TACOMA'S NEWS TRIBUNE ONLY REGIONAL DAILY TO IGNORE SEATTLE ANTIWAR MARCH
By Mark Jensen
United for Peace of Pierce County (WA)
October 28, 2007
TACOMA, Washington -- A review of the mainstream media organs of the Pacific Northwest shows that they downplayed and misrepresented a strong and significant outpouring of antiwar protest in covering the End the War Now march and rally in Seattle on Sat., Oct. 27.
KING 5's Jesse Jones deserves a giant UFPPC Raspberry Award for Worst Reporting for making three glaring errors in his 25-word lead: "Close to 2,000 people marched through Seattle protesting the war in Iraq Saturday, on the fifth anniversary of the Senate vote that approved the war."
First of all, the number of protesters participating Saturday was not 2,000 but more on the order of 5,000 to 6,000 -- we know, because we were there and we counted them ourselves. (There were five busloads from Portland alone, as well as contingents from every sizeable community in the Pacific Northwest -- facts that also went unreported.)
Second, the 77-23 Senate vote referred to by KING 5's Jones took place on Oct. 11, 2002, not Oct. 27, 2002.
Third, the congressional vote in question did not "approve the war." Reread it yourself if you have any doubts on that score. No, Congress did not "approve the war," it authorized the use of U.S. military forces against Iraq if certain conditions were met. (For an argument that the record now demonstrates that the conditions set forth by Congress were not met, and that it is now a matter of historical fact that the president lied his way into war, see UFPPC's "Call for the Impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.")
The absence of any mention whatsoever of the predominant impeachment theme at Saturday's protest, despite the fact that polls show about half of all Americans are in favor of impeachment, is remarkable and significant.
No wonder a large sign seen on Saturday read "DEMOCRACY/HYPOCRISY."
Moving on to other reports: The Post-Intelligencer avoided disputes about how many marchers there were by putting the number, unhelpfully, at "thousands."
Tom Paulson of the P-I observed: "Though many of the speaker comments, and placards, at the protest were unsurprisingly hostile to the Bush Administration, a significant number also fired salvoes in the direction of the Democrats for so far failing to take any meaningful steps toward ending the war."
Paulson deserves a UFPPC Politics of Fear Award for adding, despite the fact that there was not a single arrest -- not even, as far as we know, a single untoward incident during the protest -- that "Seattle police on bicycles closely monitored black-clad anarchists, many with handkerchiefs covering their faces," and that a "young Republican" complained of marchers: "These people are guilty of sedition. It's a disgrace."
It's the printing of this remark in this context and as the concluding sentence that's a disgrace, in our opinion.
There was an anxious edge to many of the banners and handouts on Saturday. The possibility of an attack on Iran, of a nuclear explosion in an American city, and of the declaration of martial law in the U.S. were reiterated themes, and one middle-class couple was seen carrying a large banner emblazoned with the words "RECOGNIZE FASCISM."
But reporter Dominic Gates of the Seattle Times didn't see it, apparently. He deserves a UFPPC Positive Thinking Award for an upbeat piece for calling the mood of Saturday's march "buoyant in the sunshine as young and old mixed easily." (We admit his case was helped by his giving a certain member of UFPPC the last word in his article.)
The Olympian (Olympia, WA) deserves a UFPPC Local Beat Award for its brief article calling attention "[a]bout 200 people [who] rode in a caravan to Seattle on Saturday to join thousands of others demonstrating in a National Day of Action against the war in Iraq."
Alone among the region's major dailies, the *News Tribune* (Tacoma, WA) failed to print or post any story on Saturday's End the War Now rally and march, contenting itself with a short Associated Press article on nationwide protests that included two sentences on the Seattle protest.
For this journalistic feat Tacoma's hometown paper is once again richly deserving of a UFPPC Blind Eye Award.
--Mark Jensen is a member of United for Peace of Pierce County (WA) and of the faculty of Pacific Lutheran University.
2,000 MARCH IN SEATTLE TO PROTEST WAR
By Jesse Jones
KING 5 (Seattle)
October 27, 2007
SEATTLE -- Close to 2,000 people marched through Seattle protesting the war in Iraq Saturday, on the fifth anniversary of the Senate vote that approved the war.
