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Peace Parade for Military-Free Rose Festival

Come out for a Peace Parade for a Military-Free Rose Festival to begin at 3 PM this Saturday, June 8, at the Salmon St. Fountain (SW Salmon and Front).
The War Resisters League plans a Peace Parade for a Military-Free Rose Festival to begin at 3 PM this Saturday, June 8, at the Salmon St. Fountain (SW Salmon and Front).

The Navy and Coast Guard warships will be moored at the waterfront by the "Pepsi Waterfront Village" (fka "Fun Center") at this time.

The parade, according to the flyer, will go through the park and onto one or more bridges, which John warns may have high traffic so be sure children are safe if they are coming with you. The WRL encourages people to bring their own signs and banners.
You too can make it military free 05.Jun.2002 11:13

a

If a military free rose festival is what people really want (me included) someone should lock down on the bridge (broadway, steel) etc. or find a way to repel off the edge (bunji cord? tree sitting harness?) with a banner, or in conjunction with some kind of march... even a large group of people blockading the bridge would be sufficient to actually STOP the military vessels from entering the rose festival...These are just ideas, that I think would be very effective in sending a message that we won't stand by and let the war go by unhindered....even so much as a banner drop off the bridge with a big "FUCK THE MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX" would be effective and result in absolutely no arrests...The big obstacle in all the fore mentioned tactics is passion, dedication, and organization...three things that can make the difference between a successful anti-war movement, and a complacent, ineffectual one...It doesn't take hundreds of people, it takes a handful...U Locks are very inexpensive purchase one at any bike shop, make sure the lock can fit around your neck without slipping over your head....find a nice place to position yourselves, hell bring lawn chairs and a cooler of beer, and lock down (prefurably leaving enough time to delay the boats as long as possible) the more people you have locking down, the longer it will take the pigs to remove you....

WRL in action 06.Jun.2002 11:18

ed

The War Resister's League at the A20 demonstrations in Washington, D.C., this year.
WRL in action
WRL in action

Great Idea! 06.Jun.2002 16:20

blagheddy hooha! anarchy yay rah!

a banner hang or lockdown would make my friggin' day! however, I was cruising onbike around the waterfront and was dismayed to find that the warships are in! awriiight...
they have this fence set up and you can fill out a card thanking the sailormen for their service and whatnot, then post it to the fence. I ever-so politely asked for such a card and proceeded to fill it out with "Please stop killing innocent people overseas. You are NOT my heros." then ever so pleasantly asked if I should post it to the wall or if they'd like to. the lady said she'd do it for me, she took the card and read it and man, I'm telling you, the look on her face...i thought she was going to cry. I looked back as I was walking away and she was looking after me like ".....wha....? but....uh....huh?" and I was like "yeah"

block the streets. drop a banner. present real and immediate resistance to the war-fever that jingoistic propaganda-infested "civic events" like the rose festival have a way of conjuring up.

believe what you want but the reality is that signholding and otherwise general complacent "tactics" effects NO change.

planning for protest 06.Jun.2002 20:18

person vaxbax@hotmail.com

these ideas are interesting but i'm wondering if it wouldn't be more effective/safe/arrest-resistant to hold an actual *planning meeting* around protests before they happen. when ideas and agendas reach a head during protest, people are made unsafe, confused, and totally ineffective. i think the message of a military free festival is important on its own. any other action is also completely amazing and important but maybe should be put into effect by an individual or small group of people, rather than a large group of unorganized protesters (who we can assume are coming from many varied perspectives and comfort-levels). what do you think?

thank you 07.Jun.2002 00:30

blaghedy hooha! anarchy...what was I sayin'?

thank you, person, for posting in a respectful manner and not just slandering people who hold more militant ideals.
it should be made clear that such an action as described above would most likely be carried out by a small group of people acting independantly of the rest of the march. it would not be expected that an entire march be prepared to spontaneously fall into position to participate in such an action. what I hope WOULD be expected of anybody participating in such a march, however, is to support the individuals who are willing to participate in a more militant action. I get the impression from certain people who post to indymedia and are present at the more complacent style demonstrations that those unwilling to participate in more militant actions would sooner alienate and ostracize members of the more militant elements of the movement than stand in solidarity with them.

