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Old 10-27-2002, 04:19 AM   #1
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Liberal Anti-War Rallies

I'm watched an anti-war rally in D.C. on CSPAN today. I'm just going to rant for a while . I'm just going to type what comes to mind, so don't expect this to flow smoothly or be supported by tons of evidence.

Ok....watching this thing was like listening to someone drag their finger nails across a chalkboard. The lies and hypocrisy of the speakers is a wonder to behold. The different political causes represented among the protesters varied from freeing Palestine to freeing Mumia. The chants and "phrases" are all too common and rehearsed. I remember hearing "one, two, three, four, we don't want your racist war" when I was back in Berkeley right after 9-11. Here we are again, the same phrase, but I don't see how this is about racism. The repetition of "solidarity", "unity", "worker's rights" and other phrases are all too common to a socialist worker's rally and are repeated hundreds of times throughout the rally by several speakers. Phrases like: "colonial occupation", "military machine", "corporate fatcats", "our rights are under assault" are thrown around like they're nothing.
Each speaker would get up and start by listing their left-wing credentials to rally their support among the crowd. One man started by listing all of the union rallies he's been in and his support of the free Mumia movement. The crowd started chanting "Free Mumia". Bush's recent move to stop union strikes, which were paralyzing a sector of our economy resulting in billions of dollars in losses every day was brought up by one speaker. The speaker then started chanting "Hands off the docks, stay out of Iraq". The crowd started chanting it too. Are those two things related? Is it strange that the whole crowd would start chanting "hands off the docks" when most of them surely don't understand the complexity of that situation?
One of the speakers said that he is afraid for the future of his children in this country. His little boy (who couldn't have been older than 9) stepped up and barely reached the podium. He stumbled on an obviously rehearsed speech and said that even a little boy like him knows that peace is better than war. The crowd cheered. He then held up a shirt with the phrase "no war for oil" printed on it to more cheers. Clearly this boy had the proper education and unbiased environment to make such a statement, right? Every speaker pointed out that the war distracted from the corporate scandals caused by Bush and the Republicans who are responsible for the ruined economy totalling ignoring the effects of 9-11, the dot BUST and the fact that companies like Enron made large contributions to nearly every left-wing congressman (Enron gave nearly 1/3 of its contributions to left-wingers).
The typical celebrities make their token speeches and the crowd was all too predictable. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Susan Sarandon, and Patti Smith were up there. Susan Sarandon, a common celebrity face at liberal rallies, says that she is tired of the rich and corporations misleading us. I guess her movies aren't produced by corporations, I guess she's not a millionaire. She cited George Tennet's recent report that we are under high of risk of a terrorist attack as proof that our war on terrorism has failed. Did George Bush tell us that the war would be over soon? Did he say that he would guarantee than within a year of 9-11 we'd be safe? I don't see where this is coming from.
One of the main speakers introduced Jesse Jackson like he was a superstar. The speaker shouted out his name and introduced him like a WWF wrestler is introduced. He was a leader among modern freedom fighters (a modern MLK) and the crowd roared. Ridiculous and sad.
The main rally organizers who would step in every so often would repeatedly say that there are "reports" of buses still coming in from all over the country. The the rally had swelled to well over 100,000, though there was no official count! They also passed around buckets for money to organize more rallies.
Every speaker said that he\she didn't want his\her children to die for oil. What are the chances that ultra-lefties would ever join the army? Are these weekend protestors really the type to sign up for the ROTC? I remember activists outside the ROTC center at my school with signs proclaiming the center as a terrorist camp.
One speaker got up who was a representative for Jews for Peace or something to that effect. He was a gay, unionist, progressive Jewish man against zionism. He openly stated that zionism is our enemy. The crowd cheered. He was against the vietnam war (a common credential among many older speakers and not surprising). The crowd cheered. Why was identifying all these associations necessary? Not sure.
A giddy black student from Brown university who was on CSPAN that day arguing against the war laughed that she was sitting across from "TWO RICH WHITE KIDS" who would never find themselves fighting a war. She giggled as she mocked the two rich white kids. The crowd cheered her on. Why was it important to mention that they're rich and white? I guess only the poor and non-white would naturally be against this war. Funny that all the white faces in the crowd cheered her on. Funny that she would never be fighting in a war either. Her laughter was annoying and she seemed very immate and clearly driven by the attention of thousands of cheering protestors.
Several speakers blamed ALL 1.5 million Iraqi deaths since the
sanctions started on US policy. Here's the important part here. I heard NO MENTION OF SADDAM HUSSEIN from any of the speakers. No guilt was placed upon him. None of the Iraqi deaths were attributed to him. They didn't even mention that they were against the war despite his dictatorship. THey just claimed that the Iraqis just want peace and prosperity and we're the only ones holding them back. The consensus among the speakers was that we had no international support. There was no mention of Britain and Tony Blair.

