Saturday, March 17, 2007

D.C. protest!

Yuck, turn on the TV and there's some girl screaming while somebody holds a sign about Palestine. Good start.

Somebody from the "Hip Hop Coalition." Didn't catch his name. Rev. Lennox Yearwood. He sounds just like Rochester.

Don't forget: sponsored by International ANSWER (Workers World Party)!

Three thousand plus died in this war for resources. 600,000 Iraqis. If we don't stop this war now, in the 21st century, we won't have a 22nd century.

Crowd: A bandanna-ed revolutionary! Yay! Hip Hop not War! Hip Hop not War! Power to the people!

Mahdi Bray, our co-host, introduces somebody in a hijab. Khalilah Sabra of the Muslim American Society. Free the people of Iraq and change the destiny of America!

Michael Letwin of New York City Labor Against the War: Bush admin, even tho overwhelmingly rejected at the polls, is escalating the war, arming Israel in its oppression. Has killed at least 650,000 Iraqis (up, up and away!).

At home the admin continues to attack civil liberties and everybody else. The democratic party can not be trusted to end it. This brilliant anti-war movement must be led by GIs!

Cynthia McKinney: Democrat majority in Congress chose war over us, and we say bring our troops home now. Minimum wage, "right of return" for Katrina survivors! Why is impeachment off the table? This country is bankrupt! For jobs! For healthcare! For education!

Crowd pic: Drummer!

Struggle is for nothing less than the soul of our country. I hereby declare my independence from every bomb dropped, every child maimed, every civilian killed . . .

Power to the people!

They're moving 'em fast. Big guy comes up and taps them on the shoulder. Wrap it up, asshat.

Michael Berg. The people of Iraq united against this country. Nick Berg died for the sins of George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld. One down (Rummy), one on the verge, and one to go. Impeach Bush.

Crowd: Bush's head on a stick. He's wearing a cowboy hat.

Crowd: MC leads crowd: Impeach Bush!

Jonathan Hutto of Appeal for Redress. Everybody's dying.

Crowd looks tiny. And cold. Another guy from Redress. Truth is, our protests will not end this war, only our resistance will end this war! Protest will never catalyze the masses sitting on the fence. Only our determined risk-taking, our bold resistance can make a difference. Let's put our bodies in the street!

Crowd: freezing.

Another soldier. Lemme see your powerfists! Down for your war, tell me what for!

Garett Reppenhagen, Iraq vets against the war. Support the troops means hold gov't accountable!

Crowd shot: another drummer.

Viet vet: Stop this war! The yellow ribbons are faded now. Your job: talk about this war. To your brother, your lawyer, your butcher your baker your candlestick maker! Stop ALL WAR!

Courage to Resist organizer. Soldiers coming back with PTSD. George Bush killed a vet who committed suicide or something. Walter Reed (several have mentioned Walter Reed, of course).

Muslim guy, Mounzer Sleiman of the Nat'l Council of Arab Americans: Bring troops home now. Incoherent.

Certainly no more than 10,000 in the crowd; probably much less. Oh boy, there's the trumpet player.

Eric LeCompte of School of the Americas Watch: Wish you could see what I see: tens of thousands of people!

Uh, no.

Sisters and brothers, the crowd is huge! (C-Span obligingly does a low level pan from which you can't tell a thing.)

Ramsey! Crowd peps up a little. Can't spend so much on arms without killing people with them. Iran couldn't hurt us if they had nuclear weapons. Bill of Rights shredded. Habeas Corpus means nothing! Torture! They believe in it! Impeachment! How many crimes do you have to have? How close are we to tearing the country apart? We're making enemies all over the world! Impeachment is the first step to make amends.

Co-host: Impeach Bush! Impeach Cheney!

Esam Omesh, president of the Muslim American Society. I greet you with the greeting of peace! More than 3,000 lives later, more than 650,000 (!) Iraqi lives later, we are looking at the catastrophe we predicted. End the war today! Lots of "brothers and sisters."

Man, nobody's speaking for more than a couple of minutes.

Malik Rahim, Common Ground Relief, Katrina organizer: Salaam aleikem. I challenge George Bush to tell the truth about New Orleans! He knew that 150,000 people had no means of escape!


Not yet. Mahdi Bray says let's yell for all who couldn't make it because of the weather.

Cindy's cold. Quit complaining.

Cindy Sheehan: Forty years ago there was a march on the Pentagon. Forty years later here we are again! When's it gonna stop? I'll probably be in my wheelchair! Let's stop this bullshit war now. It's for the corporations! Halliburton and (others)! Counterprotesters don't realize that America isn't the whole world. Five percent of the people, we use 40 percent of the resources! We have to start sharing! We have to say "we have enough, do you want some too!?" Being in the shadow of the war machine is like being in the shadow of the death star! We need to stop paying our taxes to fund this war (cheer!!!). Tell Congress, you don't work for Halliburton! We are the deciders! We have decided we want (Bush and Co.) in prison! On the fourth of July, we're going to meet in Philadelphia and declare our independence from this government! The people who want peace will not live under this government any more!

Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, partnership for civil justice: We're freezing! Nobody could come!

