A little more than a dozen activists chanted slogans, sang songs and waved flags as part of a political protest in front of the embassy of the Republic of Congo (1720 16th St. NW) in Dupont Circle earlier this afternoon.
The activists represented The National Congress for Democracy, an organization that aims to “free Congo-Brazzaville from the oppressive reign of [current president] Denis Sassou Nguesso.” The organization also opposes Sassou Nguesso’s attempt to seek a third term in office.
Some protestors waved signs and booklets full of images of gruesome scenes. One sign displayed a closeup of a dead man with a gaping hole in the front of his head. Another sign depicted a small row of dead bodies, an alleged act of genocide.
“We’re here to ask the U.S. administration and President Obama to help the Congolese people to topple that dictator, to force him to go. We need to put pressure [on him],” said activist Jean-Alain Packounas.
“In the Middle East, any time someone strong stands up, the U.S. reacts the next day,” said another protestor, Jacques Miango. “Sassou Nguesso has already killed more than two million Congolese, and our children today are starving.”
Some activists waved to cars and cheered as vehicles passed the embassy. A few drivers waved and honked back. The spectacle, which grew in intensity and volume the longer it continued, even seemed to distract one driver enough to rear-end the car in front of her.
“We are just trying to bring awareness,” Miango said. “As was done when we had Apartheid in South Africa. We are just trying to bring awareness.”