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Lots o' griping on the site about ANSWER using the fact they nailed a permit to dictate the speakers list.

Griping changes nothing, and ANSWER won't change.

But things can be changed for next spring, and it only takes one person on the ground in DC to do it.

Get a permit first.

Who's ready to go first thing in the morning and fill out an application at the National Capitol Mall Headquarters  in East Patomac Park? They're granted first come, first served.

April 22?

Originally posted to ben masel on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 10:47 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Someone go do it. (4.00)
    NOW.

    The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

    by RedDan on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 10:46:44 PM PDT

  •  Look... (4.00)
    ...I disagree completely with mass marches as a tactic, but if someone doesn't do it, ANSWER will. So since these things are inevitable, might as well make it worthwhile. Someone in DC or NoVA get a permit for some date in the spring (before colleges let out), share it with UfPJ with the caveat that ANSWER is excluded, and make it a focused and sane protest with the vast majority of the speakers being returned Iraq War vets who will talk about their opinions and firsthand accounts.
    •  All your points are good ones... (none)
      but why do you disagree with mass marches as a tactic?

      What would you put in their place?

      The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

      by RedDan on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:02:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Focused actions... (none)
        ...where the people who are actually, directly, unmistakably oppressed perform acts of resistance or noncooperation against the systems or people that oppress them. I don't like this bourgeois, vanguardist dilution of activism, especially in the form of Stalinism or Maoism.

        People who've got race or gender or sexuality or class or whatever on their side need to know when they're watering down a message instead of adding to it, when they're getting their yaya's our for a selfish catharsis instead of for the benefit of the disadvantaged.

        So that's what I'd replace it with.

        •  But against war? (none)
          I can see where you position works in the context of  mass marches against racism, poverty, whatever - it can look like paternalism in some cases I suppose.  But not as much in the case of against war.  We're all invested in whether or not our country is at war, whether killing's being done in our names.  And against your position in general is that while, yes, mass marches alone are useless or nearly so and must be paired with the kind of actions you're talking about, they can be a great moment to celebrate advances, show strength, take heart in coming together.  Most successful social movements I can think of have used this tactic at least occasionally.
          •  Well... (none)
            ...they can do that when they're a positive action. Anti-anything actions are by definition negative actions and should be limited to the oppressed.

            In the case of war, if we were bearing some burden like they were in WWII, fine. We're not. We're squeamish about it being fought in our name? That's fine and all, but I don't feel it's enough to justify a mass march protest (you may disagree?). I think with war we should, as stated above, let critical Iraq War soldiers with firsthand experience and mothers, like Sheehan -- though her new buddies I don't like at all -- take the role of protestors and we should stay home and write checks.

            Again, it's hard as hell to stay back when you want to charge against the lines. But sometimes, I think, you've got to make the silent and unknown sacrifice and just let the oppressed take charge without you.

            •  disagree in a few ways. (4.00)
              First off I'm not sure I like your firm categorization of "the oppressed."  Or for that matter the division between positive and negative actions.  I just...don't dichotomize quite so clearly.  (Remnants of my post-structuralist past?  I dunno.)

              The more I think about how you're using the term "the oppressed" and what you think that should entail, the more I disagree.  I don't think moral authority in this should come only from having been personally involved, whether as a soldier or as the family member of one.  Not one little bit do I think that.  I'm glad to have those people standing with us against this war, I recognize that they have things to add to the discourse that I do not, and I recognize the political expediency of having them as spokespeople.  But I am also a pacifist.  I am not merely against this war but against damn near all of them.  So my political agenda - indeed my most deeply-held morality - is not served by having someone say "war is ok but this one is not."  I want a movement that includes both those positions.  Does it need to be a movement of big-ass national rallies?  No.  But do I believe that the right form for a movement is one of a small set of people holding a moral authority ordained by a particular version of nationalist-militarist politics defining the public face of the movement while others sit home writing checks.  Oh, HELL no.  

              In fact, I just about never think that sitting home writing checks is in and of itself a legitimate form of political activism.  Sure, do it if you can't be there physically, if you can't contribute another way.  I'm not pretending money doesn't matter.  But it's never going to be a winning strategy for progressives, for one thing, because the other side has more money.  It's not going to help the check-writers develop a more mature, thoughtful, and broad-visioned politics.  It's not going to build a movement.  It's going to build a Greenpeace - a small set of people doing stuff and a lot more people sitting home feeling smug that they gave, but not thinking more widely about their everyday practices.

              I also think we are bearing a burden, maybe not exactly the same as in WWII, but substantial nonetheless.  We're bearing a burden of national debt, diminished services at home, the use of 9/11 and this war as a political cudgel to make us out as traitors, I could go on.  And, yes, we're bearing a burden of shame at what our country is doing.  

