Anti-war protest strategy: Shock and hurl
Anti-war protest strategy:
Shock and hurl
Demonstrators stage 'vomit-in,' shut down streets, 1 commits suicide
Posted: March 20, 2003
8:00 p.m. Eastern
© 2003 WorldNetDaily.com
Some 500 people have been arrested as thousands of protesters, some of them purposely vomiting on public property, carried out their pledge to cause mayhem in downtown San Francisco to convey opposition to the U.S.-led attack on Iraq.
KRON-TV reports roving bands of demonstrators linked themselves with metal chains and occupied intersections, while others sat stoically and then lined up in plastic handcuffs to be loaded into buses amid a backdrop of supporters chanting "This is what democracy looks like" and "The people have the power."
"Hopefully we have succeeded in getting people to stop and consider the human cost of this war and to question what this war is really about and why we are attacking a country that has not attacked us," organizer Jason Mark of Direct Action To Stop War told KRON.
While most were peaceful, some broke windows, toppled newspaper racks and threw debris into streets.
Snarled traffic caused a delay in the response time for emergency service vehicles, KABC-TV reported.
"Protesters need to cooperate with the police and fire departments so we can get to the emergencies that have nothing to do with these protests," San Francisco Fire Department spokeswoman Katherine Alba-Swanson said.
Freeway off-ramps were blocked and a group of protesters threw rocks at commuter trains traveling past Oakland station, after 500 high school students were refused free rides to a rally in Berkeley.
A unique set of demonstrators staged a "vomit-in" at the Federal Building by heaving on the sidewalks and plaza areas in the back and front of the building, reports Bay City News.
Wearing helmets and other riot protection gear, officers formed lines around the building and escorted federal workers inside.
Another protester apparently committed suicide by plunging off the Golden Gate Bridge, to deliver his message.
Paul Aladdin Alarab, 44, lowered himself with a rope and harness from the middle of the span, reports the Marin Independent-Journal, and then voluntarily let go of the rope while the police were trying to coax him back to safety.
Sgt. Cheryl Skare of the California Highway Patrol said he's investigating the incident as a suicide.
On its website, Direct Action To Stop War listed the goals of its civil disobedience campaign:
"Impose real economic, social and political costs and stop business as usual until the war stops ...
Assert our power to transform our city from profits, oil and war to resistance and life ...
Uproot the system behind the war (and behind the war at home - racism, poverty... ); help catalyze mass movements to challenge corporate and government power and create socially just, directly democratic, ecological, peaceful alternatives."
On the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, hundreds of students walked out on classes and staged a massive demonstration that included flying the campus flag upside down, reports the conservative campus journal The California Patriot.
"I was shocked and dismayed by what I saw," UC Berkeley student Philip Wilson told the Patriot. "I saw our flag, the symbol of our freedom and honor, hung upside down with what looked like a bag of refuse attached to it."
The walkout attracted more than a thousand students and community members who chanted anti-war slogans and anti-Bush rhetoric .
"The Bush government is going to perpetrate the slaughter of innocence in one of the most heinous attacks on innocence," Snehal Shinghavi, a graduate student instructor and leader of the local chapter of the International Socialist Organization told the protesters. "This war - the so-called 'shock and awe' is about scaring us and silencing our opposition about what this administration does."
The paper describes the peace activists stomping on yellow ribbons handed out by members of the Army ROTC and the Berkeley College Republicans as a symbol of support for the U.S. troops.
"It is completely abhorrent," Melanie Smith, a Republican freshman who witnessed both events, told the paper. "It's one thing to oppose this war, but to stomp on symbols of support for the troops - that they return swiftly and safely - is beyond the pale. It just goes to prove that many of these people are not just anti-war, but anti-American and want us to lose this war."
The violence escalated, according to the paper, when several hundred students swarmed the administration building heavily guarded by police and staged a sit-in that resulted in 117 arrests.
UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Berdahl drew fire last fall for excluding patriotic symbols from the university's Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony.
"Nothing is more unpatriotic, nothing is more un-American, than to accept without question the pronouncements of our government," Berdahl said in a radio address to the campus community last month.
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