Michael Pendleton started his journey six weeks ago just outside Tallahassee, Florida. He set out on foot to walk to Washington, D.C. determined to raise awareness about the Million Mask March. Tonight he sits just North of Richmond, Virginia.
Pendleton is now within 50 miles of his destination with more than 30 days before the November 5th event. Pendleton talked about his journey via email from the road. He said that most people have had the same reactions when they find out he’s walking to promote awareness of a protest.
"Your walking?!" With much surprise. Then closely following, "How are people treating you? Are you carrying protection? Where are you sleeping? How are you paying for it?" Pretty much the same questions in the same order every time.
Yes, walking. People are nice and kind. No, not carrying anything. TV is what makes you scared of each other. TV makes people not believe they're own eyes. They get up, go about the day, everyday, and probably are not robbed, assaulted, or killed. Day in and day out they are not harming anyone, and no one is harming them. But then they go home and turn on TV and it says, "death, death, death, be scared, be alert, death, death, death". It's all a lie to keep people programmed and divided. Turn the TV off and go talk to people. The world is full of kind and caring people.
Sleeping mostly in hotels but have camped too. Insurance money from totaling my car was paying for it but am now accepting donations cause my personal funds are almost gone. People have been supportive along the way too. Stopping and giving rides, food, shelter, and money.... 'Cause people are nice in the real world.
Pendleton’s Facebook page has documented his trip and all of the interactions with people that he has had along the way. The characters he has met as he has walked through the Southeast have been colorful and from almost every walk of life. Pendleton talks about the eclectic mix of people and settles on a person who offered him a ride as the most interesting.
A Vietnam vet picked me up. Served 2 and half tours. 22 years. Then 25 years as a deputy sheriff. Definitely the most interesting person, I’ve met.
He said that while most law enforcement had been nice or pretended like he did not exist, he did have one small incident while apparently trying to photograph a Guy Fawkes mask on a sign with the word “love” on it.
One cop in Richmond Virginia had an authority complex. I wanted to prop the mask inside the V on a sign and click a picture. He came out the door and started yelling about I couldn't touch but I figured I could get my picture and go, but the mask would not stay in place. When I got it, he jerked it out and started yelling about not listening to him and "respect my authority" type stuff. So I explained to him what a wonderful job he was doing today, and how he clearly did not understand love if love could not be touched. He said I could not even take a picture now so I asked if I could take a picture of him. Of course he said no so when I clicked this one I yelled that I had taken a picture his best side and his true nature. Some people laughed and one man grabbed me up and said "Come on, let's walk; tell me about this march". He didn't care; he was just moving me away from further trouble.
Augusta, Georgia was full of angry mean drivers who threw stuff at me, cussed me out, flipped me off, and made the entire walk across the city miserable.
Pendleton has been financing his trip with money left over from an insurance claim, but has received donations through a fund raising site that he will soon be dipping into. Pendleton went on to say that the walk was worth every dollar and blister. The enthusiasm he has for his cause easily infects those he comes in contact with.
For sure! An amazing adventure; meeting friendly people, and seeing beautiful places, and not so beautiful, too. To be fair, about half the walk has been rides now. Always offered. Two of which took me all the way across North Carolina. I did not have to walk that state.
Virginia is amazing! Walking through Richmond was exactly opposite of all I had been warned about. My route took me through historic, lush, green, neighborhoods, big parks, and past lots of people who wanted to talk and learn what I was doing. I have some memories I will never share with anyone. They are my treasure. Other than officer rent an attitude Richmond was an amazing day of interacting with lot's of people through beautiful places.
He will be arriving in Washington almost a month ahead of schedule, and has had offers from people within the activist community to take care of housing him until the protest.
Hopefully, people's offers of places to stay will remain open. If so, I will go wherever welcomed and meet more friendly people. I want to take my sign and go stand in front of places, and have pictures taken I can upload for Anonymous to use to promote the protest. I heard everything to see is free so I want to go to the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress, the Washington National Cathedral, and see all the other sights and museums.
The Million Mask March, an event began by the Anonymous collective, is scheduled for November 5th at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. and in over 250 cities worldwide. The protest is promising to be largest joint demonstration in human history.