              •  Agreed 100%, though I am not ... (4.00)
                ...a pacifist.

                Moreover, I think the only way to "exclude" A.N.S.W.E.R. or their ilk is to exclude them from the podium - limit the number of speeches to, say, three. But you cannot, should not, must not exclude them from participation in the protest. We're not fascists.

                Thirty-one million new blogs are created each year. Try ours at The Next Hurrah.

                by Meteor Blades on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 12:08:39 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well (none)
                  How are you drawing that line? I admit I'm doing so rather subjectively because of my past experience. But to say their attendence is fine but they cannot speak at the podium, that seems equally subjective to me, and therefore a matter of opinion based on your experience as opposed to a fascist v. nonfascist categorization.
                  •  You may have a point ... (4.00)
                    ...but I'm talking rather in practical terms. The local organization has a steering committee of five. It's agreed there will be three rally speakers, and that all of these will be focused on Team Bush's Iraq policy. Then you choose the speakers based on their willingness to stick with the time limit and stick to the topic. That, to me, isn't censorship, but leadership, but you're right, it's subjective.

                    I'm not saying this is easy, and I'm in the first stages of a Diary on how difficult it is to keep an antiwar protest "on message," which I would guess is one of the reasons you're not keen on such protests.

                    Thirty-one million new blogs are created each year. Try ours at The Next Hurrah.

                    by Meteor Blades on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 12:20:33 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Yeah... (none)
                      ...the reason it's hard to keep a protest on message is because many people only have an abstract view of the complaint. If a group of tenants have a complaint against a landlord, they know what it is (cockroaches, let's say), and they can protest it effectively. If said protest gets nationwide attention then middle-class homeowners are going to assume the tenants complaints are based on shrubbery aesthetics based on their experience as homeowners. They're going to show up and talk about shrubbery aesthetics, demand their congressfolks tackle the national ugly shrubbery problem, and the protest will be diluted. The anti-cockroach segment, the actual tenants will be silences, and nothing will happen with either the cockroach problem or the shrubberies.

                      In an antiwar rally let the soldiers and their widows speak, and let them be an undiluted voice.

                      •  Well, I'm happy to get soldiers. (none)
                        ... and their widows to speak (along with moms, dads, siblings of soldiers). In the Vietnam era, the veterans we recruited were often the most powerful witnesses. But sometimes they were as disastrous as a Free Mumia orator. Moreover, soldiers (and their families) aren't the only people with a stake in stopping this war, so I couldn't support that restrictive of an approach. It is subjective.

                        Thirty-one million new blogs are created each year. Try ours at The Next Hurrah.

                        by Meteor Blades on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 12:45:03 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Well... (none)
                          ...you say they could be as disastrous as a "Free Mumia" guy, and while I admit that, vets have both a directness and an unimpeachability that I don't think you can deny. Whatever they say is "true" for them, and they know what they're talking about, so whatever they say is better than whatever a non-combatant says in the context of an antiwar rally. Only another vet can argue with them effectively, and that's always a discussion worth having.

                          Though I'm certainly not saying toss some unstable soldier up on stage hoping for the best. Vet the vets.

                          •  All for it. But, to blather on a bit ... (4.00)
                            ...just as the soldier engaged in actual combat can't see the big strategic picture, the soldier on the podium is no more likely to see the big political picture than someone who's done a major study of it.

                            Yes, a soldier can talk about the awfulness of combat, the incompetence of the bosses sending her or him into harm's way, the lack of equipment, et cetera. But protest rallies aren't just about giving witness to the awfulness what is true even in a "good war." They're meant to be a catalyst for policy change as well.

                            Nevertheless, I agree that the televised-around-the-world image of veterans on the dais is a powerful one which we ought to do our utmost to capitalize on.  

                            Thirty-one million new blogs are created each year. Try ours at The Next Hurrah.

                            by Meteor Blades on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 01:18:00 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm a history major... (none)
                            ...and despite my poor grades I've retained an unwavering allegiance toward primary sources.
                          •  But historians, (none)
                            the good ones, anyway, analyze things.  Right?  A good history class involves the use of primary sources, but also helps you understand the broad forces they were shaped by, the events they were part of.  It shows how two different historians can interpret the same document differently.  I know a lot of good historians who'd disagree with you on how an anti-war movement should be composed.  

                            But again, even taking it on your terms, I just disagree with your narrow characterization of who is affected by war.

                      •  so, (none)
                        only physical complaints are valid?  Ideology/beliefs/values are not legitimate grounds for protest?  

