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Monday, March 19, 2007

Cattle in Seattle

posted by on March 19 at 10:45 AM

By news intern Jonah Spangenthal-Lee

Yesterday, in the shadow of Macy’s, a throng of aging tie-dye garbed hippies, angst-ridden Hot Topic punks and unassuming middle-aged Seattleites (all of the above, overwhelmingly white) crowded into Westlake Park to voice their disapproval and anger as the Iraq War enters its 4th year this Tuesday.

From the start, the rally lacked focus due to an unending parade of speakers, taking the stage at Westlake Park, who aired a number of grievances ranging from US forces in the Philippines to the forgotten victims of Hurricane Katrina.

An understandably flustered Joe Colgan (one of the protestors who led a sit-in takeover at Sen. Maria Cantwell’s Seattle offices last year) spoke about his son, Army 2nd Lieutenant Ben Colgan who was killed by an IED in Iraq, asserting that “his service and his death didn’t have anything to do with…protecting our democracy.”

Christa Bell, a Grand Slam Poetry champ who noted that she didn’t “see too many black folk out here,” offered to “give y’all a present. It’s the spontaneous tradition that you’ll find anywhere you find black people.” Bell was talking about the fine art of call and response, something the majority of the crowd seemed unfamiliar with, or at least unwilling to participate in. Bell called for “Peace in Oakland. Peace in Brooklyn. Peace on the West Bank {and} Peace on the West Side,” to the silent crowd before reading some of her own poetry.

My favorite bits:
“We’ll be the apes in shiny silver spacesuits,” “the phallus is institutionalized,” and “the trees are falling for ax murderers.” Bell then announced that she had “come to rock the mic right” and to “get down.” Bell then asked the uncomfortably silent crowd if they were familiar with the works of Saul Williams, which garnered almost no response. Regardless, Bell launched in to Williams’ “Bloodletting.”
Chants against US imperialism and calls for impeachment echoed through the crowd, punctuated by witticisms like “impeach Cheney, send him to Gitmo!”


One of the many causes represented on the long march down 4th avenue

Before Lake Washington High School senior Nick Duncan came onstage to perform several “punk-folk”(polk?) songs. “You can call me optimistic but don’t call me naive,” he sang. “I just want to ride my bike for miles at a time without seeing a single Starbucks sign.” Event organizer Linda Boyd followed Duncan, choking back tears as she angrily recounted the “legacy of torture and genocide” that she fears will be left for her 6 year old son.

I wandered through the crowd (around 3,000), passing t-shirt vendors selling shirts with anti-Bush slogans for 15 dollars, and a woman with a Guy Fawkes mask. Standing by the fountain at the edge of Westlake Park, 8 year old Emily held up a piece of white construction paper with a penciled rendering of a cemetery. She told me she was at the rally to “tell people that war is wrong,” a message she has been promoting since she was 3 years old. The best part of today’s event she said, was “when people were complimenting me on my sign and also, when I got to go to the chocolate store and got candy.”
I raced to the back of the stage when two men in their early 20s appeared brandishing a “Go cry in Canada” sign. A crowd immediately assembled around them as angrily arguing with the young men dressed in Bush-Cheney ‘08 and Mike McGavick t-shirts.

The cameraman from Fox was all over this guy.

The excitement over, the crowd began to march: moving west on Pine before turning down 2nd Avenue. Escorted by a police motorcade, the mass of people called for Bush’s impeachment, sang songs about sending troops home and shouted, “long live Palestine! Long live the intifada!”
Traffic across 2nd came to a halt as motorists climbed from their cars to get a better look at the wave of people flooding down the streets, some honking their car horns to signal their support for the protestor’s various messages.

After turning on Yesler and continuing north on 4th avenue, the crowd arrived back at Westlake Park.
Senator Eric Oemig arrived on stage, joking that he was late because he “got held up by a bunch of peace lovers.” Discussing his legislative baby SJM 8016, Oemig rhetorically asked “Is it alright if I use the word impeachment here?” “Send Bush to Baghdad!” shouted a man in the crowd. While SJM 8016, a measure calling for “impeachment investigations into the actions of” Bush and Cheney appears dead in the water, Oemig spoke briefly with me after his speech saying he is feeling “very encouraged” and that he has gotten “commitment from [Senators Lisa Brown and Tracey Eide] to continue debate on the floor of the senate.”

