Taking It to the Streets

WASHINGTON, July 5 -- Support among Republicans for President Bush's Iraq policy eroded further on Thursday as another senior lawmaker, Senator Pete V. Domenici of New Mexico, broke with the White House just as Congressional Democrats prepared to renew their challenge to the war.

"We cannot continue asking our troops to sacrifice indefinitely while the Iraqi government is not making measurable progress," said Mr. Domenici, a six-term senator who has been a steadfast supporter of the president.

Thus Mr. Domenici joined a growing number of Republican voices in opposition to the war just as Senate Democratic leaders are readying plans to put the political and policy focus back on Iraq next week. The NY Times

    What is it going to take to for us to get fed up enough to take this government back? I'm not talking about the fed up of sitting behind these screens and complaining and analyzing as this country is sent crashing in flames. As this piece illustrates even those who know this war is wrong and know that it is a no-win situation still want to continue the death march.

    It is obvious that these guys (Democrats & Republicans) are not going to stop this. It is no longer about elections, we had an election. Anybody remember that? Where the majority of Americans voted to end this war; yet it continues. While we wait on the wheels of politics to turn; more and more Americans and Iraqis are dying and for what purpose? Is our presence in Iraq making it a safer place or a better place? Who can continue to back this argument with the overwhelming evidence that we are not doing either.

    No my friends, it is time to take action to organize and to put pressure on these politicians. It is time to say enough is enough. How can the vast majority of people in a democracy be against something and yet it continues to fester. This thing is festering like an infected sore on the soul of America and the more we pick at it the more infected it becomes. It is time for direct civil action against the war-mongers and war profiteers that continue to feed the war machine with bodies of our sons and daughters, the bodies of Iraqis. It is time to shut down this government that has refused to listen to and follow the will of the people. It is time to make it plain in no uncertain terms that we have had enough of the lies and deceit.

    We need to start putting together city by city, state by state, the mechanisms to carry this message to the street. We can no longer be content with the small rallies staged in individual cities and towns; we must go directly to Washington. We must go with the strength that cannot be ignored. As long as we silently stand by and watch the carnage we will continue to be ignored.

    I have to give it to these guys they have gotten smarter at this; we no longer have the daily pictures beamed to our homes of the violence that is Iraq. We no longer have the daily visions of the maiming and injury that we had for Vietnam. They learned not only from Vietnam, but also from the civil rights movement. When those pictures of Black people being hosed, beaten, and attacked by dogs were sent into the homes across America, the outrage could not be contained. I guarantee you will never see pictures like that again on television. These guys know that those images had power; they motivated a nation to stand up and say enough. It was the same with the war pictures from Vietnam. Now what do we see these nice little "smart bomb" video game images of precision killing. We no longer see the real visions of war and you know what we are ok with that. It makes American Idol and Desperate Housewives go down easier. Gone from our senses are the visions of little Asians kids running down the street with napalm burning their skin off or G.I.s getting limbs blown off. Yes sir, gone are the good ole days of real war footage, the kind that would make you lose your appetite for dinner. The kind that would make you want to put down the remote, the mouse, the cell phone and do something. These images that kept us awake at night, they did because we knew that the violence was being carried out in our name.

    Let's have a good old fashion peace concert in Washington on the mall. It's time we showed these clowns who's really in charge and these kids how changing the world is done. Let's leave no doubt in anybody's mind that we are fed up and we aren't going to take it anymore. We are not only tired of the violence in Iraq, but the violence right here on our streets in America. Where are you people who say you want your government back? It will never happen without direct action from us. Begging for it won't get it, obviously voting for it won't get it, and praying for it won't get it. I'm waiting to see who is willing to unbuckle their seatbelt and stand up on the plane that is about to crash and burn...

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.- Martin Luther King

The Disputed Truth

Tags: Global Warming, Iraq War, Peace Concert, Poverty, protests (all tags)



Americans are not into protest

Americans are largely happy and content and not ready to spend an afternoon protesting that they could spend doing something else like watching tv.

Add to this that most Americans don't know anyone fighting in Iraq, can't comprehend the deficit, and think "all politicians are alike."  

Those who do understand, and I count myself among them, are not the protest types.  I think elections matter, but I am not sure protests do.  Look at the huge immigration protests from last year.  Did they get the Republicans to stop blocking immigration reform?  No.

by dpANDREWS 2007-07-10 07:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Americans are not into protest

This is about shutting down the wheels that fuel this and all the other atrocities. If it weren't for protests we would still be in Vietnam, Blacks would still not be able to vote or eat in a restaurant, and if it weren't for protests women would not be voting. No sir protests work, sadly it is we who have stopped working...

by Forgiven 2007-07-10 07:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Taking It to the Streets

...It is obvious that these guys (Democrats...