                        The poor conditions in buildings owned by a particular landlord affect only the tenants of those buildings.  A war by a nation-state, carried out using revenues from all of its citizens and residents, affects all of said citizens and residents.  How are their concerns dilutions of the anti-war message simply because their concerns are not identical with those of people who have suffered bodily injury?

                        I'm sorry, I respect that you've thought seriously about this, but your analogy does not hold and your theory of appropriate political movements will never build a strong progressive politics in this country.  

                        •  Well... (none)
                          ...don't confuse legitimacy with persuasiveness. But also know that I place direct oppression or direct knowledge of a situation above ideological or political knowledge of that situation.

                          As far as your last paragraph, I disagree, I think mine is the best way to build progressive politics. A system wherein people fight directly for themselves and their families knowing they won't be betrayed -- and will be supported behind the scenes -- by their partisans. So.

                          I'm very glad we're able to have this discussion with the understanding we're all in it for the betterment of society.

                          •  direct knowledge (none)
                            So Lynndie England's direct knowledge of what went on at Abu Ghraib means she is more qualified to speak about why torture is wrong and why human dignity is to be valued than I am?

                            I can go with you at least partway on identity-based movements.  I do think that people of color should probably control anti-racist movements (though I don't necessarily think they should be the only participants).  I do think that women should probably control the feminist movement (though again, I think men can absolutely be feminists and participants in the movement).  And so on, for class, sexuality, all those.  I just don't think an anti-war movement should be/is an identity-based movement.  Sounds like we're not going to resolve that disagreement.

                            I'm interested in how this position of yours and your plan to go into the Peace Corps mesh, since the main critique I have heard of the PC is that it's akin to colonialism, imposing the values of middle-class Americans on people from other cultures.  I'm not 100% sold on that argument - regardless of your culture, you need clean drinking water - but I've definitely heard of cases where it made a lot of sense, and it does seem so contradictory to your position here.

                          •  Fair enough (none)
                            Ok. Well first of all know that I'm not dogmatic on anything. If it works toward the goal of alleviation of suffering, I wanna ticket for that train.

                            No, we're not going to resolve that disagreement. One or the both of us will be proven right or wrong in time, and I hope the verdict works out well for the world.

                            As far as the Peace Corps: You can't protest or engage an imperial culture if you're speaking some peripheral language. You can't negotiate resource sales effectively if you're using their translator. I'm teaching English, my fellow volunteers are teaching health educations, equally important. There's a whole set of base level skills that must be implemented before rights can be negotiated. I don't admit the neo-colonial arguments -- admittedly because I've heard them mostly from absolute sexist and neo-racist scum -- when it comes to the Peace Corps because they seem to me to be arguments in favor of Rousseau's noble savage. I find such arguments patronizing and, quite frankly, nauseating. People should learn as many languages as they can, people should broaden their horizons, and utilize their knowledge to better their community's station and better their community's interaction with other communities.

                            I feel I'm giving people a world away the tools they need to plead their case.

                          •  going to bed. (none)
                            Would like to continue the discussion, but it is 4:08 and my housemates wake up at 6, which effectively means if I'm not asleep before then, I'm screwed.  If I don't see you around here before then, have a great time in the Peace Corps.
                •  Would they boycott it... (none)
                  if the Libertarians and renegade Republican Congressman Ron Paul (who actually voted against the Iraq War Resolution) were to have a prominent role?

                  No-one who voted against the USAPATRIOT Act has lost an election. I am not currently Licensed to Practice in this State. Or Yours.

                  by ben masel on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 12:15:11 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  pacifism (walking back previous characterization) (none)
                  I won't draw a really hard line and say there could never be a war I'd support.  So I'm not in the strict sense a pacifist.  But my presumption will always be against violence and the burden of proof for why violence is necessary will always be very high with me.    
            •  re: anti-anything limited to the oppressed (4.00)
              Well...they can do that when they're a positive action. Anti-anything actions are by definition negative actions and should be limited to the oppressed.

              Any word on when those planes and boats of the 100,000 oppressed mourning Iraqis demonstrators will be arriving?

              I'm just sayin.

              George W. Bush, Resign NOW.

              by tlh lib on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 12:18:07 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  So What EXACTLY, Have YOU Done? (none)
      What you do wanna do anyway? Wanna jump in now, try and get in front of us, and tell the rest of us that we aren't good enough at protesting the war, do ya?

      So what EXACTLY have you DONE besides bitch about ANSWER? You are not personally going to get a permit are you? You want to tell other people to do it, 'pure' people, your people.

      Mass demonstrations are a form of 'polling' that can not be denied. Even if the press puts out misleading coverage, we can print our own pictures and our own estimates of attendence.