With that said, I take this opportunity to appeal to whoever may be reading this duscussion on indymedia and call for a stronger solidarity in the movement for global justice in portland. there is lots of confrontation, whether direct or virtual (indymedia), between militant anarchists and less militant liberal/leftists/whatever whoever. we all have to realize and accept that not everybody is willing to lock down or throw things...as well as we have to realize that others are more than willing to engage in direct confrontation with the agents of state repression that operate at street level to enforce govermental control over the general population.
no matter where our individual comfort level is, we MUST support and do what we can to protect individuals whose comfort level rests elsewhere.

in solidarity

sing along time 07.Jun.2002 08:02

a3m

To the tune "Yellow Submarine" by Pepper and the band

we all live in a military occupation zone, a military occupation zone, a millitary occupation zone.
(repeat)

And the spooks are all aboard

Many more of them are coming soon..

(band strikes it up- clamor etcetc)

add more please

about sending personal msgs to soldiers 08.Jun.2002 09:51

anti-military activist nomorebases@yahoo.com

Hi,

I would like to offer some thoughts to keep in mind while protesting against the military.

I would highly advise against making this a personal vendetta against the soldiers.

Soldiers are called "G.I."s. What does this stand for? "Government Issue"

in other words, these guys are treated just like a pair of combat boots by the government.

we must remember to keep them separate from the accountability that we are assigning to our deadly and destructive government.

to then get a card from you that says you are not my heroes for killing people overseas is likely going to become counterproductive and will likely blow up on you. YOu may not care about this. However, you *might* run the risk of making it harder for anti-war/anti-military activists in general.

There are exceptions to this rule. If you were one of the people who are directly threatened by the presence of soldiers, this might be a different situation in which such personal pleas could be appropriate.

one such case that I can think of is the now-defunct red card organization which handed out leaflets to soldiers statoined in japan, saying "if you are thinking about raping a woman..."

they did this out of *self defense*. It was appropriate for THEM to do. There are other places where soldiers are actually *fighting* right now, and if a filipina or a columbian were to have such a demo and hand out such literature it probably would be more appropriate FOR THEM to ask OUR soldiers to stop killing people or raping/sexually abusing women, and/or to stop any other soldiers who may be prone to attacking women.

I have my very earnest and serious doubts as to whether the rose festival is a place where this type of strategy would be appropriate. I applaud your passion, but warn you to beware if you should go through with this.

ALSO KEEP IN MIND that these soldiers MIGHT even DISAGREE with this war.

do they have the right to express that opinion? NO, as we saw in the case of the USAF soldier who has been relieved of duty from the SF presidio for expressing his disdain of bush and the war.

this is because of a set of rules for active duty and reserve soldiers called the Uniform Code of Military justice. Look up the UCMJ and you will see what they are allowed to say and what they aren't allowed to say.

After all, how can one depend on having a military that supports such outrageous shit as this "war of terrorism" if the soldiers are actually ALLOWED to say whatever and ALLOWED to DISAGREE with the government? they would be just as unreliable as if they had become physically infirm.

Also, their rights to conscientiously object are VERY limited, and they have many hoops to jump through to fall into that category and abstain from combat duty.

we must bear in mind that these guys are JUST HUMANS TOO. they must follow the orders of their chain of command. They have NO choice except to follow orders or be sent to brig and court martial proceedings.

also, I know many men in the military, and one of them is very close to me. They are nice guys. To tell them bluntly that you hate them because you consider them murderers will scar them for life. It will break their heart because they have families, wives, sons, daughters, lovers, parents, they have FEELINGS TOO.

and it would SCAR PEOPLE LIKE ME for life to know that those whom we love and care for have been attacked so personally.

Even if I and other people like me are even anti-war activists, we do NOT WANT our loved ones attacked. We do not want them SPAT ON, WE DO NOT WANT THEM TO BE CALLED MURDERERS, WE DO NOT WANT THEM TO BE ATTACKED ON A PERSONAL LEVEL.

put blame where blame belongs. The government, the military chain of command, but DO NOT attack the soldiers please.

and it is also entirely possible that some of these men entered the military for the same reason that SO MANY men enlist: many men are at the lower levels of socio-economic hierarchy and are thus told that in order to give their lives some "direction", that the military is their best option. Some of them couldn't go to college for those same economic and social barriers. Some of them had very limited opportunities for jobs, much less careers in their hometowns and probably enlisted without IT EVER OCCURRING TO THEM that they MIGHT GO TO WAR.

