birthday parties for unjust wars

by twit

Five years ago I watched the war start on CNN. It had been frustrating then to see how limited the news coverage was of the protests that were taking place in DC and around the country at the time. On the ground, they were huge. On the news, not so much.

Five years ago we didn’t have the internets like we do now, but today, after visits to the main organizing sites and finding no blogs, no updates few updates, no recent press releases or video, I see a missed opportunity here. It looks like whatever fragmentation is happening with the organizers of the protests, it translated into fragmented coverage on the internets and in the news.

so what the hell happened?

Blockade the IRS“: Participants will meet at 7:30 a.m. at McPherson Square Park and march south-southeast to the IRS headquarters at 1111 Constitution Ave. between 10th and 12th streets, NW. They will gather outside the main entrance at 8:00 a.m.

March 18, 2008 – 9:44am
At least 33 people have been arrested in anti-war protests in D.C. Wednesday. The protests mark the fifth anniversary of the Iraq war. Police made the arrests at the Internal Revenue Service as demonstrators crossed barricades and blocked the front and side entrances to the building. The protesters were chanting “This is a Crime Scene” and “You’re arresting the wrong people.”

Disrupt the War Profiteers“: Student groups and activists will converge upon the streets throughout the day to rally outside offices of large corporations such as ExxonMobil, Shell, Halliburton, Lockheed Martin, Bechtel and the IMF/World Bank. Violent actions are not expected but participants may attempt to enter buildings and disrupt routine activities.

Funk the War“: Similar to Disrupt the War Profiteers, student groups will converge on the K Street corridor. Participants will meet at Franklin Square Park (14th and K Streets, NW) at noon and travel down K Street.

Separate Oil and State“: Participants will meet outside the American Petroleum Institute at 1220 L Street, NW at 13th Street. Starting time for this event is not yet available.

Veterans March for Peace“: The march will begin at 9 a.m. at 7th Street, NW on the National Mall between Madison and Jefferson streets. Marchers will pass a variety of locations.

March of the Dead“: Dozens of activists will roam the city dressed in black representing those killed in the Iraq war. Minimal disruptions are likely.

Hundreds of antiwar demostrators tried to stop workers from entering fedreal government buildings, sat down in busy streets to block traffic, and staged a “March of the Dead” parade from Arlington National Cemetery into the District to protest five years of fighting in Iraq.

The World Can’t Wait“: Anti-torture rally at 1:00 p.m. at Lafayette Square Park on H Street, NW at the White House.

March on DNC“: Participants will gather at 5:00 p.m. at the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall and march to the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee at 430 S. Capitol Street, SE.

In addition to the events listed above, other unannounced demonstrations are possible.

thx wonkette

finally, from the AP, a report on protests across the country, including San Francisco, clearly a city with class:

Black balloons were tied to trees along San Francisco’s main downtown thoroughfare, and protesters at a table offered coffee, oranges and “unhappy birthday cake” to passers-by.

It is depressing enough that the United States has been at war in Iraq for five years already. The Peace movement can’t get it together to coordinate video coverage of their own events, get them online and into various social media streams?

I’m not sayin’, but I’m just saying, there’s a cartoon documentary that folks might want to watch…

“Director Brett Morgen hasn’t made a fuzzy nostalgia trip for people who protested the Chicago Democratic National Convention in the summer of 1968—he’s made a rousing primer for people who might want to protest a convention (or two) in the summer of 2008.”


it is so sad that with today’s technology, that such a thing could be written:

those longing for – or fearing – a re-run of the Sixties should relax. The differences between 1968 and 2008 are as profound as the similarities. The current anti-war movement does not have anywhere like the political power or media visibility of its Vietnam era counterpart. Marches are smaller and less frequent and no groups, such as the yippies, or leading protesters, such as Hoffman, have emerged to national prominence.

John Froines has a familiar idea

For Froines, [the world] is a more troubled and complex place. ‘I worry very much about the nostalgia for the Sixties. This is a very different time and people should not wallow in that nostalgia,’ he said.

At the same time, police have learnt the lessons of Chicago. In 1968 the protesters were allowed to march right up to the barricades. Now they are often herded far away from the events they are demonstrating against or, as happened at the 2004 Republican convention in New York, arrested in large numbers before trouble breaks out.

but others apparently aren’t paying as much attention

Barbara Rivera wants to “stand for peace” on behalf of the U.S. Department of Peace and Nonviolence.

Duke Austin hopes to hold a five-day “this is what democracy looks like” rally with the Students for Peace and Justice.

Adam Jungk proposes to set up a Tent State University. Barbara Cohen applied for a “festival of democracy;” her husband, Mark Cohen, for a “celebration of democracy.”

… they are all associated with the same group: Re-create 68.

… R-68, as an umbrella group for a variety of protesters, wants to use Civic Center outside city hall as its main staging area for the week of the convention, Aug. 25-28.


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