Senator Oemig speaks to the crowd.

Following Oemig’s speech the rally was winding down and Linda Boyd, president of the Eastside Fellowship of Reconciliation took the stage to announce that a protestor named Mike Ladd had been arrested but gave no further information. She told the crowd he was being held at a King County correctional facility and called upon anyone in the crowd with a legal background to provide assistance if they could.

A quick call to SPD revealed that Ladd had been arrested for misdemeanor assault after punching a counter-protestor in the arm and throwing water on him.
At a peace rally.

A lot more pictures after the jump

Is that Tommy Chong?

The march begins

Iranian immigrant Azad Sokhangoo: “expressing the occupied perspective.”

Later, I saw these guys carrying the casket upside down and empty. It was weird.

Elliott Ridgway, carrying an umbrella full of clever phrases like “oiligarchy” was, he said, “on [his] way to see the wizard.”

One of the younger protesters

Freedom isn't free

The march moves through Pioneer Square.

The face of revolution

RSS icon Comments


Yes, protests like this will attract some fools and dimwits who make the entire thing look bad. That's unfortunate. It's interesting, though, that you guys would choose to mark the 4th anniversary of the war with such a condescending piece ("cattle in Seattle"?), echoing Dan's infamous pre-war mockery of the war protesters. Well, at least the Stranger is consistent down the years.

Posted by Gabriel | March 19, 2007 11:05 AM

You know, in addition to the benefits of saving all that tax money, and those soldiers and Iraqis not dying, the end of the war will have the added joy of not having any more of these dumbass, masturbatory marches.

Posted by Gitai | March 19, 2007 11:07 AM

Is this an editorial or a news piece? If you are going to use a title like "Cattle in Seattle," which is implicitly critical, you should explain why this sort of action is like a herd of mindless bovines. How are protesters more cattle-like than the rest of our society - as shoppers, workers, hipsters, cynics, slogers - except that they are more visible to the public? In sum, please make your opinions clear, otherwise just give us the facts of what you saw as best you can.

(P.S. I myself am divided about the use of protesting, but it frustrates me that people critique it but don't have an alternative. I guess I'm like Bush in this way...)

Posted by Jude Fawley | March 19, 2007 11:17 AM

I assume those doughy, young counter-protesters have already done their two tours in Iraq.

Posted by DOUG. | March 19, 2007 11:17 AM

The new book Worldchanging makes the interesting point that cynicism is often considered to be somehow rebellious, when in fact it's just a form of obedience. You can be cynical about people who oppose the war, and many of them are clearly dumb and taint the anti-war movement, but your cynicism just aids Bush and the maintenance of the dire situation there.

Posted by Gabriel | March 19, 2007 11:20 AM

At least they care enough to show up and march, unlike most people.

I went to the anti-war protests and marches for years until I recently gave up and decided to focus on gay rights. It seems like something we have more control over.

Outrage fatigue is a hell of a thing.

Besides, promoting peace in a militant, right wing kakistocracy like the United States is a lost cause. Nothing could be more pornographic to the general public. Even after the Iraq War is over, it'll only be a matter of time until we're in another conflict - less than 10 years if history is any guide.

Posted by Original Andrew | March 19, 2007 11:22 AM

What a fucking freak show. Is there someplace I can go to protest the war without having to march alongside a "Viva Chavez" placard or raise my voice to be heard over the (gulp!) pro-Intifada chants??

Posted by Trey | March 19, 2007 11:26 AM

Instead of having a protest (good idea yes) that is just a bitch session about everything that is wrong in the world it would be nice if they kept focused on one issue and drive it home. Bitching about Starbuck's and corporate Ameria? Did they do that before or after they got the latte' at Starbuck's while listening to their iPod as their Cingular cell phone was ringing...... Oh and I forgot, while wearing their Levi's.......

Posted by Andrew | March 19, 2007 11:26 AM

If the tone of this piece bothers you, I don't have a ton of sympathy. The current anti-war movement is its own worst enemy.

