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actions & protests | imperialism & war

ASHAMED OF U.S. ACTIVISTS

To date, no MAJOR actions of protests have occurred within the United States against Israel's attacks on Lebanon and Gaza.

Meanwhile, humans are being bombed daily and by news estimates, 30 percent of them are children.
I am deeply shamed by the INACTION of USA citizens to stage massive protests against Israel. I hear that on August 12th we will finally see some. WoW!
Are you impressed? The bombings started weeks ago and USA activists need an entire month to get organized.

Globally, the USA is viewed as the key in putting pressure on Israel to stop this madness and they daily see Bush proclaiming our support for Israel. Do they see people in the street en masse proclaiming this is a lie? No.

Earlier this same year we engaged in MASSIVE actions over immigration. Hundreds of thousands appeared almost instantaneously. I guess that took too much energy out of concerned citizens because they certainly are not displaying it now.

Don't misunderstand me, I applaud those that have mobilized for actions, like the one occurring in Portland today but we as a whole have totally dropped the ball on this issue.

This is akin to the UN who has been proclaiming...we're meeting next week.

THE BOMBS DO NOT WAIT - THEY KILL - NOW
Agreed 30.Jul.2006 16:59

Den Mark, Vancouver

I agree. Today's protest was spirited & dignified, but WAY TOO SMALL! Half of P-Square was maybe half full. Where is the grief! Where is the anger! WAKE UP, PacNW!

And... 30.Jul.2006 17:02

Phil

First of all, I hate these "why isn't anyone doing anything" posts. What have YOU done- and I do not mean attending actions- I mean ORGANIZING them. Maybe if you didn't posts rants you may have more time to get together this mass acion you want to have.

Anyway, I think that protesting an Israeli action here in the US is stupid. Why don't we protest the US's backing of Israel- no US weapons, no war. If you feel that the US should get involved in stopping both Hezbollah and Israel, then I have to ask, how do you feel about the US in Iraq? We are not the world's police force, but we CAN help to stop the violence by cutting funding. Since you do not vote in Israeli elections, Israeli politicians won't give a shit about what you have to say. However, target the politicians that you fund through your taxes, and you may have a chance of being heard...

Oh. Except PPRC... 30.Jul.2006 17:44

...

Who reminds us, lamely, that we must "condemn ALL violence," implying that the Lebanese are somehow to share the blame, fearing to make any kind of statement that maybe, just maybe, ISRAEL is WAY OUT OF LINE.

This kind of "peace" is irrelevant. Until Israel (and the US) are forced either out of existence or out of the business of rampant killing of innocents for selfish, psychopathic personal gain, there can be no peace.

who has more ass? 30.Jul.2006 17:56

yume

Bush has never really paid attention to street protests, either in the US or abroad. If anything he does the exact opposite just out of spite. This has led to activists being disorganized and only hard core ones showing up.

So who will stick it out longer? Bush or the Activists?

this isn't about 30.Jul.2006 18:02

bush taking notice

it is for the rest of the WORLD to see that USA citizens do not condone Israeli terrorism against its neighbors

i personally don't give a fuck what bush thinks

Since when do massive protests work? 30.Jul.2006 18:22

Jesse

I was at Pioneer Square today standing in solidarity with Lebanese, Palistinians and all other oppressed peoples in the Mideast and elsewhere. But I was also in New York on Feb 15 2003 with at least a half million people in that city alone and other millions across the world. And in DC on January 18 when it was about 5 degrees and at least 100,000 showed up. And in Miami in November 2003 when that city was thrown into a teargass filled turmoil of Police brutality during the FTAA. And in New Orleans where an entire American city was treated to a Bagdahd style military occupation and hundreds of thousands were forcibly pushed out of their home city forever. The list goes on and on. Bruswick, Boston, Philadelphia All to no avail. Nobody knows that any of these things happened. None of it was reported Is it any wonder people are getting disheartened?

We are working on the theory that at some critical mass of people, we can change public opinion or at least get government to care about public opinion. The problem is, most people don't even know those massive rallys happened. And unless you were actually there and saw the masses of people in New York and DC, you probobly don't believe these numbers because you may feel it would be impossible for it to go unreported.

The strategys that we have been using assume a free press and a real democracy. Whatever we may have had of those in the past, even that is now gone. Giant mass rallys of hundreds of thousands which are witnessed by only the few people who happen to be there are ineffective. It is better to take a few people and demonstrate in front of thousands than to take thousands and demonstrate in front of a few.

