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1, 2, 3, 4 . . . We don’t want your f*cking war! March 23, 2006

Posted by dr. gonzo in DeKalb, Iraq, Politics.

Yesterday afternoon I gathered myself and went to an anti-Iraq War protest at Northern Illinois University’s Martin Luther King Commons.

Starting at about noon, the Northern Coalition for Peace and Justice sponsored protest featured live music and about 50 or so participants. The campus isn’t the most politically active one I have seen so the turnout was good considering that.

Chicago hip hop group Agents of Change rocked the house with politically aware rap, which was very powerful.

The protest started off peacefully, despite the occasional jackbag walking by with ignorant comments, such as “free Saddam” or “America haters.” Which is actually sad. It’s sad to think that someone would believe the spoon fed crap from the Bush administration that says if you oppose the war you somehow hate America. That’s just ignorant. And no, I don’t care if you think otherwise. Keep blindly supporting this bullshit war if you want to, believe the lies, trust your government, by all means.

But remember, when you’re being spied on by your government, that you thought it was all okay and by the time it’s too late you won’t be able to do anything to stop it. So be afraid. Fear keeps you all in line. Peasants, serfs, slaves.

This war is no more about freedom and democracy for Iraqis than the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia was. This war is about money and oil. Period. Naivete causes people to believe that this crap is actually about liberty. Laughable to say the least. Come on, we care about liberty and democracy? Is that why we ignored Rwandan genocide? Is that why it took years for us to step into the Balkans Wars? Is that why we support autocratic regimes throughout the Middle East? Liberty. Ha.

Be afraid.

Very afraid.

After about two hours of speaking and music (I gave a firey Abby Hoffman style speech, impromptu all the way) the protest degraded its credibility by becoming semi-violent, or at least law breaking.

In DeKalb, like most cities, to march requires proper permits (though I doubt that was what Monroe had in mind when the Bill of Rights was composed). We had none.

However, one bandanna wearing radical decided we were to march anyway. The march went down Normal Road (the heart of campus) toward Lucinda Avenue and the Armed Forces Recruiting Center. I knew what was about to happen.

I stopped at the corner of Lucinda and Normal but about 20 protesters continued down Lucinda Avenue. They arrived at the Recruiting Station and proceeded to steal brochures and rip posters off the wall. The recruiter’s called police with about 12 protesters in their building. No arrests were made. Which I thought surprising.

Check out local coverage here: (warning these articles are extremely biased against the protest)

Daily Chronicle coverage
Northern Star coverage

Like most protest coverage by the MSM if there is any kind of illegal incident the entirety of events occuring before the few lawbreakers broke the law were mostly ignored, by both the Chronicle and the Star.

This, of course, is the inherent problem with protesting. Protesters, no matter what the issue, bring a lot of emotion to the table. Sometimes that anger pours over, as in this case. But it doesn’t make the cause any less worthy or what went on before the protest degraded any less worthy either.

Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, so no photos. Darn it.


1. yinn - March 24, 2006

The cops around here are pretty cool about protests, I’ve found, having been to a few rallies & vigils myself.

Last Friday evening, the Interfaith Network for Peace & Justice had such a rally/vigil at First & Lincoln. They always have a Friday vigil, but this one was to commemorate the third anniversary of the start of the war so we had speakers, songs, etc. Ruben Zamora showed up. It was a larger crowd than usual, probably 40-50 but I didn’t think to count.

One of the participants had a big poster saying, “Cheney is a dick head,” or some such, complete with big paper dick. Someone who had driven or walked by must have phoned the cops to complain because one showed up. They talked for some time & she ended up removing one of the dicks (maybe having anticipated this, she had made it easily detachable), though not the most objectionable in my book.

Some of us were dying to hear the conversation. His backups were around the corner in the car (thought it was cool they didn’t come out like gangbusters) & we didn’t want to surround a lone officer.

IMO respectful & restrained conduct starts at the top, says something good about Chief Feithen.

Sorry I missed your event & your speech.

2. amc - March 24, 2006

Feithen is a pretty good police chief, for the most part, I would say.

3. Glock21 - March 25, 2006

Glad to hear the protest went overwhelmingly fine in spite of the media coverage.

The media tends to be obnoxious with protests and such, regardless of what political view your group represents. The negative aspects always tend to get the most attention because it tends to grab their viewer’s attention and thus ad revenue.

Even the gun rights group down here has to carefully coordinate any public event to ensure the postive message is covered and not some yahoo that went off and did this or that or had a rude message or only focus the cameras on some weirdo in full cammo outside city hall. But even that doesn’t work sometimes. A counter protest of 4 whole people can sometimes steal the event’s media attention. It’s amazing.

On a related note… is it just me or are the protests against this immigration crackdown bill getting more media coverage than the war protests did?

4. yinn - March 26, 2006

It’s not just you. However, these protests are HUGE compared to the anti-war ones. The smallest group was about 20,000 people in Denver, all the way up to a half-million in L.A. Can’t wait to see what happens April 10.

We’re all concerned about immigration & we need to re-work our policies, but the bill they are protesting–which has actually passed in the House–is barbaric. There’s a nasty racist component to this legislation & to the whole nativist movement that chills the blood.

There’s also a much more humane bill in the pipeline.

*PIMP ALERT* I’ve done a series of diaries on what it would take for a hate group to go mainstream, & the discussion includes the nativists because they are growing like crazy right now.

5. Glock21 - March 27, 2006

I don’t see a racist component to this legislation. Maybe you’re referring to a racist component of the motivation behind the legislation? At worst the legislation itself seems a bit xenophobic. Personally I think it misses the problem entirely and goes after the symptoms. The problem is that we have a huge demand for jobs by latin americans and limitations in place that make it a very long process to legally meet that demand. I think a better solution would involve making it easier and faster to get work visas and improving border security generally to focus on those that still attempt to avoid coming in legally.

Of course dealing with those already here is the hot button issue… many feel that since they are “criminals!” that they need to be deported and treated like “criminals!” whereas many other feel that their crime is fairly minor and motivated more by desperation than malicious intent.

I guess I just wanted to stress that being against illegal immigration but for legal immigration isn’t in itself racist. There may be some racists who support the legislation but that doesn’t make everybody else who supports it racists too. A lot of modern communist and socialist radicals support the anti-Iraq war effort, but that doesn’t mean anti-war folks are inherently communists or socialists. Too much guilt by association for me, but it’d probably work in campaign ads and other political propaganda.

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