so let's take it easy on these humans, shall we? "government issue" soldiers have NO SAY in what they are FORCED TO DO by their Commanding officers.

please remember this before possibly setting yourself up in a very destructive and fruitless situation. And please do remember that the soldiers who make up the majority of this military (all four branches) are generally those who have been PUSHED INTO ENLISTING AS A SITUATION WHERE THEY COULD ESCAPE THEIR SOCIO-POLITICAL SITUATIONS. or their lack of jobs prospects, etc etc. This TRULY is the case with many men who enlist in peacetime.

I don't know about those who have enlisted since 911 happened. It's very difficult to gauge how that has changed the *reasons* why men enlist to become soldiers. I hope to have some research done on this and it will probably go on the nomorebases webpages when I am done.

thank you all for your support of a military free rose festival.

Myself, I've been wanting to tell those people to quit carressing lethal weapons of war and quit ooh'ing and aah'ing at guns that are AIMED at other people for a long time now...


p.s.: I need to clarify some things.. 08.Jun.2002 11:07

anti-military nomorebases@yahoo.com

I don't mean to dictate to anybody. and definitely, in the experiences of many who live in "military ghettos", it is pretty well demonstrated that Direct Action ARE definitely the most effective in dealing with foreign military installations, and with military occupation.

I totally applaud your passion and ideas of lockdowns. and hanging banners. I must confess I've visualized what a beautiful sight that would be to greet those weapons of war and ships of death with here in portland.

but at the same time, I was just trying to make a request that we make a distinction between soldiers, and the chain of command/central command/department of war/u.s. government in general.

one group makes the decisions, and the other group is a mere set of chess pawns. that is all I am trying to say.

ALSO - I want to point out further, not to deter anybody, but I wonder if those greeting cards are not reviewed and censored by the higher chain of command on the ship. Much of the media that the soldiers are exposed to are screened and censored, for example radio and tv. It is entirely possible that messages from activists will be censored or removed from the pile that soldiers see. I don't know! if they are just up on the fence and the soldiers are free to walk along that fence, then it's possible that an officer walks along every now and then and removes undesirable messages.

it's just me wondering really. Being a soldier means that you are not the same as other americans and many rights are removed. It also means that you may be barred from seeing "undesirable" media or messages.

The department of war has their reasons for making rules like these for soldiers whom they want entirely at their *disposal*.

thanks for the brainstorm of how to keep people from being lied to about their military, and on such displays to lull them into ignoring the true purpose of those ships once they go into actions of war. It's really great to see here, in this town that itself houses one small base but hardly is aware of the military industrial complex in its own midst.

***Also, I realized that I mistyped in my last few sentences, it's just an aside added to my clarification.

While a lot of soldiers have been interviewed by many activists about their reasons and personal background, and such interviews are what provided us with the reasons why they enlisted, it's been difficult to do so since september 2001.

what I meant was that since september it has been very difficult to continue such interviews or obtain similar data (since understandably soldiers are being told by their superiors to be on their guard, especially to questions or interviews), and also obviously a lot of soldiers have been deployed, either to afghanistan, or other parts of asia (there are MANY "counterterrorism" "training" sessions going on now, Cobra Gold 2002 just ended) and are no longer around to provide interviews even if they wanted to.

Although common sense would dictate that people would refrain from enlisting during war simply to give their life "direction".

Common sense would also dictate that if anybody enlisted after september 11th it was because they KNEW they would be going to war and they KNEW that they really needed to feel strong enough about 911 to go to war.

This does not mean that we can draw *reliable and accurate* data and balance it against the data from pre-september 2001 interviews, and come up with a projected error rate through sampling and comparison calculations. One could come up with a guesstimate though.

It might also be interesting to see also if more recruits who joined after september 11th became officers (i.e., they were college graduates, and will be less likely "to get their hands dirty") or were non-commisioned (i.e., the guy who walks in off the street, life with no direction, will probably end up in more direct danger, etc etc etc). Just more speculation on how the military changed in our "brave new world"...

