The irony here is delicious that some of those protesting the "War for Oil" got snarled up in a Northeast Corridor power failure on Amtrak.
An electrical failure in New Jersey disrupted train service between New York and Washington for five hours yesterday morning, leading to confusion, delays and an impromptu protest outside Pennsylvania Station by antiwar activists who gave up on plans to join a larger rally in the nation's capital.
Service was shut down just before 5 a.m. Vernae Graham, a spokeswoman for Amtrak, said the electrical failure occurred in Rahway when a crane accidentally dropped a beam on the wires that provided power to the trains, severing the connection.
I feel almost as sorry for this Mahattanite as I do for Martha Stewart:
Julie Finch, a pastry cook and actress from Manhattan, was on the 6 a.m. train for two and a half hours before she joined three other activists in trying to rent a car. She said that she was scheduled to help lead a silent peace vigil at 11 a.m. in Washington, and was heartbroken to discover that she would not arrive in time.
"I don't want to burst into tears," she said after walking out of Penn Station. "I have a hand-quilted peace banner that I was sewing last night, and I was up far too late."
A hand-quilted peace banner. How precious. Look on the bright side: some poor slob with a half-assed magic-marker-and-cardboard job didn't have to feel inferior in your presence. A good thing, wouldn't you say? NOW STOP YOUR CRYING!!!!!!
Of course, in the iron-clad logic of the protesters, the war itself was responsible for the train snafu:
They walked in a circle, denouncing the war, but some seemed to have amended their grievances to include train travel. A group of young women known as the radical cheerleaders, dressed in pleated short skirts, with pompoms made of plastic trash bags, shouted: "Let's get on the right track. Get the troops out of Iraq." Another chant went "Money for trains, not war."
Amtrak struggled this spring and summer with delays, pulling its high-speed Acela trains off the track in April after brake problems surfaced. Ms. Levine, responding to yesterday's unexpected trouble like a politician pretending to have seen it coming, said that the connection between the war and less reliable train service was obvious. "We want money for trains, for schools, for hospitals and other human needs and not for war," she said, adding that she planned to seek a refund from Amtrak for the chartered train car.
I love these people, not only are they stuck on stupid, but now they're stuck on Amtrak, too.