January 27, 2007
Countering United for Peace and Justice in Washington DC
United for Peace and Justice, the big left-wing umbrella group, held a large anti-war protest on the mall today in Washington DC, and I was at the Free Republic counter-rally. It was a pretty wild day, and a complete report and photos follow.
UPJ consists of 90 national groups, and over 1,200 state or foreign ones. According to David Horowitz' excellent Discover the Network database on left-wing groups and people, they were formed on October 25, 2002, at the headquarters of the People for the American Way. The purpose, he says, was "to put a milder face on the anti-war movement", since up until then most anti-war protests had been organized by groups such as International ANSWER, Global Exchange, and Not In Our Name. These three groups were known for their extreme radicalism and ties to outright communist people and groups.
So did they succeed in putting that "milder face" on the anti-war movement? I went to their website and downloaded their national member list. Here are a few of the groups
CODEPINK: Women for Peace
Communist Party USA
Democratic Socialists of America
RainbowPUSH Coalition (Jesse Jackson)
Young Communist League (YCL)
Doesn't sound very mild to me.
But on to the events of the day. My first stop was the Navy Memorial on Pennsylvania Avenue. Code Pink had organized a pre-rally there, and the freakshow was off to a start.
FreeRepublic had set up a counter-rally across the street. After arriving, I joined them.
Here's the view from our position (as always, click to enlarge)
After they got underway at 10am, I decided to venture over there to see if I could get any better photos and maybe identify some of the more prominent leftists.
What is it with the left and their sexual double entendres? For that matter, what is it about them that they have to dress up in all these ridiculous costumes?
Here are Code Pink leaders Media Benjamin and Gael Murphy. Murphy's the one with the raised fist in the center, and Benjamin is right beside her. They were leading the crowd in chants such as "Bring Them Home Now!"
Across the street some of the Free Republic folks had bullhorns. They were shouting
"Code Pink Kills!"which could be clearly heard from where I was standing when I took the photo above. The charge that they kill is a reference to the trip Medea made to the December 2004 trip she and others took to Fallujah in which she and others basically gave aid and comfort to our enemies. From Discover the Network
During the last week of December 2004, Benjamin announced in Amman, Jordan that Global Exchange, Code Pink, and Families for Peace would be donating a combined $600,000 in medical supplies and cash to the terrorist insurgents who were fighting American troops in Fallujah, Iraq. Said Benjamin, "I don't know of any other case in history in which the parents of fallen soldiers collected medicine ... for the families of the 'other side.'
Next on the podium was US Army Colonel Ann Wright (Ret). After leaving the Army (still in the Retired Ready Reserve), she went to work for the state department, where she resigned over the invasion of Iraq. The Pinkos love her and she seems happy to be their tool. If you think that assessment harsh, consider that in August 2002 she went with them to Jordaon as part of a "peace delegation". See here , here, and here.
I heard her mention Joshua Sparling, who I had seen across the street with his father Mike and the Freepers earlier. Follow the link for the full story on Joshua, but suffice it for now to say that neither he nor his father are any friends of anti-war types. I know Mike fairly well from our Walter Reed Freeps. Anyway, I wasn't able to clearly hear what the Col said, so I continued wandering the crowd taking pictures. Later I discovered that he had gone over to make his pro-war views known to the Pinios. They invited him to say a few words at their podium, which he apparently did. Later he told me that they were very polite, so hats off where deserved.
Jane Fonda and Dick Gregory were there, and each spoke briefly. I kept trying to get photos of them, but there wasn't really a stage, it was hard to get close, and everytime I got them in the viewfinder and hit the button someone moved in the way. My cheap digital camera seems to have a small delay which is frustrating in these circumstances.
Media Benjamin introducted Fonda as "The Woman who freed our vaginas!"
You just can't make this stuff up.
Media and Gael then led the crowd in a series of chants. I wrote two of them down
Two, Four, Six, Eight, Who Do We Incarcerate? Bush! Bush!
Congress, Congress, Hear Us Shout! Women, Say; Pull Out!
Here's one more crowd shot of the Pinkos
But the Freakshow had only begun.
