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Required qualafications of a war protester

If you want to protest the war be sure you meet some minimum standards.
I was recently raked over the coals here because I drove my car to the last Sunday war rally and the fact that I did not very strickly obey all the traffic laws. I have been wondering exactly what the requirements to protest war in Portland.

Here's the one's I know of so far.

1 - Do not drive to a protest. You must use a bike or a bus. Im not sure if it is ok or not to use a car for other things like going to work or the store or visiting friends.

2 - Do not violate any traffic laws no matter what. Even if it does not have any danger to anyone. Im not sure if this applies to bikes. I see lots of bikes who run lights and stop signs all the time. Also many that don't use any kind of turn signalling or lights at night. Can these bad bikers be protesters?

Other things that might be no no for a protester are using animal products. Can people who eat meat protest the war? Can people who have leather shoes go in the march? Can people who shop in non-vegan corporate stores like Wild Oats protest the war? Can people who work for corporations protest the war? Can people who pay taxes that pay for the war protest? Can people who use signs made of paper not recyled and have chemial ink use them in the protest? Can people who live in houses with power from dams be protesters? Can people who have houses with old growth wood be protesters?

This stuff has me confused because if there are so many things you have to do to be perfect enough to protest then there are going to be a lot of people who are not good enough and just stay home and say Fuck It!

I hope you see what I mean by this letter that you people who have a lot of agendas might have a lot of good things you are doing but most people can't do all that stuff and only do what they can do. You should be welcome any kind of support you can get even if it is not as perfect as you are. Otherwise you are pretty stupidly killing your own support.
Protest 24.Sep.2003 10:12


Everyone draws their own line in the sand. If you let other people's expectations rule you, you will never be free. You might also notice that the people who judge you will readily justify their own "transgressions" while making a big deal of what you do.

Scott Nearing said it best: " Do the best that you can in the place that you are, and be kind".

What is a war protestor? 24.Sep.2003 10:18


Driving a car is one of the activities that makes war necessary, so there certainly is a rational critique for not driving one to a war protest. There is some hypocrisy in driving a car to a war protest if one can easily get there by other means. Lots of people are not going to say anything, and then there is going to be someone who does.

To follow a path of peace, means to uproot all the tendrils of war. This includes living with priviledges that are obtained through the suffering of others. There are some necessary uses for cars, and obviously we cannot just be rid of them entirely, but we all should make a serious effort to reduce their use as much as possible, and where we can, stop using them altogether.

Buying meat is violence. The meat industry is an ongoing and unnecessary war on other creatures.

So the question is there then, for each person to ask themselves. Am I committed to ending war?

Tripping 24.Sep.2003 10:24


Be true to yourself first and foremost and don't worry what others may think of you.

Well Put, PoohNTigger 24.Sep.2003 10:27

OK Then

I may have misjudged you.

jamie 24.Sep.2003 10:28


i love the fact that you are a bad speller!

Choices and Personal Responsibility 24.Sep.2003 11:01

Michael Bakunin

    " Liberty, morality, and the human dignity of man consist precisely in this, that he does good, not because it is commanded, but because he conceives it, wills it, and loves it."


All or nothing Gecko? 24.Sep.2003 11:22


OK Gecko. I see what you mean. All or nothing is it for me. I hope everybody else understands this too and you will have the whole next protest for yourself. The black or white world is so much eaisier.

protest all you want 24.Sep.2003 11:26


So, what you are talking about when you say "war protester" is liberal reformist. You can do anything and still be a liberal reformist, hell, some people think Bush is a liberal reformist. Your list is comprised of things that can make you a revolutionary. Being revolutionary is challenging the dominant pradigm and protesting a war is not challenging the dominat paradigm.

However, if you start riding your bike to protests to the store, to work to visit friends, you are challengiing auto culture -- the dominant paradigm. That is a form of revolution

When you stop oppressing animals (humans are animals) including wearing leather and eating meat you are praticing dissent from the dominant paradigm -- oppressive culture. That is a form of revolution.

Working for a corporation unless you are organizing for unions or something you are just supporting the dominant paradigm and furthering the wheel you are attempting to oppose. Paying taxes furthers the war, if we stop paying for these wars they will stop happening and come back home and be the class war that has been creeping up on us and it will not be pretty...especially because you will be on the other side trying to defend your "freedoms" you will be trying to defend the dominant paradigm and in turn further these wars and future wars, perpetuating the things that you want to walk the streets to oppose.

I suggest that you should stay at home and take a good look at want it is you really want to do. If you want liberal reform vote Bush in 2004. If you really want things to change, really, stop walking around in defense of civil liberties and pick up with the revolution.

Rules? What rules? 24.Sep.2003 11:27


I'm sorry to hear that you were "raked over the coals" for driving to the rally. We should all be tolerant of each other. There should be no rules. There should only be the desire to stand shoulder to shoulder with as many others as we can against oppression, against the lies, against the war-profiteering, against the taking of our civil liberties, against the sending of our children and family members off to fight for something only we can pay for and what only the rich will profit from.

What an incredibly beautiful day it was. The rally was good. The march was good. The sky was crystal clear. The birds were chirping. The speeches along the march were good. In fact, the one held under the Burnside Bridge was so incredibly moving that I saw many people openly weeping.

To reach more people we all need to be openly inclusive. There are many many pathes up the Mountain of Truth. How we get there matters little compared to arriving at the goal.