      When we get people to go to Washington,DC from all over the country (that means they are DEDICATED!) and we put some hundreds of thousands on the streets, and then the other side gets 400, somebody is going to take notice.

      And some people already have... the 'nattering nabobs'.

      I noticed quite a chasened 'chattering class' on 'Meet the Press' with Punkinhead yesterday. The only columnist who was not busy changing their storyline was Maureen Dowd.

      The purpose of the rally was to give the Anti-war people in Congress the knowlege that they can COME OUT NOW, they don't have to hide any more.

      They don't have to embrace ANSWER to detach their lips from the backside of the Bushiter. They can push loudly on the steps of the Capitol for cutting off funding for the war, which was how Vietnam came to an end.

      And for the Vashington Vichy-Vashies, the message is, polish your resumes cuz if you don't move now, we are coming after you too. And unlike the boobs on the right, we have memories and our kids are dead because of your kind.

      RMD

      The CHICKEN-hawk Bushiter's Iraq War- 1268 Dead, about 25K Medivacs and 9000 Maimed... Fought the Bushiter Way... Wasting other people's money and lives.

      by RedMeatDem on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:28:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Curriculum Vitae (4.00)
        First off, fuck you for that "your kind" comment. Now on to the meat.

        (a) Attended Bush inauguration protest.
        (b) Helped found a "Food Not Bombs," ran clothing drive in especially harsh winter, helped organize vigil and antiwar march in my college town.
        (c) Conducted actions against the Iraq War on my college campus, included ridiculously cartoonish displays. Got covered favorably on local ABC affiliate.
        (d) Attended DC Iraq War protest sponsored by ANSWER.
        (e) Escorted women through abortion protests in Louisville, KY.
        (f) Attended another DC Iraq War protest sponsored by ANSWER.
        (g) Attended women's rights march in DC.
        (h) Gave up adolescent, effortless, "fun," cathartic crap to try truly altruistic and fair politics.
        (i) Registered on Daily Kos after reading it for a long, long time.
        (j) Joined Peace Corps, fly out next Sunday.

        And a lot more little things -- like carrying around multivitamin bottles to give to the homeless -- things not organized and therefore ephemeral and more to do with my morality than my politics. I hate rattling off this sort of thing, so I hope this is all fucking good enough for you.

        •  Unless... (none)
          ... you are holding office in Washington and voting along with the Bushiters, you are not a Vashington Vichy-Vashie.

          I take people at their word as to all they say they have done and will be doing so I have no problem with your CV, however...

          The Bushiters and their berzerker government can destroy far faster than your admittedly praise-worthy actions can repair.

          The US Army is flattening towns in Iraq faster than Halliburton can take the money for not rebuilding them. Rachael Corrie was run over by an armored bulldozer given to the Israelis by 'our' government. And they can run over your good works just as easy. And they will slime you for your trouble.

          I do wish you well in your good works, but you are still trying to dictate to the rest of us from 'on high'. The point has been made dozens of times today, but I will restate it again.

          "The 'Best' is the Enemy of 'Good Enough'."

          You criticize the rest of us who are doing our part as best we see it, because you are doing it
          better than the rest of us poor schlubs. I read a lot of stuff and even appreciated your history of ANSWER, but most of us don't read that much.

          To effect regime change, the rest of us are needed too, even the 'commies' in ANSWER. We all live here and we all own some 1/280-and-some odd millionth of America. And my America is in far more danger from the Bushiters than they are from ANSWER, even ANSWER on steriods.

          If walking down the street with 100,000 people who came to the rally that ANSWER threw when the 'pure' people did not get the job done offends your sensibilities more than the kids who died today in Iraq, you may be excused.

          Meanwhile, quit your bitching about what I am doing, because I am not stopping going to anti-Iraq war rallys (even if the event is 'impure') until the war is over and our kids come home.

          Frankly speaking, you won't be helping as much in your foreign assignment as you would by getting the damn permit for the next anti-Iraq war rally that you don't want ANSWER to put on.

          RMD

          The CHICKEN-hawk Bushiter's Iraq War- 1268 Dead, about 25K Medivacs and 9000 Maimed... Fought the Bushiter Way... Wasting other people's money and lives.

          by RedMeatDem on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 01:52:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I simply disagree... (none)
            ...ANSWER is inadmissable to our conversation. Something I left off my CV is that I tutored a Cuban refugee in ESL for month up until last week. She wrote as a sample sentence, "why is Fidel so bad?" ANSWER apologizes for that bastard. And though Fidel may be near-decent compared to other Latin American leaders, what sorts of asses would apologize for him??? Not the sort of asses I'd ever support. Sorry, but I won't sacrifice my soul, political or spiritual, for some Maoist dude's version of solidarity. Ever.
            •  Like I Said (none)
              The Bushiters and their enablers are a far greater threat to America than ANSWER.