On To The March
By about 11:00 the Pinkos were done, and their protest broke up, with everyone heading to the Mall to join the rest of the UPJ gathering.
I didn't make it to the actual Mall where UPJ protesters were, but a map of their assembly area that you can download from their site shows booths for a whole variety of leftist groups; nuclear disarmament, anti-Israel, lesbian/gay/bisexual, anti-Guantanamo, you name it. Ever notice that they have a hard time staying on message?
The UPJ schedule was to hold a large protest in front of the Capitol building on the Mall, and then march along Constitution Avenue to the other side of the Capitol, then double back and march back to the Mall. The police had divided Constitution Ave in half lengthwise so that marchers coming and going wouldn't get intermingled.
Free Republic had secured a permit for a counter-protest at a park across Constitution Ave from the Senate wing of the Capitol building. There were two lines of fencing making for about a 30 foot space in between and where we would be, and after the fence nearest us there was a sidewalk, and we were told by our organizer to stand behind the sidewalk in the park itself. At the time it it seemed like a good plan to keep the two sides separate. I've counter-protested several of these anti-war demonstrations, and common sense says it's a good idea to keep people separate in situations where tempers might get out of hand.
Unfortunately, things didn't work out so well, and frankly I don't think the police did such a good job this time. Unlike in past demonstrations, this time the police allowed the protesters to come around the barrier at the end of the street and intermingle, or at least walk, on the sidewalk right by where we were standing.
Most of the time the lefties walked by us peacefully, and we held our tongues, but several times tempers flared and people got in each other's faces. I resolve ahead of time to keep my cool, and arguing with anyone who's going to march with UPJ is just a waste of time anyway. There's a time to get mad and a time not to. Now was a time to keep your cool.
Here's a shot of some of us, getting ready for the marchers. We numbered about 40, and they in the tens of thousands, but I never saw any full-sized American flags among the protesters. I saw a few small ones, but the few larger ones they had were desecrated with the peace symbol or something. Typical.
Here is our best banner. It's the type I've come to like; a positive message of support for our brave warriors.
Although they were supposed to start their march at 1pm, they were an hour late. Which was annoying to me because I really didn't want to be there all day, but I certainly wasn't going to leave. At this point our troops need our support, and I'm not going to have the leftists have the field to themselves. It seems to drive them nuts that anyone would dare to demonstrate against them, so of course we have to do it.
Unfortunately, the sun was in our faces, which is the worst position for taking photographs. Nevertheless I think most came our reasonably well.
So they started coming by at around 2, and it lasted until just after 4, and it was the usual assortment of nutcases. Here are a few representative photographs. When I get time I'll post more on my flickr account, so come back for that link.
I'll give them this, they're nothing if not creative.
Towards the end, this group came by and did a little song and dance for us. I didn't get the exact words, but they had it down pretty well.
As I mentioned, they hate to be counter-protested. We had a few bullhorns, and did some chants as they walked by. This prompted several to stand and argue with us. Unlike in past demonstrations, this time the police did not move to make them keep walking.
Here's one of the instances when some punk leftie who the police had unwisely let on the sidewalk couldn't control his temper and started gettiing into our faces. He actually had the white scarf-thing pulled up on his nose when he started in on us, typically weird leftie. Unbelievably, he went after Joshua Sparling and his girlfriend. I couldn't catch exactly what was said, but this guy got nasty with the baby-killer routine. In the photo below, Free Republic leader Kristinn is trying to move this idiot way. In case you didn't follow the link above about Joshua, or don't know who he is, he served in Iraq and lost part of his leg. Verbally abusing a wounded soldier is beyone dispicable.
This was actually the second time some idiot leftie got in Joshua's face. The first time his father had to walk between the two of them to cool things off.
There were lots of press there. I saw the New York Times, Associated Press, local news channels and a few others from around the country. Here's Joshua (black sunglasses) giving an interview
Finally the police realized that having lefties mixed up with us wasn't such a hot idea, and they closed off the sidewalk. Too late, I thought, but I guess better late than never. At any rate they did respond quickly a few times when it seemed like tempers were flaring, but if anything serious had broken out people would have been hurt before they could have intervened.
There weren't many chants this time, it seemed, but I made a few notes
End the Occupation, Commies out of DC!