But then again, there are MUCH more important things to do right now than research on such stuff!!


good points, thanks 10.Jun.2002 18:20

anti-militaryer

they signed the papers right?
far as I'm concerned they died when they registered.
there would be no killing, no established military presence anywhere, if bush and cheney had to go out and do it themselves. because they take commands is no reason to relieve them of culpability, rather I find that they are willing to put themselves in such a position to be all the more reason to let them know we are not happy with what THEY are ultimately doing.

signing up for the military 11.Jun.2002 14:18

anti-military nomorebases@yahoo.com

Sure, I made good points. That's because I know what I'm talking about.

However - You ignored ALL of them. That's pretty weak.

For someone to sit there and snidely judge these men because they, for example, took that offer of GI bill money that is being advertised as up to 50,000 dollars for college money (which of COURSE is NOT the case in most situations), I believe is really unfair. As I said, they could have enlisted well before September.

Since I know for a fact that the military was no big fucking deal in this town before September (hint hint that's because I'm devoted to this cause and sense when I'm the only one) I'm really not impressed NOW.

This anti-war seems to be just a fad in activism for Portlanders. Most of them were even oblivious to the fact that they even HAD an air base here.

But as I said, those men will be scarred for life. And so will their families and loved ones. That's a lot of strangers to have a personal vendetta against.

As an activist, you should make the responsible decision on how to conduct yourself. You should also be able to make distinctions between those who are to blame and those who are not.

After all, bush can't. You wanna have something in common with HIM?

Do/did YOU attend a school where military recruiters are allowed? Do you KNOW what kinds of things this society teaches kids whom they label as "high risk", or "special education student", or whatever? Have YOU ever lived on a base, know what your rights AREN'T? were YOU raised by a single parent who may have limited options for your college fund?

Are you in that socially- or economically- compromised situation that I speak of as motivating factors which push these men into the service? Or do you just sit in front of your own computer, with internet access, and judge? Pretty easy to judge others from where you are sitting, I'm sure.

As far as I'm concerned your conscience is in full danger of dying while you judge, just as surely as you say these men "died when they registered". That's VERY short-sighted of you to say such a thing.

I urge you to reconsider your criticism of these men. If not, then do come up with something better than "they already died". sorry for the length of my post but I think it's really lame for me to explain this all very carefully to you, only to get THAT as a response. I may have to make an article out of this experience. stay tuned.

In the meantime: Do you judge Jeff Paterson, the first resistor of Desert Storm, and now a major force in the VVAWAI? Do you judge Howard Zinn? The refuseniks? If so, then it sure must be nice to feel THAT self-righteous...


take it from someone else who KNOWS 11.Jun.2002 14:31

anti-military

Yes, instead of spending worthless anger lashing out blindly against all soldiers, why can't we simply support the ones who WON'T FIGHT?

now, how can you do that if you're so busy saying they're ALL ALREADY DEAD? That's not very supportive. That will only CONDEMN those who want to resist, to death. We have a duty to support those who want to resist fighting. In this way, perhaps the others will find the courage to also break the silence ordered by the UCMJ and resist orders from chain of command.

Thanks a lot for -listening-.
____________________________________________________________
 http://www.oz.net/~vvawai/afghan/JP_Statement.html

A Message to Troops, Would-be Troops, and other Youth

Know anyone in the military, or thinking about signing up soon? Pass this along to them. They may appreciate it, or not... but they deserve a heads up.
By Jeff Paterson
In August 1990 I was an active duty US Marine Corps Corporal. I was ordered to the Middle East, the Gulf War was about to come. Four years prior-thinking I had nothing better to do with my life-I had walked into the Salinas, California recruiting station and told them to "put me where I was most needed".

"What am I going to do with my life?" has always been huge question of youth, and today in the wake of the horror and tragedy of New York September 11th this question has increased importance for millions of young people.

No one who has seen the images will ever forget. In a scene as seemingly unreal as the Matrix, a conflict reached into American reality in an unthinkable way. Copy clerks to admin assistants, restaurant workers to firefighters-thousands of lives ripped away from friends and family. Now the television shouts, "revenge", "infinite justice", and "something must be done!" Wave a red, white and blue flag to ease the sorrow, to declare, "We're not going to take it."

