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.”
Following are the top politics and government stories each month on Borderstan in 2011. The top story each month was the one that was read by the most readers. The writer’s name is next to each story.
Top story for the year in terms of reader views? The run-away winner was Michelle Lancaster’s March Q&A with Patrick Mara.
- January: Toutorsky Mansion Owners Apply for Chancery Use (Tom Hay)
- February: February 16 Memorial Service for Jeff Coudriet (Matty Rhoades)
- March: Patrick Mara: The Republican Who Did (Can He Win Again?) (Michelle Lancaster)
- April: Meet Josh Lopez: What Makes Him Run? (Michelle Lancaster)
- May: Shaw to Ward 6? Committee Votes on Ward Map Next Week (Tom Hay)
- June: Guest Column: Redistricting Process Offers Chance to Reunite 14th & U in Ward 1 (Brianne Nadeau)
- July: Bikes and Sidewalks: Time to Update D.C.’s Laws? (Mary Burgan)
- August: Spencer Resigns ANC 1B02 Seat; 2 Seats Remain Vacant in 2F/Logan (Matty Rhoades)
- September: ANC 2B Unanimously Supports 17th and O Apartment Project (Tom Hay)
- October: 18th Street Beautification Causing Problems in Adams Morgan (Michelle Lancaster)
- November: DCCA to Protest Congolese Embassy Over 16th Street Renovations (Matty Rhoades)
- December: Postal Service “Committed” to New Location for 14th Street Branch (Matty Rhoades)