Here's what I'm sick of (there's a lot more, but I'll keep it brief):
1. The variety of lies and generalizations that I've outlined above. Centrists, right-wingers and even democrats have argued against much of this stuff. The speakers at the rally didn't even pretend like counter-arguements exist. Saddam's responsible for some of this? No, that doesn't serve our purpose. The economy is failing for reasons beyond the control of the president? No, we're not going to acknowledge that economics is more complex than simple slogans. Corporate scandals due to just Bush and his "cronies"? No, let's not mention that nearly every left-wing congressmen has received large sums of money from corporations. Let's not mention that we really have no idea how many people are at the rally, that we're not sure how the rest of America really feels, and that positive results aren't necessarily due to the fact that we're sitting out here chanting and are more likely just fortuitous. War is never the answer? Let's forget about WWII, right? Also, veterans are not unanimously against the war because they know the horrors of war!
2. The umbrella nature of these rallies. They have to pander to dozens and dozens of different causes to achieve the numbers to get press attention. Each successive speakers spoke about much more than just Iraq, though this was a free Iraq rally. They recounted dozens of shameful events in the history of our country to remind everyone how horrible our government is. They talked about the successes of previous free Palestine rallies which many of these protestors apparently attended. Random speakers would get up and say that they opposed invading Iraq and then spent 5-10 minutes on the removal of US troops from Viques, Korea, Grenada, etc. If you want to make it seem that these people have showed up to tell Bush that they opposed the war, THEN THE FOCUS OF THE SPEAKERS SHOULD BE ON THE WAR! The speakers should not talk about Palestine, Mumia, etc etc etc.
Here's a listing of some of the groups who presented their causes here:
Bayan-USA
Free Palestine Alliance
IFCO / Pastors for Peace
International Action Center
Kensington Welfare Rights Union
Korea Truth Commission
Mexico Solidarity Network
Middle East Children's Alliance
Muslim Student Association of the U.S. and Canada
Nicaragua Network
Partnership for Civil Justice - Legal Defense and Education Fund

This is a small list of the many causes presented at the rally. Clearly these don't all relate to Iraq.

3. HYPOCRISY! Sarandon attacking the rich and corporations! Jackson talking about workers losing jobs when he doesn't have one! Everyone attacking corporations but wearing every recognizable corporate symbol you can think of.
4. Historical revisionism really smacks you in the face. We apparently started the Korean war to oppress all the Korean people. We are the "occupiers" of Korea, Panama and Grenada. Every military action in another country is colonialism. Blah blah blah.
5. The mischaracterization of rich whites and esp. rich, white conservatives as ignorant oppressors who are blind to the poverty and oppression of the rest of the world.
6. The constant use of phrases like: diversity, love, peace, brothers, sisters, unity, etc to brainwash the crowd. Of course love and peace sound better than war. Of course diversity is good. Does it really address the arguement for the war? Do you really think that the hawks hate minorities, unity, peace, etc? Is it really important to remind everyone every 2 minutes that all of our "international brothers" are watching us standing in solidarity and diversity? That thousands of people are traveling to join them and most working Americans are with them? Do the protestors really need that sort of constant assurance to protest a cause?