There were close to a dozen protests across the country, all with the same message: Bring the troops home.
The Seattle crowd made their way from Judkins Park to Pioneer Square in a protest that brought the young and old together.
"We are the raging grannies and we're really for bringing the troops back home from this illegal war," said Rita Selin, a protester.
Seattle was one of 11 protest sites across the country for the National Day of Action against the war in Iraq. Tens of thousands more marched in San Francisco, New York City, and Boston.
"I feel empowered," said protester Myra Wilson. "I feel like we have a very large support for our troops to be home and this war to end. It's unnecessary."
And along with the march were the handful of people protesting the protestors.
Following the event, Chanan Suarez Diaz, a U.S. Navy medic who served six months in Iraq, told his story. He's hoping to lead a movement of vets against the war.
"We need to give them the confidence to know that the movement is behind them," Diaz said. "And as you saw here, we led the march and it's very important that we do that."
And after the lives lost and the hundreds of billions spent on the war, protestor Duncan Bond says it is time to do something.
"I think people are getting to the point that they have had enough," he said. "They have had enough of what the administration is doing. They've had enough of democrats not doing anything to stop things and people are very frustrated and they are glad to get out here."
Seattle police say there were no arrests.
THOUSANDS IN SEATTLE MARCH AGAINST IRAQ WAR
By Tom Paulson
October 27, 2007
Under a brilliant blue sky Saturday, thousands of people sang, chanted and marched through the streets of Seattle, one of 11 cities nationwide participating in a coordinated protest against the war in Iraq.
"Veterans need to take the lead on this," said Chanan Suarez-Diaz, president of the Seattle chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War. "This has been a war for oil, for profits, and for corporations. It's time for the occupation to end and veterans should be at the head of the movement to end it."
The 25-year-old Suarez-Diaz was wounded by shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade while serving in Aramadi, Iraq, as a member of a U.S. Navy medical team supporting the Marines. Joining the young man at the protest was David Meeds, 74, of Monroe, also a navy veteran.
"I served in the Korean War," said the white-haired Meeds, holding a sign saying: "War is Not the Answer." Meeds said he has been demonstrating weekly, at a strip mall in Monroe, against the war in Iraq since before it began because he views it as contrary to American values and principles. He said he was heartened by the Seattle protest, seeing that more young people are becoming active and speaking out against the war.
"This is our generation's war," said Eva Walker, an 18-year-old musician and Seattle resident who with her twin brother Cedric helped organize -- and musically launch -- the protest with the aim of bringing out more young people. "We need to pay attention, get involved and vote. This is our future."
The Seattle protest, coordinated nationwide by the organization United for Peace and Justice, began in the Central Area's Judkins Park as musicians like the Walkers and speakers rallied a crowd estimated by organizers to be about 3,000 people. Banners for Code Pink (Women for Peace), Veterans For Peace, the Seattle Anti-Imperialist Committee, and other such organizations fluttered across the park as the group prepared to march.
Though many of the speaker comments, and placards, at the protest were unsurprisingly hostile to the Bush Administration, a significant number also fired salvoes in the direction of the Democrats for so far failing to take any meaningful steps toward ending the war.
"We need to see past the usual hollow rhetoric," rapped Dakota Alcantara-Camacho, a 16-year-old resident of south Seattle who performed his own lyrical version -- a sample -- of Doobie Brother Michael McDonald's "What a Fool Believes" to express his anti-imperialism theme.
Michael Dixon, the youngest of three brothers who in the late 1960s formed the Seattle branch of the Black Panthers, spoke at the event yesterday to encourage young people to protect their future. Dixon said history shows what can happen when American citizens don't pay attention and don't fight back -- just as it shows what happens when people do get involved.
"Young people are the force that can stop this," he said. "What you do or don't do will determine the future of the United States."
After the rally at Judkins Park, the demonstrators marched downtown to Occidental Park in Pioneer Square. Seattle police on bicycles closely monitored black-clad anarchists, many with handkerchiefs covering their faces. Police reported no incidents or arrests after the event. Some of those marching were campaigning for political candidates and a few held signs advertising a local radio program. A person dressed as polar bear protested global warming.