After marching around in a circle a few times I took my sign and went down about a block where there was a busy intersection with no demonstrators. I was the only one there and got quite a few reactions from passing cars and pedestrians. Most of them positive. This is a strategy I often use in various protest venues and it works. Go to where the people are, go to public events, just 1 to maybe 6 people. Take out your signs, talk to people, It does have an impact. Sometimes you get thousands on your side and sometimes you really piss them off but the message gets through.

Suppose at the rally today. WE had all met, listened to the speakers, then fanned out across all the citys intersections with signs and flyers. Then met back at Pioneer square for a mass debrief. What kind of impact would that have made on Portland. As it was, only people driving by Pioneer square even knew anything was happening.

The old ways just don't work anymore. It's time to get out of the rut. If we want to fire up tired activists, we need to try something new. If we want to be effective, we need to stop appealing to corporate media with "Mass Rallys" to deliver our message. Instead of mass rallys, we need mass, distributed and visible actions. Take it directly to the people.

sorry, let me re-phrase. 30.Jul.2006 18:33

yume

Israel knows the rest of the world doesn't agree with, and knows that some down right hate their government.
They have never really given a shit about world opinion.

The day the UN and the US started talking about a UN/NATO peacekeeping force, Isreal sent its anwser to the UN. 4 dead peacekeepers. Everybody in the loop knows this attack was intentional.

Bush is the only one who could turn the screws on Israel, but he is unwilling. (at least for now).

Bush like the Israelis truely believe that they only have to answer to God in the end, and so they won't trade what they believe to be a future seat in heaven for a nobel prize on earth.

I agree 30.Jul.2006 18:49

with alot of what you expressed

and i'm still ashamed of usa activists because whether big or small there just hasn't been enough response to this issue

diversity of tactics is always a strength and i'd like to see more of it too.

as far as portland goes, most larger actions are done at pioneer square and that is a shame - go to the malls, encircle the public sidewalk with masses of people

hell, you could even form a single line of people around a mall facing outwards towards traffic - wear a cardboard sandwich board, paint a message on your shirt or carry a sign - move sideways around the mall so as not to get ticketed for vagrancy and leave part of the sidewalk open for pedestrian traffic

helluva lot more "coverage" that way - they flock to the malls

just DO SOMETHING

"The old ways just don't work anymore." 30.Jul.2006 19:07

Burro

That's right, they do not. Until we recognize the fact that the majority of americans are actually dumbshits - aka walking zombies - glued to their TVs and their cars and their other superficialities - we are wasting our time trying to reach them.

The big question is - HOW DO WE REACH these people who are so brainwashed by fashion, the mainstream media, allegience to the good OLD usa, etc.?

Phil 30.Jul.2006 19:20

ain't no such thing

as an Israeli action because anything that Israel has done is a USA/Israeli action, the siamese twins of terror - but you already know that and we both know the billions of usa dollars used to support this terror. "Massive protests" does not singularly refer to protests of size as it also refer to numbers of protests or actions. I still say there simply hasn't been enuf of either.

People are crazy if they believe that actions at the Israeli Embassies or Synagogues will go unreported and I am not speaking about violent or harassing actions. People have gotten so fearful of being labeled anti-Semitic that there is a tendency to stray away.

I'm all for targeting the politicians with a vote OUT OF OFFICE and I'm for a diversity of tactics that Jesse suggested in earlier comment. Most of all I would like to see more ACTION by all concerned.

Portland is on the board 30.Jul.2006 20:48

xoxoxoxoxox

Portland brought out 2,000-3,000 people today for the pro-peace rally today in Pioneer Square. We were there in solidarity with the innocents, especially those in Lebanon and Palestine who continued to be mercilessly hammered by Israel's fanatical IDF, backed wholeheartedly by Washington.

Sorry if it's not enough for you, but Portland has now come out squarely in large numbers in protest of Israeli / US war crimes.

Plus, Chicago and San Francisco have also turned out large number of protesters.

It's a start. But every white boy & girl in Amerika seems very afraid of criticizing Tel Aviv. Cowards, every last one of us. Nothing but fuckin' cowards in the face of mass murder and in-your-face war crimes.