What I saw on TV was nothing new to me from being at Berkeley. It's the same faces, same phrases, probably many of the same banners, and the same causes. Just another rally and another day. I see this as no better than the propaganda used to create xenophobia. The constant repetition of slogans, the assurance that they know the "real" truth, the constant compliments from the speakers commenting on how beautiful their faces were and how wonderful it is that they're there. Calling someone a "freedom fighter" and making a comparison to MLK and Che Guevara are surely gratifying to young rebels and old vietnam war protestors. Personally, I think many of them lack the background in business, economics, science and history to really make a good judgement on the variety of political causes they all seem to support. Most people can devote years to just understanding the complexities of Israel vs. Palestine and come out a moderate not really supporting either side. What are the chances that the protestors at these rallies have considered all the political issues presented at the rally well enough to make an accurate assessment of each situation? Pretty slim in my opinion. Especially considering the fact that all of their conclusions are one-sided.

IS THIS THE FACE OF THE LIBERAL LEFT?
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Old 10-27-2002, 09:28 PM   #2
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No it's not, we have many faces.
And you are making a lot of assumptions.
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Old 10-27-2002, 09:54 PM   #3
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This reminded me of the looting that often occurs by some protesters at World Trade Organization meetings. There are alot of people who may be against a particularly position but only a few that take it to the extreme.

That being said, despite all the "If you're not supporting America's war, you are unpatriotic." [which is not what you said gari] I'm a believer in the idea that dissent is also patriotic. If you speak at an anti-ware rally, you are exercising your first amendment right in this country.

I agree that its very one-sided gari but I'm sure conservative republican pro-life rallies are the same way. At least people in this country have a right to speak out against the government.
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Old 10-27-2002, 10:56 PM   #4
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I know I'm making a lot of assumptions, but I believe most of them are true.
Yes, pro-life rallies are probably the same, but I've never seen one. I'm pretty sure these people organize a lot more rallies than the pro-life groups in this country. Pro-lifers usually hand out pamphlets and display grotesque posters on the side of the street and on campuses, they don't normally hold rallies and chant slogans in my experience.

How many people are actually telling liberals that they can't criticize anything that the government does? I've heard TONS and TONS of criticism from the left about EVERYTHING Bush does. Why are you all pretending like Ashcroft shows up to the door of anyone who isn't constantly waving a flag? Are reporters and journalists being arrested? I've seen a lot of unpopular opinions published by the usual liberal pundits (i.e Ted Rall, Michael Moore, Arianna Huffington, etc etc) and they still seem to be around. As I recall, when Bill Maher almost got fired after 9-11 for saying that the terrorists weren't cowards, he was saved and said that he was surprised that the people who came to his defense were almost entirely right-wingers (even Rush Limbaugh!).

I'm just saying that I find these rallies disgusting just as the liberals on this board would criticize a pro-life rally if the speakers lied about abortion statistics or other something else. It's shameful. I'm not saying that this is isolated to the left-wing.
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Old 10-28-2002, 01:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Pro-lifers usually hand out pamphlets and display grotesque posters on the side of the street and on campuses, they don't normally hold rallies and chant slogans in my experience.
They quite often hold rallys, everyweekend in the areas I've been thru. They hold signs, chant, spit, yell, call ppl names, all that fun stuff.

If you think that these things happen from all sides of the political spectrum, then why bother to singal out the "liberals"?
If I have more time I'll go thru your post and pick out the instances that I find ridiculous, but as of now, there's just too much to even get started with.
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Old 10-28-2002, 11:14 AM   #6
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I remember hearing "one, two, three, four, we don't want your racist war" when I was back in Berkeley right after 9-11
Well "1,2,3,4..." has been used for decades, for many causes (left and right) same with "hey hey, ho ho..." and a lot of other ones, they're just easy to make up and easy for everyone to follow.

Quote:
The repetition of "solidarity", "unity", "worker's rights" and other phrases are all too common
I hate the word "solidarity" It makes me want to claw my eyes out. At the end of every mail, every letter "In Solidarity, so and so" I just hate it hate it hate it. Same with "brothers and sisters" no, you are not my brother, nor my sister, please do not refer to me as such. But unfortunetly these are all words that have embedded themselves into many movements staring decades ago.