Only a few counter-protesters showed up, most of whom identified themselves as members of the King County Young Republicans organization, to heckle the anti-war crowd as it marched. They held signs saying "Give War a Chance," "Stop Smoking Marijuana," and "Stop Global Whining."
"This is not democracy or about free speech," said Russell Johnson, 27, one of the young Republicans protesting the protesters. "These people are guilty of sedition. It's a disgrace."
THOUSANDS JOIN SEATTLE MARCH AGAINST WAR
By Dominic Gates
October 28, 2007
[PHOTO CAPTION: Paul Maresh and Pam Allee voice their opinion during an anti-war and peace march from Judkins Park to Pioneer Square.]
Thousands of people from all over the Pacific Northwest marched boisterously against the Iraq war in Seattle today.
A small group of Iraq war veterans took a lead role at the front of the march, which was swelled by peace groups from Washington and Oregon.
Chanan Suarezdiaz, 25, a Navy medic wounded while supporting the Marine Corps in Ramadi, Iraq, spoke from the stage at the main rallying point in Occidental Park, which was filled by the crowd.
"This is a racist war of oppression," said Suarezdiaz. "This is a war for profit."
At his prompting, protesters raised their fists in the air "in solidarity with the Iraqi people."
At the front of the demonstration, protesters stood a tightly packed 30-abreast as they marched down Jackson Street toward Pioneer Square from the initial rallying point at Judkins Park. The broad swath of protesters stretched six blocks from Maynard Street past King Street Station.
The mood was buoyant in the sunshine at Judkins Park as young and old mixed easily in opposition to the Bush administration, the Iraq war, and various other causes including resisting calls to attack Iran and support for Palestinians against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
Several young rock bands played heavy guitar riffs. A hip-hop singer declaimed an anti-war rap. Along the route, the marchers sang "We ain't going to study war no more."
As the march rolled, a group at the rear bobbed an impressively large canvas ball imprinted with a digital image of planet Earth, while ahead many large puppets presented caricatures of President Bush or representations of war victims.
Along the eastern side of Occidental Park, the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization that promotes peace and social justice, set up an exhibit of combat boots, one pair for each U.S. solider killed in Iraq. Washington was represented by more than 80 pairs, and Oregon by more than 90.
Banners and signs identified groups from Bellevue, Bremerton, Everett, Poulsbo, Kent, Leavenworth, Monroe, Sequim, Tacoma, Wenatchee, Vancouver, and Vashon Island in Washington, as well as groups from Oregon, Idaho, and a smattering of other states.
Kathy Griffiths, 61, had come from Albany, 70 miles south of Portland.
"I feel compelled," she said. "I don't want anyone thinking I support what this administration is doing."
That thought was echoed by Jami Williams, 18, a student at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia. She attended the march with a friend.
"It's a real shame that tons of people have died in my name," said Williams.
Mark Jensen, 56, a teacher of French at Pacific Lutheran University, carpooled from Tacoma with a group called United for Peace of Pierce County.
"Our organization opposed this war since before it began," Jensen said. "How could we not participate."
ABOUT 200 FROM OLYMPIA JOIN IN WAR PROTEST IN SEATTLE
By Diane Huber
Olympian (Olympia, WA)
October 28, 2007
About 200 people rode in a caravan to Seattle on Saturday to join thousands of others demonstrating in a National Day of Action against the war in Iraq.
Local attendees said they hoped to raise awareness and send a message to Congress and the world that many Americans don’t support the occupation in Iraq.
“We’re hoping to shock people out of their complacency -- get people to think about acting, ways they can resist the war,” said Aaron Heartwell, a member of the Olympia Movement for Justice for Peace, which helped organize the caravan.
Similar war protests took place in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other major U.S. cities.
Kim Chaplin of Olympia said people came to the Seattle event from as far away as Oregon, Montana, and Idaho. It included speakers, rock bands, and giant puppets that towered above the march from Judkins Park to Occidental Park, she said.