Crowd shot: guy wearing Red Army hat with big star next to hijab-ed women. Mara begging for money. Red buckets being passed, nobody contributing.

Here we go again. These people can't keep OT. Gloria La Riva, "Free the Cuban Five". Cuba doesn't knuckle under to U.S.! Reads letter from Leonard Weinglass. Cuban exiles are committing terrorist acts against Cuba. Tries to get a chant going: "Free the Cuban five!" Nobody bothers.

The "courageous" Giuliana Sgrena (I'll try to add links later). The occupation is getting the worse! (sic) The only way to survive is to leave Iraq!

Crowd shot: guy in a Statue of Liberty costume. We forced Italy out of Iraq, but U.S. planes in Italy still bomb Iraq and Afghanistan!

Rocky Anderson, mayor of Salt Lake City ("D," as the C-Span identifier says). You're all patriots! We are becoming like every other oppressive government! We are saying to an irresponsible and complacent Congress, Impeach these people! No more wars of aggression! No more torture! No more kidnapping! No more trampling on our Constitution!

The crowd finally gets it, shouting back, NO MORE! You are great American patriots!

In back it looks like people are leaving already.

Milida Arredondo of Gold Star Families. There is no such thing as an illegal! Bush and Co. look for immigrants to serve in this war! It's an economic draft! There's one way to become a citizen. If you are killed in Iraq, you will become a citizen! Posthumously! ICE raided Massachusetts factory and separated mothers from children! Those illegals were making body armor for the troops!

Her husband: Impeach! Impecio! (Impecio?) (I found "impugnar" for impeach, but not impecio.)

Debra Sweet, World Can't Wait chick. More chanting. Bush and Cheney are preparing new war against Iran! The Democrats suck! We have to stop this war! We have to drive out the Bush regime! We need more protests! We haven't seen the campuses shut down! We haven't seen thousands of troops refuse to carry out war crimes!

Crowd shot: Guy holding sign: "The rapture is not an exit strategy."

Chant: The world can't wait! Drive out the Bush regime!

Efia Nwangaza, NION lady: Power to the people! We demand that the Bush regime be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity! No war on Iran!

Brian Becker of ANSWER. (There are only a couple thousand people left.) We're telling all the people, from Palestine, to Iraq, to Venezuela, you are not our enemy! He begs the crowd to hang out. Only six more speakers! Don't leave! We're being broadcast live on C-Span! We're being broadcast live on Al-Jazeera! Please don't embarrass the movement! (Everybody's still leaving).
Mahdi Bray again. If loving freedom and justice is wrong, I don't want to be right!

C-Span's quit showing long shots of the crowd.

Leah Obias, Justice Not War in the Phillipines chick. Chant: U.S. imperialists! Number one terrorists!

Militant greetings, brothers and sisters! We denounce the U.S. occupation in Iraq, Palestine, the Phillipines, and everywhere! The blood of the Filipino people is on your hands (BushCo)!

Long shot: a few hundred people left. Total disaster for ANSWER. Why no coverage of the counterprotests, which apparently had several thousand people as well?

Ben Depuy, former "ambassador at large" of Haiti. Latin America is burning! People are freezing and this guy can hardly talk.

Crowd sign: "The worst tyrants ever: Napoleon, Hitler, and Bush." Depuy: We need the socialism of the 20th century (sic)! Down with capitalism! Thank you!

Chuck Kauffman from the Nicaraugua Network. No blood for Exxon. U.S. has 700 military bases in 130 countries. If Bushco weren't bogged down in Iraq, they'd probably be invading Venezuela. We need to become sugar in the gears of the war machine (sic)!

More cops than protesters now.

Somebody from the Mexico Solidarity Network. No U.S. intervention in the Middle East, no U.S. intervention in Latin America, no U.S. intervention in the world! She's so small she disappears behind the podium.

Larry Holmes of something or other. It's cold out, but you're all hot (yay)! There's a war at home called police brutality! There's a war at home and it's called political prisoners! How many of you have heard of Leonard Peltier? (yay!). Remember how the immigrants rallied last year and shut the country down? It's gonna happen again! The people, united, will never be defeated.

Oh boy, they're down to the high school students who stuck stickers up around town for the protest. Jihan Hafiz of Youth for Truth! The whole world is watching! (Uh, no.) End the military-industrial complex!

Some girl in the crowd is ranting that people are being maced somewhere else. I'm sure the Black Bloc left a long time ago to get rowdy.

Resist! Resist! Raise up your fist!

Girlie from the Party for Socialism and Liberation. This war isn't a mistake, it's a policy. That's capitalism!

Final speaker! Mara whatever who spoke before. National Lawyers Guild. She's very emotional. Crowd shot: C-Span keeps showing these two girls dressed in sequined hoodies. I think it's the Olsen Twins (had time to find that link!).

Mahdi Bray: Power to the People!

Crowd leaving. They don't look happy. Or empowered.

Update: Updated AP story says cops "privately" estimated the crowd at 10-20 thou. Check out the careful cropping on the pic.

Update II: Slapstick Politics has good coverage and pictures of the Denver protest. I didn't even know there was one.

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