Protests do have a place, and they are necessary - no doubt about that, and the civil rights movement, Vietnam protests etc., showed it. But the current crop of "leaders" putting these rolling disasters together have been coopted no less than our government's been coopted by corporate influence.

An anti-war protest does not need to hear from a pro-palestinian group and an anti-Israeli group and an anti-Phillipine-occupation group and an abortion group and an environmental group and an impeachment group, etc. etc. ad nauseum. It astounds me that the organizers of these things have become convinced that people come to these things to be preached to, when the people coming are there to freaking protest! Simplicity, simplicity.

And the "at least they care enough to show up" canard has no more strength. Too many of us, like myself, care plenty and have shown up plenty, but are tired of the wasted opportunities. Get these things organized and focused, and you'll see positive response. It's not that hard.

Posted by switzerblog | March 19, 2007 11:32 AM

Intern - you will fit perfectly at the Stranger.

Catty, silly, bitchy - all those with no good reason, and lacking journalistic skills.

FACT, Seattle is overwhelmingly white.

FACT, street demos are not late parties at twinkie apts.

FACT, Bo has been around with his Peace Sign for 20 years, perfectly OK with me.

FACT, ageism is not cute.

FACT, George Bush most likely has a small penis, and why did you not get some facts for us - every coke head I have even know would have sex with any warm body. You missed the story.

FACT, USA would still be in Viet Nam if it were not for the streets.

FACT, Eric Omeig is really setting a progressive pace, from the Eastside, wow. Where are the guys from the 43rd, 37th, 36th - tired and jaded, I guess.

Posted by earl | March 19, 2007 11:34 AM

"You can be cynical about people who oppose the war, and many of them are clearly dumb and taint the anti-war movement, but your cynicism just aids Bush and the maintenance of the dire situation there."

Ummmm ... no. No. It does NOT aid Bush to point out the folly of these marches. Bush is not affected by them in the slightest - if anything, it is crap like this that helps him oh-so-slightly, for it is knocking down this near-strawman Left that provide about the only thing for right-wingers to unite and get excited about these days.

I participated in the prewar protests, actually. After that, though, the marches became a complete joke - they're nothing more than a place for the ANSWER types to recruit for their little cult and air their grievances about Leonard Peltier, North Korean sanctions, the existence of Israel, and whatever else is on their menu today. If change comes, it won't be thanks to this lot.

Posted by tsm | March 19, 2007 11:34 AM

It is interesting to hear the cynical, and jaded and so hip and cool put down street activism.

I was there, had a grand time, and it resembled every street action I have ever been to.

Diverse, counter culture, populist, red, multi -issue.....quintessential Seattle.

All you phony progressives need to stay home, just watching dreary soaps on the tube and telling us how hard you are working in political circles.

Bullshit, all talk, no walk. March for your therapy needs against the Bushies.....feels great.

The demo today, Monday, will be bigger and better organized - involves labor and more mainstream groups.

Posted by rorry likes anuses | March 19, 2007 11:55 AM

"angst ridden Hot Topic Punks"

Incredibly witty.

I would guess 0 of those kids actually shop at Hot Topic, but journalism standards in the Stranger are laxed when it comes to the anti war lefties, cuz their editorial line is " Go make fun of the crazy white folks and make sure you make fun of their goofy clothing"

Does anybody remember how many people showed up for The Stranger's "colorful" march in Steinbruck park? Im sure it was just as white as the one above.

To be fair, there might have been freaks out there, but at least they were out there. If peeps are too cool to march than you get the march you deserve.

Posted by SeMe | March 19, 2007 11:56 AM

If this is a report rather than an editorial, a little specificity would be nice. You claim that the "mass of people" shouted out "Long live the intifada"-- how many? The whole protesting crowd, or several hundred of them, or five people? You deride the participants as Hot Topic punks. Did you actually talk to them to discern this, or is this just a sweeping, glancing generalization? You deride the aging hippies, but really, what are they supposed to do, keep from aging?
If this is an editorial rather than a report, then some arguments would be nice, as would some context. Sure, demonstrations often have problems with casting the tent too big and trying to include too many issues, but this is a general challenge, not one unique to yesterday's events.