Quote:
Is it strange that the whole crowd would start chanting "hands off the docks" when most of them surely don't understand the complexity of that situation?
Ok, this is where you got ridiculous lol
Why would you assume that the ppl aren't informed about the dockers situation? It's been a big discussion since it started and I hate to tell you, a lot of ppl are aware of the complexity of the situation and aren't just chanting about it to be cool.

Quote:
His little boy (who couldn't have been older than 9) stepped up and barely reached the podium.
While I didn't see this little boy speak and can not ateast to the manner in which he spoke, don't assume that because of his young age, he can't be informed. I was aware of many many political and social issues at a young age because of my own curiousity in the world, I grew up in a very right wing environment and was not lead to believe anything because I was told, I joined AI when I was 8 and promptly began going to the library and doing my own research and recieving mail on a wide range of subjects and was a well informed child.

As for left-wingers not pointing out that big corporations give money to Democrats as well, it's because it's a well enough known fact that they give money to both sides and a large portion of left wingers aren't Democrats anyway.

Rallies are a pain in the ass to organize, big or small.
And in order to pull it off, lots of orgs. come together due to money issues, speakers, time etc. So when speakers are designated their time to speak, it's really up to them what they speak about and they usually want to get across their orgs. agenda pretty heavily. Which can add to the ass pain, when you are organizing it and trying to stick to a certain area, then all these different ppl get up and throw around their own shit, the rally goes all over the place and isn't very cohesive.

Wearing corporate symbols and being against them is a complex thing to get into and I don't feel like getting into it right now. But for the most part, I'm going to guess that you aren't familiar with the reasons and tactics behind any number of anti-corp. ppl and why or why not the still purchase these items.

Quote:
Personally, I think many of them lack the background in business, economics, science and history to really make a good judgement on the variety of political causes they all seem to support.
Again, you are making really gross assumptions that if you have these beliefs you aren't smart enough to know the "truth"
Why are you so convinced that these are un-educated?
Is it because they disagree with you?
What are your reasons...
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Old 10-28-2002, 01:01 PM   #7
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Don't you know? Anyone who odoesn't agree with right-wing conservatives is wrong and unamerican. We're all a bunch of uneducated trailer park whores who are too busy sleeping with our cousins to form educated political opinions. Anything we do try to argue is a result of poor education and a misplaced desire to try to show that we're valuable members of society, which we're not. The only true Americans are right-wing conservatives. The rest of us are just dirty communist nazis who should be deported or put to sleep. Our opinions don't matter. We're just useless baby-killing terrorist-supporting government-mooching anti-American hicks. Our only redeeming value is that one day we'll make for a pretty decent worm-feast.

Ass.
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Old 10-28-2002, 01:06 PM   #8
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If anything, garibaldo's post shows that a protest rally can convey different, conflicting or confusing messages.
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Old 10-28-2002, 02:22 PM   #9
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Ok, this is where you got ridiculous lol
Why would you assume that the ppl aren't informed about the dockers situation? It's been a big discussion since it started and I hate to tell you, a lot of ppl are aware of the complexity of the situation and aren't just chanting about it to be cool.

I'm not assuming it. I just saw everyone start chanting it and waving their banners around as the CSPAN cameras panned through the audience. Conservatives often joke that these people don't have any jobs, so they spend their entire lives bitching and looking for ways to protest the "man" hehehe. So, if that's not true, then isn't it just unlikely that they really have taken the time to study up on all of the issues presented at the rally and work\go to school? It's not like a small group within the rally was cheering for each successive cause. It was pretty much everyone.

While I didn't see this little boy speak and can not ateast to the manner in which he spoke, don't assume that because of his young age, he can't be informed. I was aware of many many political and social issues at a young age because of my own curiousity in the world, I grew up in a very right wing environment and was not lead to believe anything because I was told, I joined AI when I was 8 and promptly began going to the library and doing my own research and recieving mail on a wide range of subjects and was a well informed child.

This is quite a stretch of the imagination. The kid could barely make a sentence and he looked like he was in third grade or something. I really don't know what age he was, so my estimate of 9 might be off. Also, the fact that he wasn't just some random educated kid, but the son of the radical who just spoke is pretty damning. Even if he was educated, I'll bet his dad didn't want him to get a "complete" education on all the issues. Seriously, it looks like you're really stretching for an arguement here.

