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Random thoughts and photos on Berkeley's counter/pro Recruitment Action
Just random thoughts and observations on yesterday's Berkeley counter/pro-recruitment action.
Just like a theatrical, cosmic script, everyone played their part right on que at Berkeley's counter-recruitment/pro-recruitment protest staged in front of Berkeley City Hall yesterday.
Stage right, dressed in every conceivable U.S. flag composition from their t-shirts to their eyes (one woman had on flag contact lens) were the "pro troops, pro America crowd," or so they called themselves. They were angry and indignant and came from all over the country to shame Berkeley and its city council with cries of "traitors" and "America Haters". They blasted the crowd with tsunami of high-wattage patriotic music, from the Halls of Montazuma to Shores of Tripoli.
Stage left on the stairs of City Hall were the people in pink, orange and black, as well as a melody of other colors, and their political philosophy was just as varied: some were constitutionalists, some were communists, some were pacifist, some were not. There were also dozens of passionate Berkeley High Students who quit school to join them to promote the principle issue of the day -- the call against the war. They yelled "support the troops, end the war" at the red, white and blue crowd but their voices were drowned out by the din of patriotic pabulum permeating the air. And, even if the red, white and blue crowd could hear them, they wouldn't believe them anyway. To support the troops is not to question the war or the war makers.
"They are traitors" said Move Forward America organizer Melanie Morgan at their 3 p.m. rally. "And, what do we do to traitors?" she goads the crowd. "We lock them up!" (cheers from the "patriots"). "They hate America, they hate our troops, they are terrorists."
She went on to describe how members from Code Pink attacked some of their supporters earlier in the day: "They knocked down older people and people in wheel chairs... they are the violent ones."
Over on the other side, a vet named "Fred" has a loud voice that can be heard over the other side's loudspeaker. He yells at the red, white and blue people not to be good Germans. He repeats this over and over again until it pinches a raw nerve with one man from the other side. The large man can't take it anymore and comes over to give Fred a piece of his mind and maybe some of his knuckles. Pink people help diffuse the situation with calm and reasoned discussion. The man is disarmed by pink.
A woman with a t-shirt reading "fascism happens" who is standing next to the large, angry man asks him a few questions: "Do you know how much of the Constitution has been destroyed since the war on terror?" "Do you know that the government can now come into your house, ease drop on your phone calls and emails without a warrant? Do you know that you no longer have a right to a fair and speedy trial and that evidence extracted by torture can be used against you? The man looks at the woman and says "you're crazy" and walks away.
Later, Fred, not intimidated, faces the migrating red, white and blue people by taunting them in between their chants of "U.S.A, U.S.A. U.S.A!" He yells "Support the troops: give them health care!"; "Support the troops: give them free education!"'; "Support the troops: give them jobs!" which sets off a middle aged man in a army jacket who get 5 inches away from the man's face and screams, "Their jobs are to kill people!" That is their job!" "They are killing for you!" They are killing for America!"
And, the show goes on until the curtains fall.
Melanie Morgan from MoveAmericaForward.org
The music is even too much for this little girl
Berkeley High Students help swell the crowd of the Pro War side
Isn't this what it is all about?
This was the guy who didn't want to be called a "Good German"
A resident one block from City Hall modifies his flag