Lone Vet Report
Making friends is hard to do
News from Portland, Oregon
We are in the streets in Portland, Oregon. There are small demonstrations in a number of places on Fridays and Saturdays and sometimes during the week. We stand the watch for all those who can't or are too fearful to hold a sign saying something about War and Peace. Most protest/vigils are quiet but a few are noisy, to the annoyance of the business community. One protest on the Hawthorne Bridge now has a running battle with a restaurant that complains because we ring cow bells and the management of the restaurant does not want their outside customers disturbed while drinking and eating. I wonder what these people do with their heads when they hear that we are bombing over six countries and murdering civilians at alarming rates. How do they sleep at night knowing that America is the arms dealer of the world. We sell to anyone who has the money to buy war planes, tanks or ships. Sometimes we have a special sale on Wednesdays, buy one war plane, get your choice of free bombs or rockets. Is it not special that we rank number one in killing children and 34th in successful *child births? As we stand on our bridge each Friday and watch people drive by in their gas guzzling machines, mostly alone, we wonder what it will take to get them to join us, just stop for a few moments and hold a sign that says something like, "Stop these F-Wars." I know that some are offended by me using F-Wars, you tell me it turns people off; we must be polite. I don't agree, I think it is now time to be angry. The world is on fire and you worry about offending people, sorry but we are way past being nice. President Obama is nice, Pelosi is nice, Reid is nice and all three should be run out of office. I don't want to be nice. There is a story about a guy Roberto and I saw on the Hawthorne Bridge who was standing alone in the middle of the bridge with a sign that said something like "Fuck Your Wars." We first saw him as we were driving across the bridge one Friday and I smiled, "Roberto, did you see that guy with a small sign that said "Fuck Your Wars?" We were impressed because I preach to all who will listen, get off your asses and do something. Don't wait for someone to invite you to a march, protest, vigil or gathering, just do it yourself and here was a guy doing just that--I was happy.
A week or so later he came near where we were but kept a respectable distance from our position, he was not with us but seemed to support what we were saying, I went over and said hello. He seemed shy to me so I just thanked him for having the guts to hold a sign and said he was welcome to stand with us if he wanted to. He seemed nervous but was happy that I acknowledged his presence on the bridge. Well, not all are accepting in the peace movement, what happened next is an indictment to our cause. One of our occasional protestors who was annoyed with my sign that says F-Wars was outraged with a sign that said "Fuck Your Wars." He had the audacity to come down on the guy for his sign and that is a big no/no with me; if you want to judge, please do it someplace else and not during a demonstration that I called. I told the person who was upset by the language that we only ask people to be proud of what they write on their signs and do not criticize what others end up writing. I was not happy. So please, if you are offended by what people put on their signs just leave. I am so tired of people who will come to a protest and want to be nice, just go away! I don't want to argue the point, just go away. There are lots and lots of protests where you will be among nice people, one that I call is not one of those. I have gotten into arguments over this issue a number of times, but now just tell people if you are offended by direct action or yelling back at people who call us terrible names, or by someone who has a sign that you don't like--go, we will miss you, but go! I once told Commissioner Fritz that when I come into a hearing to testify I don't want people to say, there is the Lone Vet, I am so glad he made it; I want them to say, "OH Shit!"
We/I will be on the bridge again this Friday, don't come for me or anyone else; come because you are pissed and want these Fucking Wars to end! We will be celebrating the October Event in DC which will be the most important event to take place in years. There will be mass arrests and many will put their lives on the line one more time and not just parade around on a Saturday and go home; it will be a time!
We/I will continue my vigil at City Hall to replace all three members of the council. We have been there for months each and every Wednesday just before the Council meets and so we have two down and one to go, Commissioner Fritz is the only remaining member who has not announced a sudden urge to spend more time with their family. I would not lose any sleep if she was reelected but you have an opportunity to send a strong message to Commissar Salzman and the Fish by voting out Amanda. We call our vigil, "Run the Rascals Out" and that is exactly what we mean, all five should eventually be defeat because they collectively are not worth spit. We intend to be in front of City Hall until the election in 2012 and about the city with our signs. Join us if you can, wish us well if you see us, or just sit on your ass and do nothing--lots of choices!
Some of you have asked why we stopped our protest in front of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; the reason is simple, we can't win. For the War Criminal Judge Jay Bybee to be impeached it must start in the House of Representatives and with this group of bandits in the House that will never happen. We will return anytime we hear Judge Bybee is coming to our city, or there is another reason to protest. We spent over two years in front of the 9th and let lots of people know that we have a War Criminal on the court. There is some news on the anti-torture front, read here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-14453895 (Thanks Joe R)
That's all Folks!
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