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San Francisco | Anti-War

Mass Anti War Protest In San Francisco Just One Week Away.
by Bill Hackwell ( hckwll [at] yahoo.com )
Friday Oct 19th, 2007 12:26 PM
The momentum for the anti war demonstration in San Francisco is growing. Volunteers are needed!

On Saturday, October 27, the growing antiwar sentiment that exists in the United States will again be reflected in regional and local demonstrations nationwide. The massive, regional anti-war protest in San Francisco will gather at 11:00 am at the Civic Center for an opening rally. At 12:30 pm, there will be a march to Dolores Park where there will be a closing rally and peace and justice convergence.

During the march to Dolores Park a symbolic die in will take place to bring home the 2 million Iraqis who have died, the 500,000 who are now refugees and the nearly 4,000 U.S. soldiers who have died for an occupation that only benefits weapons manufacturers and oil corporations.

The demonstration in San Francisco, initiated by the ANSWER Coalition, and being organized by the October 27 Coalition has become a rallying point for the region's antiwar forces. Among the endorsers are the seven Bay Area Central Labor Councils, California Federation of Teachers and many union locals, the Episcopal Diocese of California, National Council of Arab Americans, Iraq Veterans Against the War, FMLN of El Salvador, Barrio Unidos, Cindy Sheehan, Pride at Work-SF, Free Palestine Alliance, Coalicion Primero de Mayo, World Can't Wait, CodePink Women for Peace, Campus Anti-war Network, United for Peace and Justice, US Labor Against War, the ANSWER Coalition and more than 140 other organizations. Buses and car caravans are coming from all over Northern California.

The event will begin at 11:00 am at the Civic Center. For a complete list of endorsers and to volunteeer go to http://www.Oct27sf.org. or call 415-821-6545.


Comments  (Hide Comments)

by ahmed
Friday Oct 19th, 2007 12:35 PM
Of COURSE it's initiated by ANSWER. They are responsible for the collapse of the antiwar movement over the last few years.

Every time one of these stupid "actions" happens, more people regard the antiwar movement as stupid, silly, strident, and pointless.

Every time one of these "massive" things thuds into irrelevance the next day, the more support the antiwar movement loses.

ANSWER can't help itself. The Workers World Party front group is run by neo-Stalinist control freaks who assume they "lead" the movment.

And again, instead of focusing on the war, we'll see the stupid puppets, endless Palestinian kerchiefs, and crap about Haiti, North Korea, or Cuba. Woo. Hoo.

I really wish people like ANSWER and Code Pink would slither off into the dark. They have done, and are doing, more damage than we'll ever know. Talk to REGULAR people outside the San Francisco echo chamber and you'll find that these protests are a laughinstock and a national joke.

by Reg
Friday Oct 19th, 2007 1:18 PM
Doing his best to keep the protests down.
by disenchanted leftist
Friday Oct 19th, 2007 1:57 PM
"They have done, and are doing, more damage than we'll ever know. Talk to REGULAR people outside the San Francisco echo chamber and you'll find that these protests are a laughinstock and a national joke. "


But he's right. After I went to one ANSWER rally, I stopped going- its not about peace, as Richard Becker likes to say, its about "Victory to the resistence". Well for some of us, it is about peace. I just don't want to be seen aiding and abetting anti-Semites and racists. Support for the war is non-existent- yet support for ANSWER is also non-existent. They need to start asking themselves "Why"?

Here's a hint, ANSWER. When you call the quarter million dead in Darfur a "Zionist construct", you begin to lose credibility with those who care, really care, about peace and human freedom.
by cp
Friday Oct 19th, 2007 4:57 PM
it's debatable.

I think everyone knows ANSWER sucks and that the marches are primarily about getting some exercise.
At the same time, when you refer to the 'breakdown of the antiwar movement', it seems like this would measure the movement by the size and frequency of marches.

In 2003, there were some truly amazing marches with hundreds of thousands of people. This is no undercount, because it was several hours of people passing down a wide street, 20 abreast. There were also some really intense actions resulting in arrests, involving 2-3000 people (archived well at this site. http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2004/03/20/19212.php ).
None of these approaches apparently stopped the carnage in Iraq. However, it isn't a situation where having more ethical leadershi or a slightly different style of street protest would have been successful.

