Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

January 21, 2009


Channel Four, Washington - While most people were enjoying themselves on the National Mall while watching Barack Obama make history, there were others stuck in the Third Street Tunnel making every attempt possible just to get to their seats for the inaugural ceremony. A lot of them never made it, thanks to a potential security snafu of massive proportions.

At least 1,000 people who had tickets to get into the inaugural event missed out. A lot of those had tickets in the purple or silver sections. Most of those people used mass transportation and arrived early -- i.e., did what they were supposed to do. But instead of seeing Obama's historic day, they spent most of their time walking or standing in the Third Street Tunnel. Why? That's where police told them to go.

Some 1500 people have joined a Facebook page, the Purple Tunnel of Doom, complete with scores of photos and over 500 comments


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is simply untrue.

January 22, 2009 6:54 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

This was absolutely true. I was there. It was one of the most disappointing and infuriating experiences of my life. The facebook group, which is only going to capture a fraction of the people that were shut out, is up to over 4000 members now. Based on the crowds I saw, I would say the number of people shut out was at least 10,000. Hello to all of you who were standing at 1st and D with me for those long cold hours--we know what really happened, and that's all that matters.

January 23, 2009 12:45 AM  

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