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Ten Years Later: A Look Back at "We Interrupt This Empire..." and SF's 2003 Iraq War Resistance
Ten years ago today, the U.S. bombing, invasion, and long-term occupation of Iraq began by order of George W Bush with the consent of the over 70% of Americans. Ten years ago tomorrow -- after months of permitted marches on both sides of the San Francisco Bay intent on preventing the war -- those opposed to U.S. military action rose up to protest en masse by shutting down downtown San Francisco in perhaps one of the largest collective acts of civil disobedience ever seen in the area. On the first day alone, over 50,000 demonstrators filled the streets of San Francisco and nearly 1500 people were arrested by SFPD. "We Interrupt This Empire..." documented the rebellion.
"Direct Action to Stop the War" was the spokescouncil that spent months organizing the rebellion:
Related Indybay features:
Activists Shut Down San Francisco As Baghdad Burns (Fri Mar 21 2003)
M22 - Emergency Protests Continue in Bay Area (Sun Mar 23 2003)
Protests At CNN, Carlyle and SF Chronicle (Sun Mar 30 2003)
This pro-war rally brought to you by Glenn Beck and Clear Channel (Wed Mar 26 2003)
Demonstrators Denounce Fox News' doing Public Relations for the Pentagon (Fri Apr 4 2003)
10,000 March In Oakland To Protest War In Iraq (Sat Apr 5 2003)
Indybay Anti-War photo gallery from 3/20/2003 to 3/22/2003: http://bit.ly/15n42Cr
All Indybay Anti-War features posted between 1/1/2003 and 5/1/2004: http://bit.ly/11b9GqN
[full documentary 52:17]
"We Interrupt This Empire..."
The San Francisco Video Activist Network presents the story you won't see on Fox News: an eye-popping, jaw-dropping look at the Bay Area's radical resistance to an illegal war.
"We Interrupt This Empire..." is a collaborative work by many of the Bay Area's independent video activists which documents the direct actions that shut down the financial district of San Francisco in the weeks following the United States' invasion of Iraq. With the audio backdrop including the live broadcasts of Enemy Combatant Radio from the SF Independent Media Center to SFPD's tactical communications that were picked up by police scanners, the documentary takes a look at the diverse show of resistance from the streets of San Francisco as well as providing a critique of the corporate media coverage of the war and exploring such issues as the Military Industrial Complex, attacks on civil liberties, and the United States' imperialist drive.
MPEG2 version (1.9GB): http://archive.org/details/we_interrupt_this_empire
"This a a clear picture of what's left of an American conscience in the midst of this national horror-show--this is the best damn doc I've seen on the local face of what might have been the largest anti-war movement in world history. "
Craig Baldwin of Other Cinema
Winner - Best of the Bay - San Francisco Bay Guardian, July 2004
The Video Activist Network is an informal association of activists and politically conscious artists using video to support social, economic and environmental justice campaigns.
Also available from the Video Activist Network: Shutdown Downtown Fogtown, a daring collection of on-the-scene videos from the historic anti-war protests that shutdown San Francisco. The "Shutdown..." compilation mostly consists of the videos that screened at the outdoor screenings at Dolores Park during the first two weeks of the war.
[full documentary 52:17]
[trailer at 360x240, time 1:24]