Racist, Sexist, Anti-Gay! Right-wing Bigots, Go Away
The Lefties Favorite
At all anti-war demonstrations I've counter-protested, the lefties always make point of asking if we have served. They do seem to love their chickenhawk argument.
But it's a no win situation. If we say we didn't serve, we're chickenhawks. But it doesn't do you any good if you did serve, either. Standing right beside me was a guy who'd done two tours in Iraq. When a leftie came by with his Enlist! Enlist! chant, here's what happened:
Vet: I did! I served two tours in Iraq!
Leftie: Then if you like it so much go back!
I heard this exchange several other times with lefties and guys among us who were vets. You just can't win.
At the ANSWER anti-war demonstration Sept 24 2005, I had this exchange with a leftie demonstrator:
Leftie: Did you serve?
Me: If I had, would you then support the war?
Me: Then what difference does it make?
The leftie stood there in stunned silence. I had my answer.
At around 4ish they stopped coming by and we broke down.
Does Any of It Matter?
In a way, not really. Despite their numbers on the Mall, the member groups of United for Peace and Justice are a bunch of whackjobs that represent very few Americans. And it would be foolish to try and extrapolate public opinion from the relative numbers of groups today. It wasn't the anti-war left protesters that forced an end to US troops in Vietnam, it was middle-class public opinion. President Bush and General Petraeus have until the next election cycle to get Iraq right. I certainly hope they succeed, and think the latest plan to be a good one and very much worth trying.
Ok, one last photo of some of the lefties who got mixed up among us.
I told you it was a freakshow.
Here's what I've found so far
Lifelike Pundits also has some photos and a video of the Freeper rally across from the Navy Memorial.
Don't miss the additional photos I took which I posted at Photobucket. Not all of them are up yet, and I'll finish tomorrow or Tuesday so come back then.
Posted by Tom at January 27, 2007 10:00 PM
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Excellent report on the Moonbat parade, Redhunter.
Am I suprised at the treatment Joshua Sparling received? Sadly, no. I've seen the same thing at other anti-America rallies in D.C. where our wounded Vets have been maligned and spat at.
The mother of a fallen Marine was verbally abused here in Richmond, VA last fall at an anti-Bush rally.
For the life of me, I don't understand it. It is heartbreaking.
Posted by: f mcdonald at January 28, 2007 10:46 PM
Christ. You people are fucking deluded beyond belief.
Posted by: Pook at January 28, 2007 11:28 PM
Great report, Tom!
Posted by: BufordP at January 29, 2007 8:52 AM
you guys are idiots. you are the real minority. look at the polls. you are by yourself. a small little frustrated sect. the jokes on you!
Posted by: lol at January 29, 2007 12:41 PM
"Whatever you do, be sure to check out ....."
No! The report not to be missed is that of Lifelike Pundits.
Coverage on the lunatics can be found anywhere and everywhere. What I was looking for was ANYTHING about those that stood for America and her troops. Lifelike Pundits is the only place that gave more than a fleeting look at the patriots.
Posted by: tickedoff2 at January 29, 2007 3:25 PM
tom, again, KUDOS dude!!!
Great report, great pics. You are right, the way these leftozoids are clad says it all. "Jane Fonda, the woman who freed our vaginas"????? My God, you sure these 40,000 didn't break out of some asylum or something?
Thank you for showing us this and thank you for supporting the troops. I too think the plan to secure Baghdad may succeed. I just read over at ITM that all the terrs are fleeing the city. Of course, when you leave it'd be up to the Iraqis to keep them from coming back. They got two more years to get reliable troops. I hope they spend the time well.
Posted by: Outlaw Mike at January 29, 2007 4:23 PM
Excellent report and pictures, Tom!! I really appreciated your advice and support on Saturday. You were absolutely right. Thanks for helping me see past the ugliness and hatred of those hypocrites to see them for the laughable freaks that they are!!
Posted by: Barbara at January 29, 2007 8:27 PM
Since Hannity gave Josh an ipod last year after he supposedly received that hate mail, what did he get for inciting abuse on Sat? Is there a big screen TV on its way to him?