              I prioritize my threat view according to their proximity and likelihood. If a few whackjobs ranting into a reverbing PA system become more of a threat than the constitutional and financial destruction of the USA then I will respond accordingly.

              If some fringe group (like part or all of ANSWER) makes apologies for Fidel Castro. There are holocaust deniers and there are apologists for worse killers like Stalin and Pol Pot, too, but they are not in power here in the USA.

              And ANSWER is not in power in the USA either -- or they would not need a permit.

              Milosivic and Saddam are being used as 'bogey men' and as ways to prevent thought and discussion about the kids dying in Iraq.

              The quick retort that 'If you don't support the Iraq Occupation War, then you support Saddam', or, 'If you associate with people who are Saddam apologists, you support Saddam' are not going to cut off discusssion for me any more.

              So, like I said, if there is a 'pure' rally to attend, I'll be there in all my M.iddle A.ged W.hite G.uy glory. If there is no 'pure' rally to attend and there is an 'impure' one, I will attend what is available.

              So the ball is in the court of the 'pure' or 'better' groups -- get that permit and organize the next rally, or don't.

              It's a free country, they keep telling us so we both have a right to our opinions and to participate in any demonstration we want.

              One way or another, I am going to protest the war until it is over. And you can bitch about it, or organizations you like better get there first in the future.  

              RMD

              The CHICKEN-hawk Bushiter's Iraq War- 1268 Dead, about 25K Medivacs and 9000 Maimed... Fought the Bushiter Way... Wasting other people's money and lives.

              by RedMeatDem on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 10:30:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I disagree partially with mass marches ... (4.00)
      ...as a tactic at this time as well, but, as you say, there no doubt will be one come spring.
      So we have no choice. Let's make them good ones.

      But what is needed, as I tried to explain yesterday, is a whole range of citizen activities, not only to convince more Americans that what we're doing in Iraq is, at best, counterproductive to our national security, but also to persuade our cautious Dem leaders that they should take action.

      Protest marches and the wonderful first round of civil disobedience we saw today, are only a small piece of that. In fact, if those were the only activities, probably more people would be turned off than decide to climb aboard the antiwar cause.

      Thirty-one million new blogs are created each year. Try ours at The Next Hurrah.

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:32:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Re the date (none)
    any value in making it a month earlier or so, around the maximal spring break time?  Would that get more students to go to DC?  (Don't worry about the ones who go to Cancun; they're not protest types.:-)

    And March is not bad in DC -- although admittedly, April is oh so much better.  Just putting this out there for those with more experience in planning.

    Then again, if the aim is middle-class moms and dads and teachers, when is the maximal spring recess time for grade schools and high schools?

    "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

    by Cream City on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:06:19 PM PDT

    •  spring break (none)
      I think it's actually better to have a rally that's during the spring breaks of as few colleges as many - better for organization of large groups of students, and the areas within a day's drive of DC are so dense with students.
      •  Then April 22 is safe (none)

        "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

        by Cream City on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:30:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Is DC that much of a campus nucleus? (none)
        Interesting.  I know Boston leads by far, and I'm in the third-largest, according to some recent study -- interestingly, the southern Great Lakes arc from Chicago into southeastern Wisconsin.  So maybe DC is the second-largest nucleus of campuses that I can't remember!

        This also may tell us, re downthread discussion, to be sure to look to local demonstrations tied to those nuclei -- perhaps targeting several crucial campus cities for early permit applications?

        "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

        by Cream City on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:36:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was thinking (none)
          it's a place you can drive to from New York, Philly, Boston, and also Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, Atlanta, etc.  It's not so much how many colleges are right there (though there are a number), it's how many are close enough that an overnight bus ride will do it.
    •  perhaps there is something to be said (4.00)
      for holding a protest when the weather is a bit cold, the sky steely, and the mood a big more somber. either late autumn or early spring. i'm not suggesting that we shoot for the dead of winter, but showing up when the weather is a bit harsher than late spring might help demonstrate the intensity of feeling and set the tone in a way that a spring break march might not.

      of course i live in sunny california, so i am very likely writing checks my ass can't cash here.

      crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

      by wu ming on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:48:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  as someone from Michigan (none)
        (worst winters ever), you'd be surprised at how tolerable 45 degrees is. Throw on a jacket, and you're fine. Of course, I guess the idea of standing out in 45 degree weather could really suppress turnout.