Posted by Ben | March 19, 2007 11:56 AM

Protests are pretty much useless now, and especially with this administration. Bush does not care about democracy. If he did, we'd be pulling out right now, as he would have recognized that the November election was a repudiation of the war. He'd look at the polls, and say, "I respect the will of the people, and will end this war." So march all you want (at least it's good exercise), but don't expect results. I mean, really, I can't think of a major national issue that's been affected by protests for the last thirty years.

Posted by Gitai | March 19, 2007 11:58 AM

@4 - word. Someone should dress up as the Bush Twins.

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 19, 2007 11:58 AM

Actually, Tsm, making anti-war protests in general seem pointless and foolish does help Bush. It's not complicated to see why.

Posted by Gabriel | March 19, 2007 12:00 PM

"Actually, Tsm, making anti-war protests in general seem pointless and foolish does help Bush."

Gabriel, the organizers of marches like this don't need anyone's help to make antiwar protests look pointless and foolish. They do it far too well themselves.

Posted by tsm | March 19, 2007 12:08 PM

Cattle in Seattle...huh, huh, huh...dude, that like, totally rhymes. There's like, some really stupid people at protests. They're like, totally dumb. Huh. Huh. Huh.

Wow, you're like...a fucking genius.

Posted by Unpaid Reader. | March 19, 2007 12:08 PM

This just in.. The protest was a success! Peltier has been freed and everyone in Isreal is relocating to Queens and Palm Beach. Look what you can accomplish when you fill the streets with the scum of the earth holding signs!

Posted by help me rhombus | March 19, 2007 12:31 PM

The senator is kinda hot!!!

Posted by Leo | March 19, 2007 12:33 PM

@14--there were about seven or so people chanting "long live the intifada." they did have a bullhorn to magnify their cries.

jonah, my friends and i who attended are familiar with the works of saul williams. if i'd known shouting loudly in response to bell was a gauge for the crowd's culutral literacy as a whole, i would have been a bit more vocal.

Posted by i don't like to chant, but i show up anyway | March 19, 2007 12:38 PM

@ 10 - Seattle is "overwhelmingly white?"
Are you counting all the various Asian people as white? And is the black population really that small that you feel they were proportionally represented at this protest?

The "we'd still be in Vietnam if it weren't for the streets" comment is laughable, too - The "silent majority" finally turned against the war, that's why it ended. Some may have been swayed by hippies, but most were worn out by years of accomplishing nothing, as they're becoming today.

Posted by Matt from Denver | March 19, 2007 12:49 PM

"scum of the earth holding signs" - above

I think the scum of the earth just weighted in - necons at Slog, what a surprise.

Posted by freddy the wise farmer boy | March 19, 2007 1:04 PM

Protests like this give Bush and Co. all the ammunition they need, and do irreparable harm to to any chances of getting out of Iraq quickly. These protestors are PROLONGING THE WAR.

Dick Cheney himself couldn't come up with a more negative, self-defeating clusterfuck parody of protest-anythings. It looks like a Republican campaign photo shoot.

And Ben, the answer is yes: when you are in a mob, you answer for the actions of everyone in that mob. If "only seven" promote the intifada, you all promote the intifada. That's how mobs work. If you don't like it, don't join the mob, or better yet STAY ON FUCKING MESSAGE.

This kind of protest is an embarrassment to the human race. "I was there, had a grand time, and it resembled every street action I have ever been to." Aren't you embarrassed by that fact? Not just for this protest, but every other one like it that preceded it? Doesn't it make you unhappy to be doing the Bushies' job for them?

"The street" stopped Vietnam? Yeah, right it did. That's why Nixon won an unprecedented landslide in '72. That's why the Vietnam War continued for years and years after the hippies and yippies ramped up the protests in '68. In fact, "the streets" prolonged that war and are prolonging this one.

I'm with Trey. I want to protest this war, but the protestors there before me make it impossible to do so. And to everyone out there yesterday who carried a sign or spoke a word about any subject whatsoever besides "troops home now", I have a word or two for you: fuck off.

Posted by Fnarf | March 19, 2007 1:08 PM

Mister Eric Omig is as hot as they get - in person. Yum.

