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Scientist

ever been to a protest march?

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March 20 it will be 1 year after the war on Iraq started. In Many capitals over the world this day will be a day of demostration. I too will participate. I've been to some similar marches in the past and was wondering if anyone else is planning on protesting the 20th or has ever taken part of the demostration.

more info on march 20 follows below:

Protest for Peace
On the 20th of March it will be exactly one year ago that America and Britain started their war against Iraq. A war that was based on the assumption that this country possessed so-called ‘weapons of mass destruction’. Furthermore Iraq was supposed to have ties with the terrorist group Al-Qaida. After ten years of UN-sanctions and inspections no evidence for this has been found. America and Britain were therefore unable to convince the UN to support the "pre-emptive war" against Iraq. Bush and Blair started their war against terrorism without UN permission none the less. An unprovoked and illegal war followed.

Now, one year later, the war is officially over but not in reality. Battles take place everyday and troops from all over the world are still being send to Iraq. The Iraqi resistance against the occupation is increasing day by day and although Bush claims to strive for self-control and democracy for the Iraq, he refuses to give a concrete date on which the occupation will end.

No weapons of mass destruction or ties to Al-Qaida have been found. It is becoming more and more difficult for Bush and Blair to uphold that the war and occupation, which has led to 10,000 civilian casualties, was justified. Despite all of this the occupation goes on with aid from foreign governments.

The war on terrorism has not made the world a safer place, instead it has made world unsafer. In many countries it has led to restrictions of civil rights and more xenophobia. On the American Base on Guantanamo Bay hundreds of 'suspects' are being held without legal or medical help under inhuman conditions. Israeli Prime Minister Sharon and Russian president Putin are using America’s example to justify their own bloody campaigns against the Palestinians and Chechnyans respectively. The war against terrorism has only led to more violence and will only continue to escalate. Syria, North Korea, Cuba and Iran have already been mentioned as "counties to liberate".

On the 20th of March 2004, exactly one year after the beginning of the second Iraq-war there will be massive demonstrations in capitals all over the world. Demonstrations where everyone who is against war and oppression will be present to protest against the spiral of violence and to call on their governments to change their policies. Will you join us?

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:/

I probably won't be able to make it because Seattle quite a bit of a distance from here, and this town is full of morons.

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maybe...

*EDIT* actually, no. As much as I'd love to stomp around town yelling: "we where right you gigantic morons!" I don't really see any point. I actually don't want them to pull out of Iraq. They are bloody well going to clean up the mess they’ve made if it drains every cent out of the US economy.

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AndrewB said:

Is that "mission statement" written by someone whose native language is not English?

That's right. It's not the official statement though. It's a translation of a summary of some sort.

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i am not much for public protestors. too many morons join in just to start problems. half the time, or in the case of animal rights most of the time, the groups holding the protest dont do research.

though the lack of intelligence and research is almost always in the animal rights and religious groups

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While working at this 24-hour diner, I had a regular customer who would come in at around 1AM. He was an undercover cop, and started to explain this to me:

Whenever there's a protest, they take undercover cops(mostly green, so their faces aren't familiar) and disperse them into the crowd. These UC's purposefully start disturbances(throwing objects, causing infighting, etc.) just so the SWATs can start using tear gas and billy clubs to disperse the crowd and foil the demonstration.

Another friend of mine(an avid protester) had more than one experience with UC's trying to sabotage demonstrations. It seems the common way to deal with these UC's is to surround him and chant "We love you" until he gives up and goes back to the SWAT van.

Since when did fighting for rights need battle tactics?

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It probably is true. I remember back when the WTO riots happened, there was a lot of controversy over who started the chaos. The cops said it was the protestors, the protestors said it was the cops. More observant people noticed a small group of people who started getting violent. Wheather these people were destructive anarchists or undercover cops, I don't know.