        I do agree with you on the tone it would set though.

        you WISH I was female

        by AnnArborBlue on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:53:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Washington DC, January 2003 protest. (none)
          Forget what the date was - January 18? 20?  Anyway, screw 45 degrees - it started out below zero.  On the drive from NJ to DC, it was so cold my passengers had to keep their feet off the floor of the car because the cold was coming up through the floor freezing them.  I was in 2 sets of silk long underwear, wool socks, hiking boots, hat, scarf, gloves, gore-tex coat, I kept moving all day, and I was still fucking freezing.  And I'm one of the ones who likes cold weather.  Usually.

          There were, BTW, hundreds of thousands of people there.

  •  Easter and Passover. (none)
    is apparently April 16, so April 23 is Orthodox Easter.  Passover will have just ended.  Not sure that Orthodox Easter would make a huge difference, so it looks good to me...
  •  Yes! (none)
    Let's book a date before it's made illegal.
  •  C'mon, Ben. Don't you think we'll ... (4.00)
    ...be out of Iraq by April 22?

    <<snark off>>

    If there is a national protest organized for the spring - and I am ambivalent - might I recommend that, in addition to one in D.C., there be one organized in, say, the next largest 250 cities in America to be held simultaneously? The Administration, the media, and the wimp-Dems need to see that we antiwarriors are everywhere.

    Thirty-one million new blogs are created each year. Try ours at The Next Hurrah.

    by Meteor Blades on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:25:15 PM PDT

    •  Both. (4.00)
      Local, followed a week or 2 later by DC.

      No-one who voted against the USAPATRIOT Act has lost an election. I am not currently Licensed to Practice in this State. Or Yours.

      by ben masel on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:28:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Now that's interesting (4.00)
        to be sequential instead of simultaneous -- aha, I think that comes back to me like deja vu all over again from the '60s.

        But definitely both.  There wasn't enough organizing of that last weekend, compared to the earlier vigils.  People around the country want to participate.

        "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

        by Cream City on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:32:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, I like sequential. Obviously ... (none)
          ...one of the best things about the local demos is that they let far more people participate, allow a burgeoning of leadership at the local level that can be leveraged into leadership on issues other than the war in the long run - including electoral leadership, and that they can't be taken over by cadre.

          Thirty-one million new blogs are created each year. Try ours at The Next Hurrah.

          by Meteor Blades on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:35:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm also liking vigils. (none)
            Because of the relative silence.  I'd allow some singing, and demand a clear ending time, but vigils a la the Cindy Sheehan ones in August work very well for me.  The Princeton one was a high point of my year for a number of reasons.
            •  I also like that aspect (none)
              maybe a tolling bell . . . I think I said this in your diary, or one of the myriad diaries, vs. the shrieking in the mics last weekend.

              "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

              by Cream City on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:46:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  If the community is big enough ... (none)
              ...a vigil AND a march AND a little civil disobedience could be on the agenda. But now I'm thinking a little too grand.

              Thirty-one million new blogs are created each year. Try ours at The Next Hurrah.

              by Meteor Blades on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 12:04:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  civil disobedience (none)
                It's always such a difficult question when and where to do civil disobedience.  Like, before the first Gulf War, maybe the deadline night after which bombing could start, a bunch of people got arrested at a rally outside Westover Airforce Base in Chicopee, MA, which my mom felt was too early - her view was you build toward the point where civil disobedience is used or else you cheapen it.  And before this war, some people in Princeton got arrested at the same time as a rally was happening, but I'm not even sure where they were - I went with everyone else on down to the police station to chant for their release, but as far as I could tell, they'd laid down in the middle of a random intersection a couple blocks from the rally.

                So when do you do it?  Just on a day that's convenient?  On a day some decision is being made?  An anniversary?  And where?  Do you do it at a military base?  At some historically-resonant spot?  The random intersection?

                I'm willing, I just don't want to be a dumb-ass about it.

                •  Well, we live in anarchical times ... (4.00)
                  ...so getting many of the people most likely to engage in CD into the same symbolically or otherwise valuable approach is not likely to be easy. I agree with your mom about timing. I do think today's CD arrests met all the proper criteria.

                  Although most of my antiwar arrests were for something other than CD, the CD arrests were mostly for blocking troop trains, military induction centers and a couple of intersections the day after Nixon started bombing Cambodia. We always got lots of media attention. So I vote for finding equally powerful situations in which to carry out CD.

                  The October 2002 Iraq War Resolution anniversary is coming up. Veterans Day is coming up.  

                  Thirty-one million new blogs are created each year. Try ours at The Next Hurrah.

                  by Meteor Blades on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 12:55:48 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  also better (4.00)
            for including people who are either too far or don't have the time or money to go all the way across the country to protest in DC. additionally, the local focus provides a sort of "authenticity" of protest, in that the people doing it on the news will be rooted in their various communities. i keep thinking about those images of the 2003 philly antiwar protest at the liberty bell, led by a phalanx of silently walking quakers. the local color probably would help with getting a good national media hook.

            crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

            by wu ming on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:41:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wow. That was a photo op (none)
              I'm sorry I missed.  Authenticity is a good term for this local color and community basis.

