Jean Clark of Fairfax took her 89-year-old mother-in-law for a drive around Washington Saturday afternoon to show her the new downtown buildings, but the tour proved more than they bargained for.
Near McPherson Square, to their astonishment, they found themselves surrounded by demonstrators who climbed over their car during the violence that followed the anti-Ku Klux Klan rally.
"Two or three guys ran over the hood and one of them was brandishing a big stick," said Clark. "And everyone around the car was yelling and screaming and we didn't know what to do."
Clark's mother-in-law, Elizabeth Clark, "was amazing," Clark said. "She wasn't frightened at all but she said she was so angry she would have liked to shake her fist at the demonstrators . That's all we would have needed."
Jean Clark, one male relative and Clark's mother-in-law, who lived here for 50 years but now lives in Charleston, S.C., were heading north on 15th Street near McPherson Square at about 2:30 p.m. when several people stepped in front of the car and blocked their path, Clark said.
"We didn't know what was going on," she said."At first we heard a voice on the loudspeaker. There was a woman inciting the crowd to a fever pitch, absolutely orchestrating the whole thing."
Although the family experienced a tense moment, Clark said, they "remained cool" and were allowed to pass after "two or three minutes." The car was not damaged.
We got out of there just before the bricks came," she said.