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Well, protesting here in the Netherlands is pretty much non-violent. The only time there's fighting is when right-winged people have a march. But they don't do that very often.
But here's what commonly happens here:
-right-winged people announce an march in a city on a particular date
-left winged people annaounce a counter-march on the same date and in the same city.
-Local authorities forbid the right-winged protest claiming it is to dangerous; They fear fights between right and left.

It's really effective for left to announce counter-protests.

When it comes to protesting here in the Netherlands socialist groups are the best. 80% of the people present are some type of socialist; It's a nice way to meet other socialists.
But Seph is right. Every Demostration there are people who really have nothing to do with the cause of the demo.
One time I was that a demo against cuttings on education and people from animal rights orginisations were there. From there piont of view I can see why they're there: They can get a lot of attention to their causes at get into contact with a lot of idealistic people. But off course their cause had nothing to do with education/the goal of the demo.
But hey, the succes of a demo depends on the amount of people that participated, so the more people the better!

During demos it's best to be friendly to cops and be totally non-violent no matter the provocation. Remember it's the public opinion you're after.

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I don't know about "unprovoked" when used in the context of "the war on terror." Obviously terrorism is bad and should be stopped, so the word "unprovoked" should not be used. However, the means have been illegal, the targets have not been those responsible for any attacks against us, and thus it's a very misguided and frivolous action that nonetheless seems to get the support of a lot of people somehow.

I just wanted to add that because there was some misphrasing in the initial quote. And yes, the English is pretty bad. :P Unsafer? Heh.

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UV:
Obviously terrorism is bad and should be stopped, so the word "unprovoked" should not be used.

No evidence has been found that connects Iraq with Al-Qaida or other 'terrorist networks'. Thus the war against Iraq (which was based partially on this assumption ) was unprovoked.
Also: there are other ways to fight terrorism besides wars. Terrorism is just a symptom. You can suppress the symptom but is will only fuel the real disease (inequality/ oppression/ poverty/ apartheid etc...).

I WILL be attending the protest march. It's easy to sit at home and bitch about how bad the world is. But it will not solve anything. Sure, walking around town with an angry mob won't do much either, but at least it will be some form of statement. A statement that will be heard a cross the globe...

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Ultraviolet, what war on terror? It's talking about the war on Iraq, where that pretext was simply used to invade. It was totally not provoked by "terrorism." You could somehow, amid the chaos, argue a relation to terrorism back when all the war propaganda was still possible since there wasn't any hard evidence of the now obvious reasons for the attack. In any case, the context of active terrorism did help allow the war, certainly, but you can hardly justify something as provoked by something else when that pretext is consciously and clearly used in a flase manner.

On similar terms and related to what was said about cops (or individuals associated to them) provoking violence; of which I've seen evidence both from news and an actual march. What makes anyone think that the same sort of tactics aren't used on a large scale? Show me how Osama bin Laden couldn't possibly serve such a purpose, as henious as the idea may sound.

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000 said:

It's easy to sit at home and bitch about how bad the world is. But it will not solve anything. Sure, walking around town with an angry mob won't do much either, but at least it will be some form of statement. A statement that will be heard a cross the globe...

That right. Further, going to a demo is a great way to get into contact with other people that share your thoughts. It's a nice way to spread information and idea's. Demos help organize public resistance.

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Last year I recall a crapload of country capitals marching for peace last year, and Bush ignored it.

Hopefully he won't this year.

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BF:
Last year I recall a crapload of country capitals marching for peace last year, and Bush ignored it.

Hopefully he won't this year.

Actually last year was the biggest global protest ever. Millions of people came to protest against the war.

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No, hopefully we'll see millions of NeoCons marching for leadership of the country, and it'll be their turn to get ignored.

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And now that the iraqis are free and most of them are very happy, do you all feel we still did something wrong? European governments didn't want to help because they had their own money ties with Iraq. Now that the money ties will be coming to us, they're obviously mad.

Note, I'm not saying that how the US government went about entering Iraq was exactly the best way, but I still support the action. I'm also talking on government levels here, rather than what all of us thought about it.