Posted by: Anonymous at January 31, 2007 6:57 PM
First of all, Jane Fonda appeared onstage in "The Vagina Monologues." Just to clear up your confusion on the matter.
Second, take a look at what the guy in the white scarf was responding to. Hint - taunts like "Show your face a**hole!" "Swim to Cuba!"
Of course they cut off the video anywhere near any sort of interaction occured. You'd think if he was really being nasty to Josh it'd be the first thing they showed, wouldn't you?
Posted by: Zuzu at February 12, 2007 4:45 AM
Yes I do know about the the "Vagina Monologues". Anyone who would appear in it or have anything to do with it is truely disgusting. However I think Medias reference was more to sexual 'freedom' and abortion. What wonders the sexual revolution has brought us.
Yes we taunted the leftists with "swim to cuba". given the sympathy most of the groups with UPJ have with the Castro dictatorship, it seemed appropriate. However, for the record I thought the hanging of Jane Fonda effigy was inappropriate.
To try and draw some comparison between the Freepers and the UPJ marchers is ridiculous. The lefties dress up like circus clown freaks, carry pro-communist, anti-capitalist, pro-Palestinian, and "socialist signs". Many of their signs and shirts had foul language or sexual double entendres on them. And of course they had virtually no American flags.
Not to mention the fact that among the membership in United for Peace and Justice is the Communist Party USA and the Young Communist League. Anyone who marchs with them supports them, approves of them, or is just a useful idiot.
As for Joshua and the other Iraq war veterans with us I was right there and I saw and heard some of the lefties abuse them. Whether it's all on the videotape or not is irrelevant. You can believe what you like.
Posted by: Tom the Redhunter at February 12, 2007 7:57 AM
Thank you for your response.
I had assumed you were bewildered by the references to the "v" word. I see you know she appeared onstage in the show. I suspect, however, that any more praise coming her way may have had to do with her involvement with Eve Ensler's V-Day (anti-violence) and other projects on behalf of women. I'm sure you will nevertheless draw your own conclusions on the matter.
I don't believe I was trying to "draw comparisons" between the two sides. My point was that that this group - including Josh Sparling - was there for the purpose of heckling marchers, and very little of the coverage shows the extent of that heckling and provocation.
You said you couldn't really hear what the exchange between the guy in the white scarf and Josh and/or the group. Surely you heard the repeated taunts of "show your face, a**hole!" shouted through a bullhorn?
My personal view - based on his own words and actions in the videos and pictures if nothing else - is that Josh went there to mix it up and got just the response he wanted.
Well, actually he got a nicer response than I think he deserved from the Code Pink women. He was up front booing and giving the thumbs down. In response, they not only were civil to him, he was publicly thanked for his service and applauded - and as you point out, they let him speak. Then he went back across the street and yelled epithets at them.
You are welcome to your views. But I think it is disingenous for anyone to present Sparling or anyone else in that group as innocent victims.
PS, I'm glad you think the Jane Fonda effigy was inappropriate. However, Josh thought it was just fine:
Posted by: ZuZu at February 12, 2007 1:38 PM
Zuzu - you make some fair points. And I do appreciate your making them in a nice manner.
I don't want to engage in endless debate though, so if you want the last word it's yours. My last comment is that you do seem to be treating the two groups as moral equals; please tell me you're not. My position has always been if you want to oppose the war fine. By itself that can be a respectable position. But United for Peace and Justice or Code Pink? They're beyond the pale, "out of bounds".
Posted by: Tom the Redhunter at February 13, 2007 9:04 PM
Thank you for your civility.
Actually I don't know enough about Code Pink or UPJ to comment intelligently on their background. As I said before, I am bothered by reports (not so much yours as others) that present highly edited, less than forthright versions of what Joshua Sparling was up to that day.
Mainly though, I came back to tell you that I just saw a video of some of the speakers at the Code Pink rally. The introduction was actually, "She freed our vaginas - Eve Ensler and V-Day." It wasn't about Jane Fonda.
(at about 01:34)
Posted by: ZuZu at February 17, 2007 2:49 AM
I see you also linked to the video showing the CP rally and Ensler introduction.
Posted by: ZuZu at February 17, 2007 2:58 AM