Posted by kk3 | March 19, 2007 1:17 PM

And so, four years later - repeat FOUR YEARS later, your system is working well, Fnarf?

You fuck off - tired, cynical, know it all, and jaded arm chair activist.

What a bunch of flim flam excuses.

And now tell us why you do not have an anti- war sign in you front window? Too personal, too hippie, too, too, too, are full of bullshit excuses.

Fraid of the neocon neighbors? Fuck off.

Posted by earl | March 19, 2007 1:31 PM

sounds like i'm glad i wasn't there. every protest i've been to in seattle has been like this. disjointed, off topic. embarassing. mumia & peltier have no place in the discussion.

one topic, one focus. end this criminal war being conducted in our name, at our expense, with the children of the undereducated (sorry, that's one of the reasons i don't show - i don't support the troops - i think they're, on the whole, stupid, or they wouldn't have joined the military).

oh, and "overwhelmingly white"? who's responsible for that, the white people, or the non-white people who didn't show?

Posted by Max Solomon | March 19, 2007 1:39 PM

I go to these marches all the time, and I gotta agree with alot of these criticisms. The people can't stay on message, the rally parts are a waste, the much bigger protests we had before the war didn't do anything, etc. I would also add that the chants suck and the organizers often live up to stereotypes by playing old hippie music and not being in touch with today, or even the '80s or '90s. I got stuck behind the Intifada assholes for a minute myself (it was maybe 5 or 6 young people) and was embarrassed.

But you know what? What the fuck are you doing? I go because the alternative is to stay at home and forget about it. This is four god damn years of this nightmare. That's as long as you assholes studied the history of indie rock in college and you're still sitting behind your computer making fun of YOUR OWN fucking side.

Here's an analogy for you: go to the Mariners game, you will see a bunch of drunk assholes you don't want to hang out with, but you will still cheer for your team along with them. If you're against the war you can join the march to represent yourself and just shrug and say "sorry about the dipshits over there." That's what I do. If more people could overcome their petty differences and see the bigger picture it could be pretty overwhelming. You hipsters remind me every day that it ain't gonna happen, but I still show up just in case. I want to be there if it does.

I think about the days of the civil rights movement, when they weren't trying to be rebels, they dressed up in their best suits and dresses like they were going to church. I want to see a protest like that. I want to see a protest where every one of you cynics says, you know what, I hate those fuckin Larouchies, but I hate the war more. Let me try that out. Can you imagine if even half of the majority of this country who are against the war, just this one time, decided to take part in a march in their city at the same time? Maybe then it would actually achieve something. But there is probaly some bullshit going on in a bar on Capitol Hill that night so you guys wouldn't be able to go, and then your friends would decide not to go because you weren't going, and then somebody else would be tired, and then the socialists would decide to boycott because they thought it was too mainstream, and the new episode of Lost would be on, and the whole revolution would fall apart. Oh well.

I've thought about it alot, and I don't know how to fix the broken protest machine. But I don't see how it's constructive to just publicly make fun of them and take wacky pictures.

So I guess I have to tell you the same thing I tell the ever-dwindling counter-protesters every year: I'll see you next year, unfortunately.

Posted by Vern | March 19, 2007 1:53 PM

Cattle in Seattle...huh, huh, huh...dude, that like, totally rhymes. There's like, some really stupid people at protests. They're like, totally dumb. Huh. Huh. Huh.

Wow, you're like...a fucking genius.

Except that he stole it from a Robyn Hitchcock song.

Posted by Harvey | March 19, 2007 1:57 PM

"people flock like cattle to seattle after kurt cobain, and before him the rain" is the first line in "viva sea tac" by mr. robyn hitchcock.

thank you so very much, vern @29

Posted by i don't like to chant, but i show up anyway | March 19, 2007 2:21 PM

I was there and I agree with the comments about keeping on topic. I may agree with the presenters about a lot of the non-war related issues that came up, but I was disappointed that the organizers were incapable of staying on point.

Call me a cynic or whatever, but I was there and I agree that protesters often seem to be doing everything they can to discredit themselves.

There's no shortage of ammunition that can be used to argue against the war, stay on topic and protest the WAR.

