I went with friend who is a journalist for Morehouse's The Maroon Tiger. He wanted to cover this event for the paper and I just so decided to go with him. I didn't go without taking a camera and I got some good images with it. I have casually followed the anti-war movement since the buildup to the war in Iraq and this protest turned out to be what I thought it would be vulgar, outspoken, and loud.
When I first got to Atlanta's Centennial park where this event was held there was an upside down flag there with F*ck Bush written on it. When it was time for President Bush's speech they decide to write lies and fascist on the screen by his face. There was even a little theater when we saw people dressed in costume as the President and Vice President with Cheney holding puppet strings attached to Bush. At various points there were either playing around with the globe or drinking out of a motor oil bottle or dancing on the constitution.
The only thing I clapped about at this protest was a young woman who was with her mother. Both spoke but the young lady said that while for a time she wasn't glad that she served, she did say that SHE was glad that she served. I applauded her for that. That was truly something that I was happy to hear. So many would probably would have turned on the country they served and there are those who wouldn't respect those who served.
The signs were what I expected to see. There were signs that suggested that President Bush was a Nazi. There was a sign that said Bush can kiss my tush and like it. There was another sign alluding to Alito with a hanger (do you know what that means?). There was even a sign from Code Pink.
Basically they had several speakers in addition to the mother and daughter. The had a union member from Chicago, a minister, an actual communist even spoke there. Then there were various people handing out leaflets and wanting donations in exchange for newspapers, signs, etc. Communists were handing out leftlets but also I recieved a leaflet from an anarchist. These protest attracts all comers whether they really want peace or not. I suppose all I had to do was ask.
One guy walked towards me before I left and started talking about the similarities of pre World War 2 Germany and today. He believes America is turning into Nazi Germany. Me being polite I said, "Watch Out." Seemingly agreeing with him and he said, "yeah". Not that I agree with him though. Though one can argue that I'm not of age I fail to see the similarities between the current campaign in Iraq and Vietnam. I also don't see the similarities between Nazi Germany and present day America. The worst that occurs during these times is that a person could lose their jobs for their political/activist activities.
Towards the end of the program President Bush's speech was finally on. They turned the banner around to become a projection screen on which we saw NBC's coverage of the State of the Union address. When Bush started to speak, they started writing on the screen one girl outright flipped off Bush's likeness on the screen and they proceeded to drown out the State of the Union address. The host of this assembly did say they weren't going to listen to him and they kept that promise. Besides at first they thought they couldn't hear him, then someone figured out how to turn up the volume.
Ultimately I got tired of the noise and I realized I had to use the bathroom so I went to my friend and told him that I had to find a bathroom and I went into a hotel across the street. When I came back I saw some security official and or police officers come. They weren't in droves however there was like almost 10 of them. They weren't in riot gear or anything thank goodness so the little assembly in the park hopefully wasn't a big threat.
My friend and I finally left centennial park to go back to campus. He got his story I got my pictures which may wind up in The Maroon Tiger in addition to some of my pictures. I'll keep you posted if and when I see the latest addition. He also took down a couple of statements as well. Often I tend to be too nice but I still try to be honest and besides I'm cool with him knowing what my stance might be.
Oh yeah there was also a protest by World Can't Wait in Chicago. Andrew's Notebook covered that event with a write up and some video. Check that out when you get a chance.
I may post more pictures. I'll keep you posted on that as well.