As for left-wingers not pointing out that big corporations give money to Democrats as well, it's because it's a well enough known fact that they give money to both sides and a large portion of left wingers aren't Democrats anyway.

That would make sense if the left-wingers didn't say anything about corporate donations in these rallies. My point was that this was all they could talk about. Republicans love business, businesses own Republicans, etc etc Seems overly hypocritical to me. I don't think you can really make the claim that everyone there was farther left than the Democrats. Just look at almost every attack ad against a Republican this election year. They all pretty much say that so and so favors corporate welfare or business "interests" over the common working man. I, insert name of lefty here, fight for the common working man. I haven't seen a Republican attacking a Democrat for being pro-business.

Rallies are a pain in the ass to organize, big or small.
And in order to pull it off, lots of orgs. come together due to money issues, speakers, time etc. So when speakers are designated their time to speak, it's really up to them what they speak about and they usually want to get across their orgs. agenda pretty heavily. Which can add to the ass pain, when you are organizing it and trying to stick to a certain area, then all these different ppl get up and throw around their own shit, the rally goes all over the place and isn't very cohesive.

Exactly, that's my criticism of it.


Wearing corporate symbols and being against them is a complex thing to get into and I don't feel like getting into it right now. But for the most part, I'm going to guess that you aren't familiar with the reasons and tactics behind any number of anti-corp. ppl and why or why not the still purchase these items.

I guess you don't feel the need to explain this hypocrisy. I'm not suprised that left-wingers have come up with an explanation that justifies how they can protest a corporation on one hand and still buy its products. Please, enlighten me.

Again, you are making really gross assumptions that if you have these beliefs you aren't smart enough to know the "truth"
Why are you so convinced that these are un-educated?
Is it because they disagree with you?

I'm not claiming that they're all uneducated. I'm claiming that they're education is BIASED. They're educated as to the many ways and means the US has screwed the world. They're educated as to how global warming is screwing the environment and corporations are robbing their investors by these scandals. For example, the movement by a lot of environmentalists to create a fear of any man-made chemicals in the environment is largely misguided. Here is an interview with one of my former cancer\nutrition profs about this subject: http://reason.com/amesint.shtml
Also, I have several friends majoring in business and economics (I've taken business courses too) and not a single one of them doesn't laugh when they look at progressive complaints about business. It just seems to smack of someone who's been brainwashed into thinking that every "corporation" is an Enron or another polluter or slave driver.

Don't you know? Anyone who odoesn't agree with right-wing conservatives is wrong and unamerican. We're all a bunch of uneducated trailer park whores who are too busy sleeping with our cousins to form educated political opinions. Anything we do try to argue is a result of poor education and a misplaced desire to try to show that we're valuable members of society, which we're not. The only true Americans are right-wing conservatives. The rest of us are just dirty communist nazis who should be deported or put to sleep. Our opinions don't matter. We're just useless baby-killing terrorist-supporting government-mooching anti-American hicks. Our only redeeming value is that one day we'll make for a pretty decent worm-feast.

Ass.

Haha....well I thought I already addressed the part about criticism=unamerican. I guess you haven't learned to read yet. Yeah, I pretty much agree with most of that

P.S. I'm not going to make any claims as to how you're going to taste to the worms. If it's anything like the taste I had in my mouth after watching that rally, then it's probably going to stale.
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Old 10-28-2002, 05:57 PM   #10
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Wow...I don't know what to say. I've been on this board a long time, the majority of the time as a bystander. I've read a lot of posts put up by the opinion of the ones who lean towards the right, and there have been many I don't agree with, many that upset me, but I've respected their opinions or I've rebutted with my opinion in a respectful way. But never have I seen one on this board so close minded and ignorant of the other side. Why is it you can't understand there are people out there that are extremely passionate about their beliefs that they will rally under a cause. Your gross assumptions and labeling of people as uneducated make you come off extremely ignorant.

Look every facet of life has their contradictions, if people don't realize these contradictions exist they can get caught up in a very dangerous sence of arrogance.