Yeah, the response to Katrina sucked. Yeah, the President sucks. Yeah, yeah, yeah. If you want to protest those things, put together your own damn rally and focus on one of those injustices.

If you want to get us out of the war, protest the war.

Finally, in criticism of your coverage. I want to point out that your intern chose to pick the one line out of Nick Duncan's song that sounds a bit foolish in context. Yes, he sang that line about Starbucks, he also sang another 63 lines that I found damn impressive coming from a high schooler.

Posted by eat your young | March 19, 2007 2:24 PM


Seattle City Council To Hold 2pm Hearing Today To Consider Similar Resolution

Broad Coalition Demands Local Leaders Pressure Members of Congress To “Bring The Troops And The Money Home” On War’s 4th Anniversary

SEATTLE . . . MLK Jr. County Executive Ron Sims and Council President Larry Gossett will announce a joint proclamation at the 3pm rally today in Seattle proclaiming March 19th to be “End the War Day”. This Proclamation states, in part:

. . . By ending this brutal and painful conflict we must apply those valuable resources wasted in the war to the growing needs of our local communities, including our veterans as well as aiding our Iraqi brothers and sisters in rebuilding their devastated homeland . . .

The Seattle City Council will hold a public hearing today, Monday March 19th at 2pm in the Council Chambers to consider a similar resolution. Dozens of local organization will be in attendance to speak on behalf of this resolution, and to explain to the City Council how this war is impacting our local community.

Details about the 3pm march and rally:

At 3pm at the Federal Court House in Seattle, these same organizations will gather and march on City Hall to demand the resolution be passed. MLK Jr. County Executive Ron Sims, Joe Colgan from Gold Star Families for Peace and David Freiboth, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Martin Luther King Jr. CLC will speak at the Federal Court House.

The march will leave the Federal Court House at 3:40pm going West on Stewart St., will turn south on 5th Ave, then West on James St., and finally North on 2nd Ave and arrive at the Jackson Federal Building by 4:30pm.

At the Federal Building participants will call on Senators Murray and Cantwell to end the war in Iraq and to redirect the war funding to necessary social programs. Speakers will include Joshua Ferris, an Iraq War Veteran with Iraq Vets Against the War, Carlos Marentes, Organizer with El Comite Pro Amnistia, Rev. Anne Hall, Pastor from University Lutheran Church, and if the Seattle City Council passes the anti-war resolution, Seattle City Council President Nick Licata.

Event Sponsors Include: Church Council of Greater Seattle, MLK Jr. County Labor Council, WA State Jobs with Justice, American Muslims of Puget Sound, El Comite Pro Amnistia, Seattle Gay News, Sound Nonviolent Opponents of War, Western WA Fellowship of Reconciliation, United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, and many others.

The full text of the MLK Jr. County Proclamation and proposed City Council resolution will be available at by today at Noon.


Posted by kk3 | March 19, 2007 2:31 PM

British author John Le Carre doesn't let fear of association keep him off the streets. His view might be helpful to shy Seattleites. From a NYT profile in 2004: "[Le Carre] is firmly opposed to the war in Iraq and never misses a peace march. 'Marching you can't pick your bedfellows,' he said. 'You go down there determined to stop the war, and you find yourself marching alongside Friends of Osama.'"

Posted by Tomasyalba | March 19, 2007 2:45 PM

There's nothing anyone can do about the crazies who flock to those protests, but shame on the organizers for selecting a bunch of loons to speak at the rally. Pick a small number of presenters, no more than five, all with anti-war cred of some sort (veterans, family members of the dead, Iraqi expatriates, etc.) and demand that they stay on message. Then get the goddamn march started.

Posted by keshmeshi | March 19, 2007 4:00 PM

Fnarf, your attitude is really strange. You say that if you're marching with idiots chanting for intifada then you're also chanting for intifada, and so the only solution is to stay the fuck home. Listen, I agree that these people make the anti-war movement look embarrassing, but you're just giving a recipe for more of the same. If sane people stay home, then extremists are the face of the movement. To paraphrase comment 34 above, almost any movement will have unsavoury bedfellows. We need the intelligent members of the anti-war movement to be out in force and out in front.