And if I hadn't spent those four years in the Marine Corps, I might be inclined to fall into line now. Most of the time my unit trained to fight a war against peasants who dared to struggle against "American interests" in their homelands-specifically Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala. I saw dire poverty in the Philippines, US government-sanctioned prostitution rings to service servicemen in South Korea, and unbridled racism towards the peoples of Okinawa and Japan-the standard response to a child waving a "peace sign" at us with his fingers was "yeaa, ha ha, two bombs little gook." I began to understand why billions of people around the world really do hate the United States-specifically it's war machine, covert contra wars, and an increasing system of economic globalization that replaces hope with 12-hour days locked in sweatshops producing "Designed in the USA" exports.

Faced with this reality, I began the process of becoming un-American-meaning that the interests of the people of the world began to weigh heavier than my self-interest. I realized that the world did not need or want another U.S. troop. Although they did not look much like me, I found I had more in common with the common peoples of the Middle East than I did with those who were ordering me to kill them. My Battalion Commander's reassurance that "if anything goes wrong we'll nuke the rag heads until they all glow" was not reassuring. Up against that, I publicly stated I would not be a pawn in America's power plays for profits, oil, and domination of the Middle East. I pledged to resist, and if dragged out into the Saudi desert, I would refuse to fight. A few weeks later, I sat on the airstrip as hundreds of Marines-many of whom I had lived with for years-filed past me and boarded the plane. I fought the Gulf War from a military brig, and after worldwide anti-war protesters helped spring me, we fought the war in the streets.

But back then we failed to stop the war. Since 1990 over 1.5 million Iraqi people have died-not mainly from the massive US bombing from the sky, but from a decade of economic sanctions. All the while the US government has coldly declared that these Iraqi deaths are "worth it" in order to achieve strategic regional objectives. So today, as the US Government demands the world mourn with us for our loss, we in turn are expected to ignore the suffering that this nation produces.

Every time the war machine is kicked into high gear, acknowledgements are made about past "mistakes": Gulf War Sickness, Agent Orange and napalm in Viet Nam, massacres of refugees in Korea, U.S. troops used as nuclear exposure guinea pigs after World War II. And always: "Trust us, this time it will be different". But it never is.

One need not be a pacifist, a Communist, a Quaker, or a humanist to oppose this war. However, it certainly helps to be an Internationalist-realizing that our collective future is bound with the majority of humanity, and not with those who are taking this horrific opportunity to threaten world war. For those woman and men now in uniform, you have a choice to make. Silence is what your "superiors" expect of you, but the interests of humanity require more. Think. Speak out. Resist. And if you refuse to fight, there are hundreds of thousands who will support you-many of whom have already taken to the streets to oppose this war.

Like his father before him, Bush Jr. has drawn a line in the sand: "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists." Simply put, the rulers of the U.S. see much unfinished business for their "New World Order". While we grieve, they grin that "the normal rules no longer apply" (translation: now is the time to settle our scores), and we have "a blank check to act, the nation is united" (translation: dissent will be ignored, or suppressed as required). Bush Jr. has established a "Czar of Homeland Security" to coordinate domestic government spies, phone taps, and Internet surveillance. During a staged televised CNN "Town Hall" meeting, a businessman rises: "I'll gladly give up my right to protest in order to be safe!" Applause. Now more than ever, the people of the world are not safe from the U.S., and the people in the U.S. are not safe from the U.S.

I will not wave the red, white and blue flag-instead I'll wear a green ribbon in solidarity with immigrants and Arab Americans facing increasing racist attacks. Stop the War. Support the troops-who refuse to fight.

Let's dedicate our lives to changing this situation, and ending all terror.

September 22, 2001

On August 30, 1990, 22-year-old Marine Corporal Jeff Paterson refused to board a military plane in Hawaii heading to Saudi Arabia. He was the first active-duty military resister in the U.S.-led attack on Iraq. The photo of Jeff Paterson sitting on the airstrip, defying orders to go fight in the Gulf War, appeared on TV and in newspapers around the world. Later Jeff edited the Anti-WARrior newsletter of military resistance to the Gulf War. Jeff currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War Anti-Imperialist (www.oz.net/~vvawai). He can be reached through VVAW AI, or directly at " EMAILJP@post.com".

by the way... 11.Jun.2002 14:36

anti-military

it IS entirely possible to let someone know you're "not happy" with something they are doing without calling them murderers or resorting to likewise strategies, don't you think?