Here's the quick and dirty answer to the corporation question IMO; There are a lot of people out there who don't believe in the overwhelming power of large corporations. But sometimes their aren't equal alternatives to the corporations. That's the danger. People are trying to achieve a world where we have choice. We live in the "free world" but let's face it, it only comes down to 2 choices in the political world, if you want transportation you have to drive a gas ran car (even though the technology is out there corporations have hendered the mass production of these vehicles). This is the problem. This is a very short answer that doesn't even come close to reaching the depth of this issue but this was just a look at the surface.

I've gotta go.
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Old 10-28-2002, 07:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Conservatives often joke that these people don't have any jobs, so they spend their entire lives bitching and looking for ways to protest the "man" hehehe. So, if that's not true, then isn't it just unlikely that they really have taken the time to study up on all of the issues presented at the rally and work\go to school? It's not like a small group within the rally was cheering for each successive cause. It was pretty much everyone.
*sigh
If we get into what jokes are told by each side that could be a whole other disscussion all together.

People that are involved in these issues come from all walks of life, from all econiomic backgrounds, from all educational backgrounds etc. Some have jobs some don't, some go to school some don't, some have money, some don't....
I still do not understand why you think that the right is more educated on these issues than the left?
Why do you feel they are so stupid?
People spend hours and hours a day, months and months within a year, and years and years studying this stuff....THEY KNOW WHY THEY ARE INVOLVED. I really don't know how to make you understand that we all aren't ignorant rich hating backwoods losers who have nothing better to do than chant Free Mumia. Start attending some meetings, read some websites, get INFORMED about the other side, it sounds to me you don't have much experience with educating yourself about the other side and mabey that's where you should start.

And I wasn't stretching for any argument about the kid thing, I was just stating that just because it's someone of a young age, dosen't mean they are necissarily idiotic.

I don't pay attention to voting ads, the only ones that get aired are by ppl I wouldn't vote for in the first place. It's the ppl who don't have the monetary backing of the Dems. and Repubs. who I'm interested in.

*sigh (once again)
Well it all depends on which issue you are against corporations.
I will take one example:
Some ppl who are against sweatshops refuse to buy those products because they don't want to give money to those corps.
Some ppl who are against sweatshops still buy whatever they want, because ultimately when you stop buying a product you could be hurting the worker, the corp loses money, closes down a factory, and these ppl are left with nothing.
Some ppl who are against sweatshops wait until the workers have given a unanimous go-ahead to boycott a certain corp.
It really comes down to the workers, that's who they are trying to help.
This is a simple simple simple explanation, once again, I suggest you do your own research into these things. You may be surprised by what you find.

There are a lot of economists who agree with the "left-wing" policies. There are a lot of business majors and owners involved in these struggles. It's not all a bunch of long haired unemployed pot smoking hippies out there.

You shouldn't complain about the other side without doing the proper research into why you disagree with them.
This is a very basic idea that left-wingers tend to abide by.
You seem to have very little experience with any left-wing dealings, and I suggest you do some info searching on your own.
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Old 10-28-2002, 07:26 PM   #12
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Think about it.

Arguing with him gives him power. Ignoring him leaves him powerless.
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Old 10-28-2002, 07:36 PM   #13
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Re: Think about it.

Quote:
Originally posted by martha
Arguing with him gives him power. Ignoring him leaves him powerless.
Yes, that is my last dealing with him, I wanted to say as much as possible for others that feel the same as him.
But I can't be their teacher, if they are too lazy, or don't care enuff to due their own research, then they aren't capable of having a real disscussion about this.

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Old 10-28-2002, 07:39 PM   #14
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Re: Think about it.

Quote:
Originally posted by martha
Arguing with him gives him power. Ignoring him leaves him powerless.
This forum is a great learning exercise in picking your battles. If we felt like we had to respond to everything posted here, we'd go crazy.
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Old 10-28-2002, 07:43 PM   #15
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Re: Re: Think about it.

Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


This forum is a great learning exercise in picking your battles. If we felt like we had to respond to everything posted here, we'd go crazy.

Some would say I resemble that remark.
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