On the other hand, I would actually be on the side of continued marching, and continued symbolic 'breakaway' dramatic staging, carefully done. There are several important achievements of the 'visible' antiwar marches (as opposed to devoting energy to alternatives such as community organizing, creating alternative institutions, recruitment protests, electoral politics, etc). These would be: 1. people in other countries see the media from these marches and don't hate us as much. I've seen in commentary forums on british newspapers with people having a dialogue like 'yay, the americans' economy is doing badly and their war is failing' with response 'hey, remember not all americans are bad. it's their leadership'. 2. The visible marches help reinforce the point that the antiwar contingent was right all along. Rural areas and small towns often don't directly see protests, so the major coverage during these Answer marches registers that there is an opposition. Lots of people can feel so isolated if they share the sentiment, but Fox news and talk radio make it seem like the country is unanimous.
And while it was a major blow that Bush could still be reelected in '04 even though the escalation was just as bloody then, really, people have come around. A big chunk of moderates now see our point. Bush's approval is as bad as Bush I's in 1991, and our economy hasn't even cratered yet - i.e. there is inflation, but unemployment isn't so high and the official recession hasn't started. Showing up at the march may contribute to momentum for reform in the '08 election. During the vietnam war, the antiwar movement barely slowed things down, but they managed to divert the energy into major domestic reform.
by Memory of Irene Paull
Friday Oct 19th, 2007 7:03 PM
We will all be there to celebrate the decline and hopefully the end of the stock market on this 20th anniversary of "Black Monday," with its aggravation of a trillion dollar blood for oil war and destruction of the housing markets and credit, the movement to ban the Navy's Blue Death Flights and Fleet Week in San Francisco, the growing black liberation movement from Jena to New Orleans to the San Francisco 8 to Ahimsa Sumchai for mayor on Nov 6, 2007 in San Francisco (see http://www.ahimsa4mayor.com/), the growing national healthcare movement for single payer healthcare, enjoyed by Germany for the past 124 years, which should be on the California ballot in November 2008 (see http://www.californiansforhealthsecurity.org/), the movement to ban the death penalty and prisons, and our very survival in this fascist, crumbling society.

We will be there to exercise our democratic rights to free speech and freedom of assembly as the US capitalist class promotes election fraud, torture, secret prisons, no habeas corpus, restriction of our right to travel to Canada because of our political beliefs, restrictions of our right to use air transportation for the same reason, the death penalty and prisons to terrorize the workingclass instead of rehabilitation and many other fascist actions.

We will be there in memory of our brothers and sisters murdered by the US government genocide program called "AIDS," many of whom were among the leading organizers of events such as peace marches, and much more.

We will be there in memory of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Sacco and Vanzetti, Nat Turner, John Brown, the Haymarket martyrs and many more who gave their lives so that we might exercise our democratic rights and realize our full potential.

We will be there in support of Mumia Abu-Jamal, Leonard Peltier and all other political prisoners around the world, imprisoned by the same capitalist class that perpetrates war to maximize their profits, which are threatened by the political beliefs of these political prisoners.

We will be there behind the beautiful young people pictured above and the labor contingents, which must lead all peace demonstrations.

We who have marched for decades, since the day we were born, will be there every single time, as Irene Paull, a peacenik described below once did, until the profit motive that is the cause of these wars is eliminated.

Before you memorize the beautiful poem below, sung on recording by local folksinger Faith Petric, please download the leaflets and posters for this event at the following websites and put them out there, anywhere. Leafletting can be done on your lunch hour this week if you are in a heavily populated area at that time. Here are the links:
Community Flyer (outstanding leaflet that everyone loves with lots of information and beautiful mother and child drawing)
http://www.actionsf.org/images/pdf-files/communityflyer.pdf
All the other posters, some of which are bilingual Spanish/English:
http://www.actionsf.org/Oct27/download.html
ENJOY THE POEM BELOW:
Grandma’s Battlecry by Irene Paull (1908-1981)
Irene Paull was a reporter, editor, union organizer, civil rights worker, writer of stories and poems and peacenik.
POEM:
It’s blowing in the wind again, it’s drifting in the rain
Before the dead have moldered yet or wounded healed their pain.
I am so old, my grandsons, that I remember when
I marched to hail the armistice and I was barely ten.
That was the war against all war, to save democracy
Praise God, they said, we’ve won the peace for all eternity.

I marched for Spain when some years passed and marched and marched and then
Another war to end all war and so I marched again;
I marched in Minneapolis, Chicago and Duluth,
In San Francisco and New York I marched to shout the truth.
I marched in Hiroshima and I knelt before a stash
Of tens of millions bones of people atomized to ash,
And with the distant rumble of new regiments of men
I read the warning on the tomb, “This must not be again.”