Posted by Gabriel | March 19, 2007 4:44 PM

Remember, Fnarf learned all he needed to know about the WTO protests from Jim Forman and a couple of kids at a bus stop. And now he's an authority on the subject (and all others).

Posted by DOUG. | March 19, 2007 5:06 PM

Eat me, Doug. I may not be a supergenius but there isn't an issue on earth I know less about than you do, probably including your mom.

I'm sorry I don't have a solution. But that doesn't make your brain-dead counterproductive protest any better. I'm not against your protest because I think it won't do any good; I'm against it because I know for a fact that it will do active harm. If, for example, I was in George Bush's inner circle, and Dick or Karl said "we gotta do something here, we're losing middle America on this", I would suggest having a few of these ragtag dumbass protests, which are extremely successful in making ordinary Americans dismiss every antiwar person as a pink-haired communist nitwit. These protests help them, not hurt them. YOU'RE WORKING FOR BUSH, get it?

Seriously, can you look at "Greg Beiter of Socialist Alternative" in a more recent post, and tell me his entire life program isn't a front for the Republican National Committee?

The solution is to use the political process to work for justice. By "political process" I mean elections but also everyday political discourse. I talk to right-wingers; do you? How many of these protestors are Nader voters? They got goddamn Bush elected in the first place. I don't need to be told what's what by children; I'm talking to the grownups. Unfortunately certain parts of the public sphere are increasingly closed to grownups, and the children run the show.

Also, to further address your point of "so, what are YOU doing?" I can fling it back to you: you're not doing ANYTHING. This protest isn't stopping the war. A dead man can accomplish more than these people; at least a dead guy isn't moving justice backwards.

Protestors? You're not doing shit. YOU ARE NOTHING. Get a clue.

Posted by Fnarf | March 19, 2007 7:37 PM

War protesting was funner when everyone was high on LSD( hint hint)It`s true white people with too much time and money often bitch the most and make great protest organizers. You don`t get a lot of black people because they can`t afford to take off of work to go bitch about where you sent there kids.

Posted by pyrofly70 | March 19, 2007 8:20 PM

shit talkers is the perfect label

about the good works of others, sitting on their fetid asses, doing nothing except trying to pass as jaded experts on political activism

it is only evil neo colonial war after all, why bother

yawn, yawn, I am so cool tonight, time to abuse people on the internet, while I wonder what my life is good for

how about a personal statement for yourself against the evil of all mankind, war

you are a bunch of real simple sheeple - shit talkers indeed

remember George Bush loves you, passive, accepting and ready to be fleeced

Posted by earl | March 20, 2007 1:50 AM

eat me - not doing shit - FNARF, you are loosing it, whatever you think you have

maybe you disquiet it is a sign of sitting on you ass too long and doing nothing, cause you all seem too intelligent to be a teenie shit talker

course all that knowledge saves you from the Bushies and their neo fascist war monger buddies

plus the protesters were not dressed for the Easter parade

had home made signs and mixed messages

course, got A VERY LOT OF MEDIA for their message - including those simpletons on city and county councils - oh, those losers, Ron Sims et al - Nick Licata et al

shit talking on line on the side of the rubes and sheeple, what a waste

so what is your plan? or are you really a neo con? old CIA or FBI, NSA?

Posted by earl | March 20, 2007 2:03 AM

Apparently, after Seattle banned Ringling Brothers, the clowns had to find something else to do.

"At least they care enough to show up and march, unlike most people." [Posted by Original Andrew]

Don't think care has a thing to do with it. It's a "happinin'".

"If sane people stay home, then extremists are the face of the movement." [Posted by Gabriel]

Thanks! Thanks! Thanks! This last one had me hung up.
13 down: antonym of sane. 9 letters. Extremist!

"We need the intelligent members of the anti-war movement to be out in force and out in front." [Posted by Gabriel]

What makes you think they weren't?

"MLK Jr. County Executive Ron Sims and Council President Larry Gossett will announce a joint proclamation at the 3pm rally today in Seattle proclaiming March 19th to be “End the War Day”."

Glad that's settled. [Sun came out, and the clowns moved inside the tent.]