Ain't 30.Jul.2006 21:55

Phil

I agree that we need to diversify tactics- on all fronts, not just the Israel/Hezbollah thing. However, you need to give people options- having a protest outside (in?) the mall is a great idea because it reaches many people, but beyond informing them of something they already saw on CNN, what good does it do for the cause? Saying "Israel kills children" and have someone respond "Yes...that is bad" does not help the Lebanese or the Israeli citizens. However, give them an option- say a petition to to get a bill into congress that will stop US funding to Israel (I don't know if the law works like that but hopefully you get the idea), then they can do something that may end up helping the real victims- the innocent civilians of both countries.

As for actions at Synagogues, wow, that is stupid. Not only will you be labled anti-Semetic by the corp. media, but you will end up targeting people who agree with you. I know my Synagogue is against all forms of war, even from Israel- take into consideration that targeting Synagogues for protests is the same strategy as targeting mosques because "all muslims are terrorists." It is way too much of a generalization. Israeli embassies is far better, but again, will they listen? It would be far more effective to try to get legislation moving that would stop the flow of laser guided bombs and artillery shells from US coffers into Israel.

Numbers 31.Jul.2006 06:53

Den Mark, Vancouver

1) There were nowhere near 2000 people at the rally. The number was like 500, WAY too small. Sorry, it was WAY too small.

2) It takes four minutes to post a message here. Doing so does NOT preclude one from other actions.

3) I agree with the tactic described above & practice it. I rarely listen to speakers but go out to the periphery & show my messages to passers-by.

4) Last Friday i did four solo visibilities in Vancouver. I like spontaneously pulling over my little car, pulling out flags & signs, & pulling off a spontaneous visibility.

5) Btw, at Sunday's rally, as i was on a corner off from P-Sq, one of the "peacekeepers" expressed concern that i was not in the "permitted area"! I explained that i protest where i choose to protest.

6) Protests are not THE tactic; they are A tactic. Because a person protests does not mean he does not also write, speak, lobby, organize, & so on. And am i to think that all those who did not come to the rally yesterday were doing some of those other things?

7) Others have asked the question before, & the question remains:

WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE!

Where are the organizers? 31.Jul.2006 07:32

Cam

I've been wondering the same thing. Where is Answer, NION, Code Pink, U4PJ? The should have organized something by now. If I wasn't working to survive I would be organizing, but at least all I can do now is take my lunch breaks and protest in front of the Fed Building.

I think it is guilt, not cowardice... 31.Jul.2006 13:40

Pravda or Consequences

There is the holocaust. Whether it was 6 million or 6, any state-sponsored murder because of race/religion/ethnicity/creed/gender/sexual orientation is a crime against humanity and I believe that AIPAC has the power it does because of guilt.

I also believe that Israel is political wrong and the best solution is to cease its military incursion and swap prisoners.

There is a lot more to discuss about the Mideast Peace Process, but I need to address why there isn't more activism. Part of it is that the usual organized protests have no efficacy. Rather, I think we need to start using the court system more. Then I think we start to control the agenda as opposed to always having to react.

i didn't know what you were talking about 31.Jul.2006 15:35

until i read this part

> a petition to to get a bill into congress that will stop US funding to Israel
> (I don't know if the law works like that but hopefully you get the idea)

The law doesn't work like that.

Now I'm ashamed of the ignorance of U.S. "activists."

[ 31.Jul.2006 20:22

]

The organized left in the U.S. is afraid to criticize Israel. At best, like the PPRC, there is a call to end ALL violence as if things are equal and Israel isn't the agressor. I agree there could be more people in the streets, but there also needs to be a courageous assessment of the situation and a new language.

Advocates or critics, Israel's PR machine has managed to get everyone to agree to the basic 'Right To Exist'. It is time to take a look at what that means. Did South African Apartheid have a right to exist? Everybody has personal freedom, and certain rights. If you go out and kill someone, then you have given up some of your rights and you go to jail. There are no rights without responsibility. What Israel's 'Right To Exist' actually means, is the right to do unto their neighbors however they see fit, including occupying their land and killing them.

The people living in Israel and in the surrounding region, whether Jewish, Muslim, Christian etc, all have a right to exist, but the government of Israel has no such right. No more than the Bush government has a right to exist. If it ceases to serve people, then it needs to go and new choices need to be made.

But instead of an honest dialog to face the challenges of the region, we have endless propaganda aimed at vilifying Arabs and myths such as 'their only objective is to drive every jew into the sea' (which is a patent lie). Not only do we need more protest, but we need a more courageous look at the reality of the situation. And of course the first tangible thing we should be pushing for is no more U.S. aid to Israel.