s antiwar demonstration are well-versed in many other causes. They have marched and rallied against police brutality, racism, colonialism and the policies of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

But their message on the Mall tomorrow will be singular: “End the war in Iraq.”

A coalition of antiwar protesters will rally at the Ellipse at 11 a.m. Saturday, begin marching at 12:30 p.m. and hold a peace festival and concert on the grounds of the Washington Monument. The festival resumes Sunday. Groups also plan protests around the two-day meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, including a rally at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Dupont Circle. A number of streets will be affected for these events. Metro will operate on a normal weekend schedule.

Cindy Sheehan, who has staged a cross-country tour advocating the return of troops from Iraq, arrives in Washington with other antiwar activists.

Of course this story hits particularly close to home. I support this protester, but I certainly don’t support her message. I hope she finds clarity in her actions, but I fear her protests could be damaging to Iraq’s success.

I’m going to say upfront that this position is contradictory and I know and respect it, but I was in her position once and I certainly want to make sure she’s going to be safe in the nation’s capitol.

Because of that sharp focus, they will be joined by novice protesters such as Patrice Cuddy, 56. Interviewed by phone yesterday, the former public school teacher in Olathe, Kan., said she had to pull off her gardening gloves each time a neighbor interrupted her yardwork to ask about joining the bus she had chartered to go to the nation’s capital.

“It’s small and it’s quiet here in Johnson County, but more and more people are becoming part of the group that doesn’t agree with this war,” said Cuddy, who was planning to load about 45 people onto the bus in a Home Depot parking lot this morning for the 20-hour ride to Washington.

I know that Home Depot. I’ve passed by it many times. Here’s the Google Maps location of Home Depot.

In any event, I hope Patrice finds what she’s looking for. I didn’t when I joined the Dean campaign, but maybe her journey will be different.

Donklephant commenter tommy, digs up info on Patrice using Google and it looks like she’s not really a “novice” protestor after all.

This post is pretty much pointless now since the “novice” part drove me to write this.

Politics War Protesting Hits (Very) Close To Home