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It was a perfect winter day.  The sun was shining brightly in azure skies and although the thermometer said it was only 17 degrees at 7:00, your faithful reporter would not be deterred. My plans for making my sign were dashed, however, as the copy store didn't open as early as I thought but even that was no more a bother this good morning than a little mosquito bite. My destination was Michigan Avenue and Congress Parkway and fancy sign or not that's where I was headed.

This is what greeted me as I walked from Columbus Drive to Michigan Avenue

walking to staging area 005

Don't leave me now.... things are about to get more exciting.

This scene as I crossed the bridge at Congress Parkway always brings back memories, but today even more so it was in front of the Congress and Conrad Hilton Hotels that I went to one of my first political protests. It was at the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention.  Today was nothing like that, although I wish that it were.

where we were 006

The crowd started to gather at about 10 minutes til 11a. By that time I had made my sign and the speakers were ready to take the stage. Can you imagine a better backdrop than what we had?  Well, outside of mountains, lakes and streams, maybe.

crowd grows 023

I  loved these two young ladies and their signs rocked!

two good signs 038

the tribe gathers 009

save existence aurora 026

keystone never smooth 011

getting started 025

Enrique and Emma had great signs, I thought, and they were very sweet.

high price for poison enrique and 015

As I'm wandering around taking pix and enjoying the conviviality when who do I spy but Chicago Kossacks' very own Bobbosphere?  We had a good chat and tossed around a few ideas for an early April meet-up.  

bobbosphere 036

Yours truly, thanks to Enrique. Pretty pathetic as signs go but I like the statement.

me save the humans 014

The best "sign" of all in my book.

best sign 030

Before beginning the march to the Federal Plaza, everyone gathered for a big photo. This one wouldn't have been too bad but for the unfortunate appearance of a lovely lady just as I was shooting.  A better photo can be seen on the Chicago Youth Climate Coalition'sright here.

ready for big pic 032

I'm not sure what these are called but this was the only one I saw. Too bad there weren't more. They're cool.

puppet man on stilts 045

After we surrounded, then marched around the Federal Building, we gathered in the plaza, the scene of many Chicago demonstrations. The crowd had definitely thinned out by this time - about an hour-and-a-half after the start. It was a good thing, too, for I was barely able to walk to a restaurant where I could have a little coffee and rest my back.  Otherwise, I loved every minute of it.

at fed plaza 044

Hey, hey
Ho, ho
Keystone Pipeline
Has got to go

Hey, Obama
We don't want no
Climate drama

Clean water
Clean soil
We don't want
Your dirty oil

I hope lots of you were able to add your voices to the demand for an end to oil greed and a toxic future.

Update:  Don't forget to check in on the other diaries that have been posted on other events today.

Ojibwa's Montana reort

John Crapper's Seattle report

lowkell's Washington D.C. report

and, of course,

Bill McKibben's report from the Big One.

Originally posted to Chicago Kossacks on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 03:19 PM PST.

Also republished by Occupy Wall Street, Climate Change SOS, and DK GreenRoots.

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