Chorus:
I marched to staunch Korea’s blood, I marched for Vietnam
I marched to stop the napalm and I marched to stop the bomb,
I’ve marched and marched and marched and marched, Oh Lord,
I’m sure I’ve done my due,
I’ve marched since I was barely ten and now I’m seventy-two.

I should be lying in the sun or dreaming in the grass
But how when generals everywhere are polishing their brass?
Entranced with dreams of four-star roles, so help me, Lord, they’re glad!
It’s said that whom the gods destroy they first must render mad.
Their burning eyes see No-Man’s Land and armies poised for action
And you, my warm and loving one, you’re merely an abstraction.

It’s geopolitics again, and oh, with what finesse
The players push their pawns about, these masterminds of chess!
How cunningly they plot each move, how logically they spar
And checkmate one another like the masters that they are.
How stimulating, how intense, a world to lose or gain,
Except for one dismaying fact, the players are insane.
Composed, dispassionate they play this game that madness spawns
And I can’t even look away. My children are the pawns.

CHORUS

Some people keep on fighting when they’ve lost an arm or leg
Some still keep up the struggle when they’re fragile as an egg
I’ve heard men rasping “I object!” with voices turned to gravel
I’ve seen a woman raise a fist who couldn’t lift a gavel,
And even with a broken heart one still can make a stand,
So lead, my children, lead the way, reach back and take my hand.
We’ll march again, confound them all, don’t quibble at my age!
I’ll shield you with my brittle bones! I’ll nourish you with rage!

I marched to staunch Korea’s blood, I marched for Vietnam
I marched to stop the napalm and I marched to stop the bomb
I’ve marched and marched and marched, Oh Lord,
I’m sure I’ve done my due,
I’ve marched since I was barely ten, and now I’m seventy-two.
We’ll march again, confound them all, don’t quibble at my age!
I’ll shield you with my brittle bones! I’ll nourish you with rage.
by ahmed
Friday Oct 19th, 2007 7:33 PM
To the above poster: no one CARES a crap about the stock market.

LOOK at what is happening in your name: ANSWER is co-opting the antiwar movement for its own agenda. Their agenda has NOTHING to do with the antiwar movment. Please look shit up on google because I won't waste your/mine time doing it.

ANSWER is a Workers World Party front group, as World Can't Wait is a Revolutionary Communist Party front group. This is not a condemnation, it is simply a warning about who these people are and what their agenda involves. It AIN'T YOU.

Every time there is another of these "massive" events, it fizzles and burns. Do you think this is a coindencence? Really?. These events are structured to make sure NO ONE pays attention to them. Have you noticed that NO ONE pays attention to them and that Fox, CNN , et al laugh about it and make sure they are ridiculed and condemed? Don't agree? Please watch and then answer.

The Oct 27 marches will be more of the same. NO ONE will be there who matters. Haven't you noticed that no one is there; that no one in any group is there?

Every time, the "leaders" are people who live in New York, Washington, or whereever. Isn't it interesting that none of them are people here know? "Known blah blah blah "activist"...." etc...have you heard of this person? Has anyone?

WAKE UP! It is not a joke. This is an orchestrated movement to marginalize you and everyting you believe in. You don't matter. Your VOTES matter, but YOU don
by ahmed
Friday Oct 19th, 2007 7:36 PM
please excuse the crappy typing in the above post. I had a 12 hour day... as a city employee on YOUR dime and I'm tired.
by Joe Stalin, that is...
Friday Oct 19th, 2007 9:06 PM
At least Stalin stopped the nazi war machine.

What's your excuse, Ahmed, for supporting mass murder?
by snicker.
Friday Oct 19th, 2007 9:09 PM
We should go back to calling you Adam, perhaps.
by Aaron Aarons
Friday Oct 19th, 2007 11:17 PM
Neither ANSWER nor any other left group keeps people who don't like their broader anti-imperialist politics from organizing demonstrations of their own. But apparently such people would rather show pro-imperialist movies like No End in Sight and promote smarter imperialists like Clinton and Obama than actually oppose imperialist war.

But the question of what kinds of actions will be most effective in interfering with the U.S. war against the world is an open one. I personally think that 500 determined people showing up at a dock where weapons are being loaded is far more meaningful than 5,000 people going on a march in the street. Or how about even 100 people going into a store owned by backers of pro-war politicians and stopping business for an hour or two? These kinds of actions, repeated over and over, can help make the war more costly for its backers.

