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Poster politics in Washington, DC

Poster politics in Washington, DC
All images © Dale Keiger

Letter No. 58: Includes street politics, cryptic commentary, and strange use of hearts

There are many ways to wage politics in Washington, DC. Most of it happens on the floor of the Senate, the floor of the House, in the West Wing, in Congressional chambers and staff meetings and lobbyists’ offices and cocktail parties. Sometimes it happens in the streets.

Politics on the District’s thoroughfares includes posters pasted to every available surface, most often utility poles and stanchions and electrical boxes. Sometimes the poster becomes a fading, peeling relic of a past demonstration.

I’ve never seen anyone pasting up these protests and exhortations. I wonder if it’s done in the dead of night by activists who dart out of cars on empty streets and make their statements with paper and spray glue.

Debate over the ghastly situation in Gaza is currently underway block by block, but it predates the attack by Hamas and Israel’s invasion.

Some announce regulatory battles, with music and banners.

Did someone try to peel this pro-choice poster from a stanchion? Visual record of a debate with no end in sight.

Was this one torched?

The posters are a direct form of communication that sometimes produces cryptic response.

One could roam Washington for a year or two and compile a record of our volatile political time. That might be a project worth doing.