" think about the days of the civil rights movement, when they weren't trying to be rebels, they dressed up in their best suits and dresses like they were going to church. I want to see a protest like that." [Posted by Vern]

Nah, this is all so much funnier to watch. Nothin on the toob besides hoop anyway.. (hmmm, maybe that 'splains the "overwhelmingly white" observation....).

"War protesting was funner when everyone was high on LSD( hint hint)" [Posted by pyrofly70]

Acid would have been redundant..

(_) Peace Love Dove, y'all...

Posted by Steeley | March 20, 2007 9:02 AM

Fnarf = Cliff Clavin.

Posted by DOUG. | March 20, 2007 9:04 AM

I understand the anger and frustration voiced by Fnarf and Trey. I'd like to join a march that didn't have people rooting for Chavez, intifada and Mumia. But I don't like the alternative of sitting at home and talking as if mass dissent is pointless and even foolish, just because there are some very vocal puppet-wielding idiots out on the pavement. I'd like to see better organizers, thought-provoking speakers, and a clear agenda. Sounds like an opportunity for the Stranger to organize a better rally, and by doing so mend some fences.

Posted by Gabriel | March 20, 2007 9:31 AM

Oh, and Steeley, congratulations on having the courage to step up and look like a dope in front of everyone.

Posted by Gabriel | March 20, 2007 9:32 AM

"FACT, USA would still be in Viet Nam if it were not for the streets."

What a bunch of Bozos ... Don't you realize that the "streets" are the reason we were there for so long? Had our politicians not needed to worry about Bozo peaceniks we would have done Operation Linebacker much sooner.

Linebacker was when Nixon finally got pissed and authorized a no holds barred bombing campaign in '72 that kicked their ass to the peace table like we should have done in the first place.

Where do you live?

If your head buried in the sand like an Ostrich, traitorous peacenik activities have any success I will be more than glad to send the terrorists over to your house so as you can be the first terrorist beheading to be done in our country.

Don't you have enough brains to figure out that our Hero Servicemen fight "over there" so you can spew your irresponsible tripe and not have to worry about war in your own back yard?

Someday we war dogs will figure a way to direct our enemies to your house ... until then bring back the draft so we can use you for the only thing you are worth ... cannon fodder.

Gabriel and the rest of you Bozo war protestors ... a pertinent question considering your views. Do you have your affairs in order in the event that your peacenik delusions result in an America under Terrorist rule? I'd bet you don't even have a way or the will of defending yourself or your loved ones.

Peacenik cowards the lot of 'em.

Posted by twogreek | March 20, 2007 3:27 PM

Twogreek - fancy meetin yew here..

See you kept that stirpaddle after all these years...

(hmm, think I got some JP5 and a match around here somewhere.... twist one and we'll light it off..)

S/F bro..

(Oh, and Gabriel, after Sunday you think *I* look like a dope? Muuuhhhhaaaaahahahahaaa {snort])

Posted by Steeley | March 20, 2007 7:22 PM

"I'd like to see better organizers, thought-provoking speakers, and a clear agenda."

Bravo, Gariel.. we're ALL waitin for that.. 'ave been for years, actual..

But until then, at least we can enjoy all the pretty colors..

Posted by Steeley | March 20, 2007 7:29 PM

Steeley ... Just took drag when I saw someone go point.

Never was a subtle one was I? Just thought I'd come out of my hide and do some up close. Not afraid of mixing it up ... especially when coverin' a Bro's back.

JP instead of a longshot? I guess at our age we should be thinking quick body count not precision. Not quite as much fun though.

Been invited to stand in the falling rain feeding a huge bonfire before. Rosy times they were. Somebody oughta' tell them peaceniks they ain't nothin' but ashes in the wind so they best not be lookin' back ... we might be standing there staring out of the jungle at 'em. Wonder if they know how to run? Toss the match my Friend and ...


Posted by twogreek | March 21, 2007 5:49 AM

Oh yeah, The Stranger commenting on the whiteness of a group. That's a good one.

Let me give you a hint kids: you're not nearly as "alternative" as you think. You're the rag that was gushing all over Senator Maria CantVoteWell last year.

Real alternative (not the low-calorie variety) can be found on KBCS 91.3FM every weeknight at 5 PM.

Posted by Iranian | March 22, 2007 7:11 PM

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