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There's often animal rights protests in cambridge against huntingdon life sciences, but ive never gone to them, just seen them a few times but not joined in

What i'd really like to do is go on a gay pride march and start being a troublemaker in that, turn it into another stonewall ecksdee (dammit!)

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Actually last year was the biggest global protest ever. Millions of people came to protest against the war.


Ha, if only that kind of support could be gathered on something that actually mattered.

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Ralphis said:

And now that the iraqis are free and most of them are very happy, do you all feel we still did something wrong? European governments didn't want to help because they had their own money ties with Iraq. Now that the money ties will be coming to us, they're obviously mad.


You'll note that many protesters believe "money ties", while a great incentive to occupy a country, should not be used as a replacement for "the good of all mankind". I believe the US should do one of the following:

1. Have a hand in NONVIOLENTLY reforming governments around the world, thereby sucking our economy dry and turning us into a third-world country.

2. NOT have a hand in helping any country do a goddamn thing, focus on our own economy and resources, block trade(because there isn't a damn thing we need that can't be made on our own soil), and begin a massive reconstruction.

Of course, (2) could conceivably be done right after (1), but a mission like that requires an attention span longer than four years. Anything is better than having all fingers and toes in everyone's dirty little pies.

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I was invited to an anti-Iraq-war before it started, but I was going through some personal difficulties, so I didn't attend. However usually these things are pretty pointless. 9 times out of 10 the cops break them up forty minutes in and then the news belittles any message they had, thus making the protest pointless.

Although yelling profanities at anti-choice protestors is one of my favorite hobbies. Man those church guys get uppitty.

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Ralphis said:

And now that the iraqis are free and most of them are very happy

Um, don't you ever read the news? The Iraqi people are living in fear because of all the different cells bombing places and killing each other, plus half the people there want the US to get out.

Dimm said:

Ha, if only that kind of support could be gathered on something that actually mattered.

Yes, because trying to save the lives of 10,000 innocent people doesn't matter.

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Dimm, eh? Whatever.

I admit that I forgot about Saddam's genocidal aspects. But in the big scheme of things, it's insignificant. Alternate power sources, global disarmament of nukes, destruction of the rain forest, growing world population (and what to do with it), all rank higher on my list.

Which isn't to say that 10,000 people don't matter at all. They do, but if that kind of support could put elsewhere, it would be nice. Not that protesting does anything anyway . . .

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Grimm said:
Which isn't to say that 10,000 people don't matter at all. They do, but if that kind of support could put elsewhere, it would be nice. Not that protesting does anything anyway . . .


It’s not just that. What made people upset was that it was a pre-emptive strike. In other words: We are going to invade them because they might do something bad. That sends a bad message to the world, now, on top of that, the US went ahead with the war after the UN said no deal. So basically, if the US decides that they liked the look of any country on the planet, they can just declare “You = Terrorist!!” and do as they damn well pleased.

The other thing that bothered a lot of people was that the US exaggerating the hell about Iraq’s threat to the world. I’m not talking about the WMDs, The US went on and on about how they had ties to terrorists, so people made the assumption that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11 witch was… uhh what is the coorect term? BULLSHIT!

And finally, if you where an evil dictator sitting on an ass load of nukes and evil germs, and another country was saying to you face, “WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU!” don’t you think you’d be tempted to use those big ass weapons on them the second they came knocking on your door?

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Ct_red_pants said:

And finally, if you where an evil dictator sitting on an ass load of nukes and evil germs, and another country was saying to you face, “WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU!” don’t you think you’d be tempted to use those big ass weapons on them the second they came knocking on your door?


Which is why it's good they got him before he got nukes. Which is why it's good Israel nuked his nuke reactor a couple of decades earlier.

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dr_st said:
Which is why it's good they got him before he got nukes. Which is why it's good Israel nuked his nuke reactor a couple of decades earlier.

That doesn’t fucking matter. They said he has nukes when he didn't. What would happen to me if I decided to shoot the guy over the rode because he might one day by a gun and shoot me?

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