You're preaching to the wrong choir, dude.

We can no longer be content with the small rallies staged in individual cities and towns; we must go directly to Washington.

I have a slight bit of experience with this - over 250 vigils, protests and marches. A lot of people (including the media) ignore protests in D.C. There's a sort of automatic filter. What people can't ignore is protest that happens in their everyday life - a bumper sticker, a freeway blog, a small group of pickets on a street corner.

You organize your big Washington protest. If you get 25 million people clogging the city it just might work. Good luck. Meanwhile, the real work will take place on street corners, in neighborhoods, in places of worship, and at the ballot box.

by Michael Bersin 2007-07-10 08:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Taking It to the Streets

It is exactly this type of thinking that allows the carnage to continue. People in power can ignore bumper stickers and all your little indignities, they have for almost 5 years. Have we become so jaded and cynical that we have given up before the battle even starts?

by Forgiven 2007-07-10 08:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Taking It to the Streets

It is exactly this type of thinking that allows the carnage to continue. People in power can ignore bumper stickers and all your little indignities, they have for almost 5 years. Have we become so jaded and cynical that we have given up before the battle even starts?

Tell it to the Marines.

by Michael Bersin 2007-07-10 10:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Taking It to the Streets

No what we need to tell them is that they can come home...

by Forgiven 2007-07-10 11:04AM | 0 recs
Where were you over four years ago?

March 20, 2003

...I left Warrensburg at 4:30 p.m. and made it to the J.C. Nichols fountain at 47th and Main in Kansas City by 5:30 p.m. The organizers had planned for some time to have a 6:00 p.m. protest on the Plaza if hostilities broke out. I had been ambivalent about attending given the ugly rhetoric which is now being directed at those who dissent by the purveyors of right wing talk radio, cable television, and "yellow journalism".  We had to do something positive and affirming rather than sit at home watching the crap on television which passes for real journalism these days, so we were finally resolved to attend.  As we drove up to the fountain we saw that people were already on the picket line and the TV trucks and cameras were in abundance.  At its peak we had 400 to 500 people.

It was overcast, cold and windy - temperature in the 40s.  We took our place on the line. We had decided earlier to only bring our pacifist signs. "Peace on Earth", "In the Name of God, Stop Killing, In the Name of God", and my graphic peace sign - it's getting tattered from so much use...

Somewhat subdued, we quietly spoke on the line.  My favorite new sign: "War is so 20th century". The response from passing traffic was overwhelmingly positive - a lot of honking and peace signs.  One well pickled Republican matron rolled down her car window and asked, "Don't you people know the war has already started?"  This kind of cluelessness shouldn't surprise me anymore.  There were occasional pro-war shouts and one "bird", though I was surprised that they were not as ugly and aggressive as they were last Sunday - I suppose they're sated because they are getting their crappy little war.

We stood next to a veteran (there were many there tonight).  We were joined by an old friend and several colleagues.  After a while the organizers called us to the fountain.  Some folk singers sang a witty and satirical "12 days of war" song.  We had brought candles (and plastic cups as wind shields), so we lit them and stood listening to the music.  The singers had us all join in singing "Peace, Shalom, Salaam".  There were several speakers.  In the most peaceful moment of the day for me, as we stood there with our candles, we were barely aware that a photographer from the Kansas City Star took our pictures (when he finished he asked for our names and where we were from, writing the information down).  After the announcements were finished, the host marched through the Plaza shopping district.

The marchers stayed on the sidewalk, chanting in a call and response "Tell me what democracy looks like. This is what democracy looks like" and "What do we want? Peace! When do we want it? Now!"  As we marched into the Plaza we passed the glassed in front of one of those upscale dining establishments.  Lo and behold, two older women were standing watching us and flashed us peace signs!  We looped back around and passed several clothing establishments.  Some people shopping in the stores or watching us from the doorways flashed peace signs.

After we made it back to the fountain we walked to our car for the hour long drive home.

by Michael Bersin 2007-07-10 01:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Where were you over four years ago?

In New Mexico...

by Forgiven 2007-07-10 05:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Where were you over four years ago?

In New Mexico...

And the name of the elementary school you attended at that time was?

by Michael Bersin 2007-07-10 06:18PM | 0 recs


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