! 24.Sep.2003 12:17


***All or nothing Gecko?

OK Gecko. I see what you mean. All or nothing is it for me. I hope everybody else understands this too and you will have the whole next protest for yourself. The black or white world is so much eaisier. ***

Just as I thought... You were looking for an excuse to say that... If you care so little that one interaction with one person at the march combined with the few words I wrote (which are not black or white dichotomous) have convinced you to sink back into apathetic donothingism, then such action by you was then inevitable. I have no respect for such minimal commitment that you are right from the posting of the article looking for the reason to run away.

still all defensiveness and no explanation for driving to a rally 24.Sep.2003 13:06


I never got my chance to educate you, tripping, about options for avoiding the very consumption that has created this war. I was merely curious why anyone would drive to an anti-war rally. Sometimes they just don't make the connection, other times they didn't leave home on time or had a schedule conflict and driving would be the only way. Anyway, I guess you're just going to remain steadfast in your position that others are too critical and that is the problem, while continuing to avoid making the small sacrifices that would help bring about a more peaceful reality.

why? 24.Sep.2003 13:18

why guy

why does tripping owe anyone an explanation for why he/she drove to a rally? it's nobody's damn business.

reader 24.Sep.2003 13:36


tripping does not owe anyone an explanation - tripping brought it up, and people responded

yes.... 24.Sep.2003 14:23

yes guy

i understand that tripping brought it up.... but the reasons why s/he drove are irrelevant and, again, nobody's business.

You're All Full Of Crap 24.Sep.2003 15:33

Get Real

Why do I keep seeing that the war is about oil? Try finding pure Middle Eastern Oil in the Pacific Northwest. Our oil comes from Alaska, Texas, Mexico and Venezuela (as does over 70% of the oil nationwide). As for the whiney ass who is against the "meat" industry, if none of God's creatures were ever harmed in history, you wouldn't be here. While I totally agree that the meat industry is inept, corrupt and has a host of other issues (legal and moral), I certainly wouldn't want to have a bunch of idiots out there hunting and gathering their own meals on a daily basis. Is corporate amreika corrupt? Hell Yes it is, always has been. Does somebody get stepped on so somebody else can make a buck? Hell Yes, it has always been that way. Do I like it when I get stepped on? No. What do I do about it? I try not to step on others. Does that mean I won't shop Safeway or Wal Mart? No it doesn't. Why should I pay more for an item that I can't be 100% sure that it is chemical free, that no animal was harmed during production or no human was abused/underpaid to manufacture? The products used to build Vegan stores/resteraunts came from sweat shops, used polution causing vehicles to get the products to the store, came fom fields where the same acid rain that falls everywhere fell, and lastly, destroyed the natural environment to build the building. So, I say to you "tripping", you drive that car to the protest. I'll drive mine too. I'd be proud to march along side you and say we want this dumb assed war to end! None of these self proclaimed saviors of the earth are telling the truth. They simply preach how they would like you to live and as was pointed out by FreeToBeMe, they go home and justify their own transgressions.

Last Exit 24.Sep.2003 18:01

Common Sense

I'm typing on a computer consisting primarily of metal and plastic petroleum-based components made overseas by slave wage labor for multinational corporations, powered most likely by salmon killing hydro-electric or even coal fired electricity. I've also got a nylon backpack and some other goods made with synthetic fibers, and all the goods I purchase are shipped from country to county and from town to town via petrol-based transport. But, please obey my rules of protesting, cause I'm no hypocrite.

YOU ARE TOO! Don't be so high and mighty just because you ignore your failure to live up to your ideals by highlighting others failure to live up to your ideals. If everyong agreed with you and did exactly what you did in exactly the way you did it, you'd soon be alone cause everyone else would take the last exit.

Finally, some common sense... 24.Sep.2003 21:34

DJ Shadow

To everyone who wants to build a movement that consists solely of ideologically pure, vegan, bicycling, non-leather wearing folks, go for it. I will not be joining, because this is a strategy GUARANTEED to lose. We need to reach out to everyone--including the meat eating (GASP!), SUV-driving, leather wearing folks who happen to make up the overwhelming majority of people in this country (ok--maybe not the SUV-driving part).

Until this corrupt system is overthrown, there is pretty much no way to not participate in some part of it, unless you want to completely unplug--which is great. That may not contribute to the problem, but you probably won't be able to help change things unless you occasionally use some of the things that GECKO and revolutionary would want to prohibit--computers, copiers, phones, gas (even the busses use it), paychecks from corporations, the list goes on and on.

I encourage folks to live more simply, but harassing folks for driving, or eating meat, or using your lead-filled monitor with your sweatshop-produced computer is not the best way to build a movement.

Shove this in your pipe and smoke it! 25.Sep.2003 07:11

Sarcastic Asshole

"Driving a car is one of the activities that makes war necessary"

Right! 'Cause, no one in Iraq drives cars.

Oh wait, they do. I guess that means they caused themselves to be invaded?

This site is so edumacational. I just learned that driving cars is the cause of the Holocaust, the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, Stalin's purges, Pol Pot's insanity, etc., etc., etc.

It's a good there were no wars before there were cars! Oh wait, there was. What was my point again?

good points get real 26.Sep.2003 13:12


Not everyone has the luxury of not having to drive cars. If I had no access to a car, I could not teach in the locations I do nor carry the equipment needed to make the educational experience more enhanced. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to afford shopping in coops, health food stores, et al, that does not make them counter-revolutionary. Not everyone can afford to quit their corporate jobs and that does not make them bad. Most people want capitalism to work for THEM, not the other way around. It's a compromise as the CEO's are always in power, but it's an interim step to beging taking more control over your life. Force the capitalists to provide us with the products we want, not the products they want to market that cause cancer and make us more slaves to them. Transform the slaveowners and maybe, in time we can take some custody over their power. Slamming into good people makes the movement weak.