Laugh or cry? A group of protesters — not all from Occupy DC — tried to push past security to enter the Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. They wanted to protest the use of unmanned drones in overseas war.
Here’s the part to laugh at — one of the protesters was an infiltrator from the Right, the wingnut editor of the far-Right American Spectator. This loser claims he was the only one to make it into the museum, in fact. He simultaneously derides the danger and lawlessness of the group while calling them cowardly for stopping short of violence.
The loser also was much taken with the number of attractive 20-year-old girls among the protesters. Charles Johnson:
Just imagine the reaction from the right wing if a left wing protester infiltrated a Tea Party demonstration as an agent provocateur.
Of course, there are no â€œattractive 20-year old girlsâ€ at Tea Party demonstrations, so there isnâ€™t the same motivation.
Heh. However …
This is exactly the kind of crap that prevents the Left from building any kind of effective movement to accomplish anything. Since several of you don’t seem to understand what I’m complaining about, let’s go back to September 2005.
There were huge antiwar rallies September 24 in Washington and other cities. I went to the Washington DC march around the White House. It was one of the better ones, really big, with people of all ages and ethnicities joining in.
As usual, Code Pink tried to steal the show by holding a separate rally and march a few blocks away. I remember reading that some of them were arrested. In any event, none of the pinksters came anywhere close to the advertised rally and march.
Also meanwhile, as most people marched around the White House, International A.N.S.W.E.R. — one of the sponsors — held its own event on the Ellipse, covered by CSPAN. After the march I got back to my hotel, logged on the Web, and read Steve Gilliard’s review —
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.
Some of A.N.S.W.E.R.’s long list of speakers were from antiwar organizations, but they also had speakers from groups like the Women’s Anti-Imperialist League and the Socialist Front of Puerto Rico.
The A.N.S.W.E.R. program got more publicity than the march. I had no idea this was even going on until I got back to my hotel, and I can’t tell you how disgusted I was. It was the last demonstration I bothered to attend. There are less expensive ways to waste time.
There had been a number of demonstrations on the East Coast co-sponsored by United for Peace and Justice and International A.N.S.W.E.R. I have nothing bad to say about UfPJ, but it let IA push it around to get their sponsorship money, and those compromises reduced the effectiveness of the rallies. After this one I believe UfPJ had nothing more to do with IA, finally, but there were no more really big rallies on the East Coast after that. Smaller ones, yes. I wasn’t the only one who decided to sit the rest of them out.
A lot of us, including me, beginning in 2003 wrote many warnings about not allowing International A.N.S.W.E.R. to be the face of the antiwar movement, and I caught a lot of grief for it. But I was right.
Now, the Occupy Wall Street activists are on the edge of building a movement centered on economic populist issues that polls say most Americans support. And the slogan “we are the 99 percent” could be very effective IF most Americans come to understand it in the context of kitchen-table economic issues.
A broad swatch of Americans feel Washington pays no attention to their problems and caters instead to the rich and Wall Street. Big nationwide marches filled with middle-class, working people could actually get the attention of politicians in Washington. This would be a good thing.
But most of that broad swatch will not join in if they whiff a bunch of leftish issues they are not ready to embrace, and I suspect unmanned drones on foreign soil is one of those issues. And if the “movement” never goes beyond the usual vocational protesters, it’s pissing in the wind.
Update: See also “The Inkblot Protests”