              But just because I'm in Milwaukee, not even for this cause will I wear a dirndl, lederhosen, or cheesehead.  

              Seriously, though, this also could be accomplished with locating near recognizable landmarks, like that  Liberty Bell location in Philly.

              "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

              by Cream City on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:50:22 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Call your buddy Feingold (none)
        It's about time a rally was run by the Dem Senatorial Caucus.

        http://dumpjoe.com/

        by ctkeith on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:32:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  well, (none)
      that puts them in some pretty odd places.  List of city populations here: http://www.demographia.com/db-uscity98.htm

      It would be a good statement, though.  Or maybe just at least 5 cities/towns in each state, which also gets to 250 without the sometimes-peculiar specificity of, say, Elizabeth, New Jersey?

      Discuss your ambivalence?  I guess I'm also ambivalent but not even sure why and I'm sure your ambivalence is better thought through...

      •  In the 1960s - I'm sure people ... (none)
        ...are sick of my saying that - the antiwar movement did far more than organize protest marches, local or national. Teach-ins and draft counseling, to offer two example. I'd say street protests took up 10% of our antiwar energy. I've nothing per se against street protests, as Addison does, but until 90% of our antiwar energy is directed into other activities, I'm not so keen on protest marches.

        Protest marches' tactical efficacy is something else altogether. If they're a media event, then Saturday's reviews were definitely mixed, as is obvious from the commentary in yesterday's Diaries and elsewhere in left blogosphere. TocqueDeville offered up a proposal for a super-patriotic antiwar protest (this was often discussed early on in the '60s movement, too) that might make media coverage more one-sidedly favorable. But these things are dicey, and anybody who thinks you can (or should) make people wear suits and not dye their hair pink or show their tattoos at a demo so hostile media won't have anything negative to pay attention to is fooling himself.

        A protest, on the other hand, that involved thousands (instead of today's hundreds) of peaceful demonstrators getting arrested would be a powerful statement no front page could ignore. And if there were 20 or 50 or 200 people getting arrested in those other 250 cities at the same time, then wow!

         

        Thirty-one million new blogs are created each year. Try ours at The Next Hurrah.

        by Meteor Blades on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:47:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good points -- and we also had (none)
          Viet Veterans Against the War involved in the draft counseling, a form of validation of the antiwar effort by those who were there that couldn't be matched.  (And, of course, some were among the most freekily dressed of anyone there.) So involvement of vets again in as many locales as possible?  

          "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

          by Cream City on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:55:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  teach-ins, etc. (none)
          For some reason, my imagination has never stretched far enough to envision a teach-in at Princeton, but you're right, that should be done.  My mantra these days is that I must get over my distaste for some of the people I'm going to have to work with in this area...not suffering fools gladly is one of my greatest personal liabilities.

          My dad et al have had one or two at UMass in the past couple of years, but they have so much else on their plates.

          •  Personalities can be ... (4.00)
            ...harder to deal with than just about anything else in a political movement. I empathize. Having been a middle-level organizer in SDS right up to the Weathermen split, I can assure you it wasn't just ideology that caused big problems. To make things happen, you've got to be committed and willing to stand tough, because the cadre will be there no matter what.

            Thirty-one million new blogs are created each year. Try ours at The Next Hurrah.

            by Meteor Blades on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 12:13:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I've heard the stories. (none)
              I still hear them, albeit in different contexts now.

              I just get mean.  That's the problem.  I make people cry.  My own mother is afraid of me.  My housemate is afraid of me.  I don't mean to do it!  I'm basically a huge softie, just with a poor ability to edit myself or control my irritated facial expressions.

              I'm working on it, though.  I've almost got my polite smile mastered.

    •  another way to do it (none)
      would be by building up to DC by having lots of little protests in state capitals and other cities, either in stages or in a series of tours wandering across the country. i thought that that aspect of the crawford peace bus routes was compelling, if only because it removed the focus from the usual big cities and brought the message to places that are usually ignored in national politics.

      another idea would be simply not to leave DC, but to occupy the capital mall until it becomes a major attention-grabbing story. it would involve a greater threat of arrest, but would demonstrate a lot more committment and discipline from our side if we could pull it off, a la early tian'anmen square '89.

      crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

      by wu ming on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:35:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I love the image, but you'd have to ... (none)
        ...have a fairly large number of people - a few thousand - to make this resonate. And they would have to be prepared to be arrested and deal with the financial and other difficulties associated with being arrested. This is a big commitment.

