Let's have a parade
Bush wasn't home
Antiwar Rallies Staged in Washington and Other Cities
By MICHAEL JANOFSKY
Published: September 25, 2005
WASHINGTON, Sept. 24 - Vast numbers of protesters from around the country poured onto the lawns behind the White House on Saturday to demonstrate their opposition to the war in Iraq, pointedly directing their anger at President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
A sea of anti-administration signs and banners flashed back at a long succession of speakers, who sharply rebuked the administration for continuing a war that has cost the lives of nearly 2,000 Americans and many more Iraqis. Many of the speakers also charged Mr. Bush with squandering resources that could have been used to aid people affected by the two hurricanes that slammed into the Gulf Coast.
Thousands of protesters gathered on the lawns south of the White House to demonstrate against the war in Iraq.
As protesters moved from the rally to a march around the White House, they packed city streets, and in some areas, came face to face with groups of pro-administration demonstrators, who held up signs expressing support for the war.
Organizers of the rally and march had a permit for 100,000 people, but the National Park Service no longer provides official estimates for large gatherings in Washington.
You know, it's time for the campus radicals to go home and take ANSWER with them.
I watched an hour or so of the rally and I wanted to smash my screen.
Why can't they have adults who can speak in words, not slogans.
Here's a hint, Palestine is really unpopular in the US, even among liberals. You do not gain support for the Palestinians by having some campus clown talk about the injustices of the Palestinian people. You know, why not have a real Palestinian from Palestine who doesn't speak in slogans. You know, but a human face on it. And leave the support of terrorists like FARC at home, after all, you can't call Israelis terrorists when you're praising drug dealing terrorists.
This is serious shit and I had to listen to someone say he was a communist. Now what in the fuck does that have to do with Iraq? Too many people on the left glom on to any protest and use it as their hobby horse. You know, the only people I wanted to express solidarity with were the families of the soldiers, the soldiers and the people of Iraq suffering from US occupation. It may be cute to have diversity, but it takes away from the seriousness. You have a rally where only soldiers and their families speak, with a few pols, and even Bush couldn't ignore that.
One of the most effective protests of the Vietnam War was the Winter Soldier Hearings in Detroit. They talked about the war and their role in it. That is something people need to see more than once a week on FX.
As long as you prattle on about anti-imperialism and other college campus radical causes, you don't get taken seriously. ANSWER in their own way is as bad as the Chickenhawks. Both are amazingly selfish. The chickenhawks refuse to serve, the ANSWER crowd uses people like Cindy Sheehan to promote their own agenda. Mumia's ass is in jail, and you couldn't more than 10 minutes on black radio about him. And that's a cause?
I just want to see a protest where there is only one topic, Iraq, the only speakers are talking about Iraq and all the signs are about Iraq. That anyone who mentions some nonsense like the "Popular Front" is shoved off the stage with a flying tackle. Talk about Iraq. But leave the other causes at home. I don't really care about what a Israeli refusenik has to say if the topic isn't Iraq.
Look at this list of speakers:
Jessica Lange, actor
* George Galloway, British Member of Parliament
* Ramsey Clark, former U.S. attorney general
* Cindy Sheehan*
* Dolores Huerta, Co-Founder, United Farm Workers of America
* Malik Rahim, New Orleans community activist who survived Hurricane Katrina
* Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney
* Ralph Nader
* Mahdi Bray, Exec. Dir., Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation
* Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, attorney/co-founder, Partnership for Civil Justice, National Lawyers Guild
* Elias Rashmawi, National Council of Arab Americans
* Brian Becker, National Coordinator, A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
* Lynne Stewart, human rights attorney
* Rev. Al Sharpton*
* Anita Dennis, mother of Iraq War veteran / resister
* Clayola Brown, President of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, Vice President of UNITE HERE*
* Ben Dupuy, Former Ambassador At Large for the government of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide
* Jos Williams, President, President of the Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO
* Michael Berg, father of Nicholas Berg
* Christine Araquel, Alliance for a Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines
* Andy Thayer, Equality Campaign
* Curtis Muhammed, Community Labor Union of New Orleans
* Margaret Prescod, Global Women's Strike
* Hadi Jawad, founder of Crawford Peace House
* Chris Silvera, Teamsters Black Caucus
* Musa Al-Hindi, Al-Awda National
* Michel Shehadeh, L.A-8 defendant, a Palestinian activist framed COINTELPRO-style
* Nancy Wolforth, Executive Vice President, AFL-CIO
* Manuel Santos, Socialist Front of Puerto Rico
* Brenda Stokely, Million Worker March, New York City Labor Against the War
* Peta Lindsay, Youth and Student A.N.S.W.E.R. Student, Howard University student
* Mounzer Sleiman, National Council of Arab Americans
* Macrina Cardenas, Mexicanos Sin Fronteras
* Jeanette Caceres, Spoken word artist from New York University
* Gloria La Riva, National Committee to Free the Five
* Riya Ortiz, Network in Solidarity with the People of the Philippines, Campaign for Justice Not War
* Larry Holmes, Troops Out Now Coalition
* Chuck Kaufman, Nicaragua Network
* Women's Anti-Imperialist League
* Representative of Bayan USA
* Eugene Puryear, Youth and Student A.N.S.W.E.R. Student, Howard University student" link
Let's face facts. ANSWER are parasites who use our good intentions to push their agenda. So instead of rejoycing about the massive turnout, a hint that Bush's war is extremely unpopular, we're debating the speaker list and their abuse of their audience.
The reason ANSWER does this shit is because no one stands up to them. They get the permits, but UFPJ draws the crowd. If Leslie Cagan said no to their antics, ANSWER would have like 3000 people.
There is nothing wrong at being angry at ANSWER, but remember, other people use them to make their points and swallow the polemics.
That needs to stop. If people are sick of ANSWER's antics, call them on it. Bitching about them isn't enough.
I mean some of the speakers were in fantasyland. The slogans were from the 1970's.
Nader, Galloway, even the ANSWER people don't bother me. But Mexicanos Sin Fronteras? Lynne Stewart? Uh, she was convicted of aiding a terrorist. She may be innocent in the end, but isn't she a distraction now?
A lot of people want to downplay their role, or ignore it, but the reality is, that every minute of CSPAN devoted to them and their message is going to dilute the anti-war message. A lot of people saw them, and thought that was the rally. Remember, news is about showing what will interest people and if some campus radicals upstage the show, guess what people talk about.
Because CSPAN will be the record of the event, not pictures or news reports, but CSPAN.
And what's even more special is that ANSWER people think that can convince people by bringing up Palestine as an issue and linking it to Iraq. Winning strategy, if you're Osama Bin Laden. For Americans, it doesn't work so well.
Let's just call it the spoiled child, tone deaf approach to politics.
The next protest should have two sets of speakers: veterans and their families.
Leave the Palestinian flag waving anti-imperialists at home.
Because this is about politics and one clear message works really well. The left parade doesn't. Even if the press ignores it. AIPAC didn't. Which kept the Congressmembers away. And they were right to point out that the groups there would bash Israel and forget about the senders of child suicide bombers from Hamas. It's an ugly two way street and raising the issue was stupid as all hell.
People can pretend that the CSPAN coverage didn't matter, but it did. It mattered to millions of liberals who saw that circus and said they would pass on the next protest. It mattered to people who financially support such protests. It mattered to polticians and their staffs. It matters. How you conduct yourself matters and what you represent matters.
Think about this: do you have a school prayer protest at an anti-abortion rally?
Fuck no. One message is clear, Fifteen are not.
posted by Steve @ 3:13:00 AM