Vermont Report on DC Actions (2)

Jay Moore research at
Sun Apr 21 14:24:02 MDT 2002

Bringing the Message to the Beast's Belly -A20 in Washington, DC

This was a demonstration I had to attend.  The madmen running the
world were in a severe state of psychosis and threatening to take us all
down with them.  I'd made plans to be on one of the buses going to DC a
few weeks ago.  Then Ariel Sharon unleashed his military assault on the
people in the Occupied Territories, killing civilians left and right,
trashing their homes, schools, churches, marketplaces and anything else
that his "moral" army felt like trashing in the name of colonial
expansion.  I knew I had to go and there was nothing short of a
catastrophic illness that would prevent me.  So I hopped on the bus the
night of April 19th.
Speaking of the Israeli invasion of Palestine.  Rumors of
dissension in the organizers' ranks of one of the primary organizations
putting this protest together over Israel's actions had filtered up to us
in the northern lands.  Supposedly, there were those in the A20Stop the
War coalition who didn't want to condemn Israel's death and destruction,
considering this violation of every human right justified.  If this was
true, it was once again, the Zionist apologists in the peace movement were
attempting to convince the rest of us that any war Israel fought was not
to be considered a war.  How this dynamic works I have never been certain.
What's good for the USA goose is also good for the Israeli gander if you
ask me.  Wars of expansion are wars of expansion.  Israel is the US
bulldog in the Middle East, no matter what we are told about it being the
other way around.  Israel is immorally occupying territories with US funds
and support in violation of international law.  If the situation were
reversed, one could be damn certain that the US would be calling for war
against the Palestinian invaders.  To use Washington's reasoning, Israel's
occupation of Palestine is as illegal as Iraq's 1990 occupation of Kuwait.
Yet, of course, US bombers are not bombinhe God of Abraham, I watched
marchers from the anti-capitalist and Palestinian solidarity march
converge with the participants of the A20 Stop the War rally.  As these
folks begin to line up in 14th street, the clerics held their joined hands
together in a jubilant celebration of humanity's possibilities.  Then, we
began to line up on 14th Street ourselves.  By the time all the marches
had converged near the corner of 14th and Pennsylvania, the march itself
stood forty abreast and several city blocks long.  The chants of Free
Palestine!  End the Occupation! mixed with calls for an end to the
terrorism of the US "war on terrorism" and money for social services and
rebuilding instead of war were heard throughout Washington, DC.  Each
corner where the march turned was guarded by police two rows deep, some on
horses and some on motorcycles-all of them in full riot gear, yet with
their visors back and many with smiles on their faces.  It was loud, it
was large and it was amazing.  I had not been a demonstration this
spirited and large since one I attended in 1974 demanding Richard Nixon's
I stood on a small hill for ten minutes watching the parade.  I
never saw the beginning or the end of it while on that perch.  I figured
there were easily 75,000 to 100,000 participants.  There were probably
more, since the mainstream media and park police put in estimates of
70,000 and they are notorious for underestimating crowds of this nature.
Either way, the events of this day marked a turning point in the history
of the Palestinian and American peoples.  Never again will the
Palestinians wonder if they have friends in the United States.  This march
and others like it around the country have proven to them that they do.
Furthermore, the tremendous diversity of philosophies-political and
religious-amongst the people who participated (and those that were there
in spirit) showed the world that Washington's war on the world is not
popular here either.  As a young friend and organizer summed it up on the
bus back to Vermont: "This was an awesome beginning to what can be an
awesome movement for freedom and justice."  I say, "Let's roll."
-Ron Jacobs

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