        Thirty-one million new blogs are created each year. Try ours at The Next Hurrah.

        by Meteor Blades on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:57:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  What if we bypass DC entirely? (none)
      Just do 250 cities around the country. But do it in a 21st century kind of way.

      Why do we still hold demonstrations the way they did in 1905? Signs, puppets, chants......

      I'm not suggesting anything so cheesy as a virtual march. But there must be a way to bring contemporary culture, technology, media, relationships, etc. into the protest arena.

      Any ideas?

      •  Never know (none)
        If Bush's ratings continue to plumit, congressional republicans might have to do something to save their skin next fall.  We're probably have 2500 KIA by April
        •  My fear (and the source of some fury) ... (none)
          ...at the moment is that Team Bush will actually call for a withdrawal with a timetable BEFORE leading Democrats do. Both the withdrawal and timetable may be as bogus as Richard Nixon's secret plan to get us out of Vietnam, but it may finish the job of neutering the Dems when it comes to Iraq policy. And it would make organizing war opposition far more difficult, whether you're talking mass protest or other actions.

          Thirty-one million new blogs are created each year. Try ours at The Next Hurrah.

          by Meteor Blades on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:55:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think so, too (none)
            That there will be a call for a withdrawal plan announced, that it will be a sham.  But with the November '06 elections, when will it be announced?  I wouldn't be surprised if it's by April, with only six months to go.

            So a permit doesn't get used.  Still worth getting one now -- as the Bush administration is in such shambles in so many ways, it's no longer such a predictable steamroller of a political machine.

            "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

            by Cream City on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 12:01:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Not sure it works for 19th-century (none)
        media, i.e., newspapers, and the others stuck in the 20th century, radio and tv. . . .

        So this brings up the central question:  PURPOSE.

        Is the purpose to get media coverage?  

        From purpose flows the determination of the public to target -- and then the program to accomplish it.  Starting with tactics can skew results.

        So if the purpose is media coverage, the standard mass protests still provide good camera action.

        But combining it with live blogging or the like, along the lines you suggest, could create some new-age wonderful synergy to reach other publics.  Cool.

        "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

        by Cream City on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:45:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed entirely. But that's for ... (none)
          ...you (??) young whippersnappers to develop.

          As for protest marches per se, as I said, I'm ambivalent. But if we oould get 5 million folks into the streets - not in D.C. or N.Y. or S.F., but collectively in 250 cities, it would be hard for anyone to ignore.

          Thirty-one million new blogs are created each year. Try ours at The Next Hurrah.

          by Meteor Blades on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:52:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ah, I love the internets (none)
            for making me young in your eyes, Meteoric One.

            I bet we both marched in protests at the same time.  Let me put it this way: I first was teargassed in '68.

            "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

            by Cream City on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:57:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's why I followed "you" with ... (none)
              ...question marks. I was first tear-gassed and underwent my first political arrest in '64. So we must be not only the same generation, but the same age cohort of it. And don't you wish we didn't have to be talking about how to end another illegal war?

              Thirty-one million new blogs are created each year. Try ours at The Next Hurrah.

              by Meteor Blades on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 12:00:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, media is the initial target..... (none)
          .....with public and political influence the residual targets. But I'm not talking about blogging. I'm thinking something more real-world.

          Work in progress...

          What about an expansion of the MoveOn/DFA houseparties? Except, instead of houses, public parks. Parks all over the country - in big cities, multiple parks. The crowds would vary from site to site, but the aggregate total could be huge.

          They could all be connected via IP, or even satellite. Speakers would appear at all the events live and by transmission. C-SPAN could be plugged in to a central broadcast facility to capture the whole event. Congress-critters could be heard in their districts and still be broadcast across the network.

          Just for starters...

  •  April 22 1970: First Earth Day... (none)
    I can see synergies, but also dilution....

    No-one who voted against the USAPATRIOT Act has lost an election. I am not currently Licensed to Practice in this State. Or Yours.

    by ben masel on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:32:58 PM PDT

    •  Beats a week earlier, i.e., the Ides of April (none)
      aka Hate the IRS Day.

      And April 29 gets too close to May Day, with all the connotations of alliance with the commie pinkos, y'know.

      Better find out if the Earth Day folks already plan something in DC, though.  No more message dilution!

      "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

      by Cream City on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:39:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bedtime. (none)
    hope somebody follows up.

    No-one who voted against the USAPATRIOT Act has lost an election. I am not currently Licensed to Practice in this State. Or Yours.

    by ben masel on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 12:40:15 AM PDT

  •  Why April? March 20th is the Anniversary (none)
    We could do Saturday, March 18th - that would be close enough!

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