As additional food for thought, I'll recall without recommendation (because I never had the courage to do such things myself!) that lots of bank branches and ROTC buildings were destroyed during the Vietnam war.

BTW, the leaders of ANSWER broke from the Workers World Party several years ago. The latter group organized a new anti-war front, the Troops Out Now Coalition, that organized some demos three weeks ago in D.C. and L.A..

by Leni
Saturday Oct 20th, 2007 7:13 AM
Is that true that ANSWER broke with Worker's World?
They were always very hidden in the background. When did that happen? Is ANSWER an autonomous amalgamate now?

It seems like everyone is getting jerked around on a string regarding our potential for doing bombing raids in Iran, which would unleash all sorts of problems, if not only because Russia and China said they oppose this and they could completely brake the economy. There is definitely lots of evidence that the White House is planning for it, but you have to decide how cynical to be - is it all a bunch of deliberate trial balloons that are part of a tricky game of chicken? If you read either the business pages or int'l news designed for stockbrokers, they are presenting it like they couldn't possibly be that stupid, and that it's just saber rattling. Yet, going into Iraq with ground forces was equally ridiculous, and the setup beforehand was the same as the present.
by deanosor
Saturday Oct 20th, 2007 5:47 PM
I was thinking of calling this comment several different things. I decided on the one i did because it's important that many different actions and events occur. With all the "leading" candidates supporting a continuation of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a new war agaisnt IRAN, we need to put as many people as possible on the streets, as well as do many different things to end these wars.

And of course people should go to October 27th. In most of the country, it's being organized by United for Peace and Justice, a more broadly-based group than ANSWER (ANSWER, to clarify things, is a sort of coalition whose main leadership are members of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, a split from the Workers World Party.)

I already have a ticket on the bus from where i now live to the regional demonstration in my area. I hope there will be a lot of people at these events despite their Stalinist and liberal/social democratic leadership. I also hope that people are doing more things including counter-recruitment work, going up against the corporations that are making money off this war. Blackwater, wherever we can find them, should be shut down. War-mongering politicians (whether they are from the Republican or Democratic Parties) especially candidates for President should be protested. There's a lot to be done that to worry about who's in the leadership of one demonstration.
by just hold it, deanie.
Saturday Oct 20th, 2007 8:42 PM
This just simply is not true:

"With all the 'leading' candidates supporting a continuation of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a new war agaisnt IRAN..."

Edwards is calling for a complete withdrawal from Iraq withing 10 months:
http://johnedwards.com/issues/iraq/

Obama makes clear he is not antiwar, and yet he has plans for a total withdraw from Iraq within a year:
http://www.barackobama.com/issues/iraq/

I'm not listing known antiwar candidates like the oft-praiseworthy Kucinich, or the oft-despisable Ron Paul, because they aren't "leading" candidates. Funny, though, that you make that distinction while holding that all electoral activity is beyond consideration. That would seem... inconsistent.

I don't post these because I necessarily endorse any of these candidates-- many of the best of them are, after all, Dems, and subject to change without much notice, and all tend to come with political wills that expire shortly after election. But I do endorse telling the truth-- and what you said just isn't true.
by Erma
Sunday Oct 21st, 2007 12:25 AM
Someone wrote this drivel:

QUOTE: Of COURSE it's initiated by ANSWER. They are responsible for the collapse of the antiwar movement over the last few years. END QUOTE

No, the Dead Democratic Party is directly responsible for the death of the antiwar movement.

Many people have simply given up and who can blame them? When I as a Progressive have no representation in congress and I know that these "Yes" Bush scum of the earth corporate whores in congress with a D behind their name are not about to do anything other than continue to eat George W Bush's ass out as they have done since 2000, WHY BOTHER?!

Most people---of those who were paying attention in the first place---have given up because it has become as clear as day that NOTHING IS GOING TO CHANGE, PERIOD. That is why the Left is dead.

And this has NOTHING to do with International ANSWER. It has everything to do with the pro-Bush, pro-corporate Dead Democratic Party which works for Dictators Cheney/Bush, their regime and not for We The People. They don't give a damn about We The People. They ignore We The People and have done so repeatedly.

International ANSWER has not been eating Bush's ass out since 2000. The Dead Democratic Party has. They are one-with the Repugs and have been since 2000. That's the truth of the matter.

And who else is going to organise a protest if not International ANSWER? Do you want to do it? Good luck with that.