Where Have All the Anti-War Protesters Gone?… The 8th Anniversary Protest Against the War in Afghanistan on Oct 7th 2009
I’ve long suspected that most of the people who participated in anti-war demonstrations during Bush’s presidency were not so much motivated by a deep opposition to "the war" so much as by a visceral hatred of President George W. Bush. If the dismal turn out at the recent protest against the War in Afghanistan is any indication then my theory may be accurate.
International ANSWER, who at the height of the Bush years could easily get thousands of people to march in opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, can now barely get 100 people to show up for a protest… And, of the 100 or so people who did attend the "8th Anniversary Protest Against the War in Afghanistan", nearly all of them were either the same smelly old Communists who show up at every leftwing demonstration, or the usual clique of 9/11 "truthers" who regularly gather at various locations around Los Angeles to annoy tourists.
The protest was held on the large grass lawn in front of the Los Angeles Federal Building, along Wilshire Blvd, directly across the street from The Los Angeles National Cemetery.
There were pre-made signs available for the anticipated throngs…
…or if you preferred to make an original sign, materials were provided.
The "truthers" brought their own signs.
Let’s have a closer look at his t-shirt.
And while we’re looking at t-shirts, let’s have a look at this one.
If you can’t read it, it says:
"The world is mine…Well sort of…I’m just a puppet. The real rulers of America took over in 1913 with the end of the Federal Reserve Bank. We came from Europe and monopolized all your major industries and created a shadow government that would soon take over the world. The New World Order got its jump start from 9/11 and has since lied and manipulated the public into believing that going to war for 9/11 was just and right. The truth is we needed a reason to build pipe-lines to take over the Middle East’s oil for our own selfish needs. I’m here to give you the illusion that change is coming"
It wasn’t all "truthers", the usual assortment of Marxists and old Communists were milling about, exchanging flyers and hugs.
In the following video a woman gives an impromptu speech to the passing traffic.
I also saw various people distributing anti-vaccination literature. Both the "truthers" and the Marxists appeared to approve of the anti-vaccination message.
This anti-vaccination flyer directs people to the website of the crackpot conspiracy-theorist and 9/11 "truther", Alex Jones.
More pictures of the protest…
As the sun set, people gathered for a few inspiring speeches. First, Mike Prysner, of Iraq Vets Against the War, called for America’s "imperialist" troops to be removed from every corner of the world.
Next, Ron Kovic, the Vietnam era activist who’s memoir, Born On The Fourth Of July, was made into a popular movie by Oliver Stone, took the microphone and gave the crowd a new anti-war mantra: "Yes We Can! Yes We Can! Troops Out Of Afghanistan!"
The only thing unusual that I witnessed at this protest occurred while I was still in my car approaching the demonstration. What I saw was a line of perhaps 10 vehicles, honking their horns and waving Iranian flags out of their sunroofs and windows. The flags they were waving were not the current "official" flag of Iran, but rather the old "Lion and Sun" flag which is popular among Iranian expats in the US, and which has become a symbol of the pro-democracy movement in Iran. The flag is strictly forbidden inside of Iran today. As they passed in front of the ANSWER protest they waved their fists out of their car windows. I was not able to get any photographs of this because it was rush-hour traffic and I was driving my car in the opposite direction on crowded Wilshire Blvd. I assumed that they were going to the demonstration too and that I would be able to take pictures of them later. As I was parking my car I saw them circle back around through the Federal Building parking lot. I noticed then that they were waving green flags as well, also a symbol of the pro-democracy movement in Iran. I pulled out my camera but was again unable to get a picture. They drove past the ANSWER demonstration a second time, honking and waving their flags...and then off down Wilshire. They never came back.
As I was walking around the demonstration, I kept wondering about these Iranians. What were they doing? Then I saw one woman standing on the corner with a sign that said "Democracy for Iran" and holding a small "Lion and Sun" flag. I took her picture (unfortunately the lion on the flag cannot be seen in my photo).
I walked around the protest a bit more before I came back about five minutes later to find that she was gone. I then noticed that someone had taped a flyer on the light pole next to the spot where she had been standing. The flyer said "NO TO IRAN’S OLD DECEIT FLAG" and had a picture of the lion flag with a slash through it.
Here’s another flyer with a related message that was taped to the bus-stop nearby.
I later saw a fellow associated with ANSWER holding a stack of these same flyers.
I can’t be certain of the meaning of what I saw, but I strongly suspect that it has something to do with the very large anti-Ahmadinejad / pro-democracy demonstrations that were held at this very same location in late June of this year - protests which featured hundreds of "Lion and Sun" flags. International ANSWER has long history of supporting the Ahmadinejad regime, not only because of Ahmadinejad’s close political friendship with Venezuela’s Marxist President, Hugo Chavez, but also because of their shared anti-American and anti-Israel ideologies. The flag waving Iranians who drove past the tiny ANSWER-sponsored, anti-war protest, I assume, were there to mock ANSWER for their support of Iran’s tyrannical regime.
As I left the protest and headed back to my car, I noticed a sticker on another nearby bus stop, most likely left over from the pro-Iranian Democracy demonstrations of last June. It was an image of Neda, the young Iranian woman who’s death was captured on video after she was shot and killed by Ahmadinejad’s Basij religious militia at a pro-democracy march in Tehran last June.
If you feel that I have helped in some way, please, do not hesitate to donate to keep this site up and running. Any amount will be much appreciated, thank you.