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News ::
Boston Rallies Immediately Against the War (english)
20 Mar 2003
Modified: 23 Mar 2003
Anti-war protesters poured into Boston streets today joining worldwide opposition to the Bush administration-led U.S. attack against Iraq. They plan protests at Government Center at 5 p.m. and in Copley Square at 6:30 p.m. tonight. Tens of thousands protested around the world hours after learning of the U.S. attacks. Bigger protests are planned for the weekend.
Anti-war protesters poured into Boston streets today joining worldwide opposition to the Bush administration-led U.S. attack against Iraq. They plan protests at Government Center at 5 p.m. and in Copley Square at 6:30 p.m. tonight. Tens of thousands protested around the world hours after learning of the U.S. attacks. Bigger protests are planned for the weekend.

Over a thousand demonstrators had blocked the Mass. Av. bridge by 3 p.m., swelled ranks to 3,000, shut down Back Bay, and took over Boylston street without a permit by 4 p.m. Students struck with walk-outs at noon from Boston area colleges and high schools and converged at MIT.

Scott Cooper of Newton reports that the Mass Av. Harvard Bridge was completely closed off, when marchers disobeyed police and sat in the road.

"A wave of anti-war protests began to roll across Europe and the Middle East on Thursday," Reuters reports, "after the opening salvos of the war against Iraq sparked angry demonstrations in Asia and Australia. Barely three hours after the first U.S. missiles struck Baghdad, a crowd that organizers put at 40,000 and which police said numbered 'tens of thousands' brought Australia's second largest city, Melbourne, to a standstill." Australia's government put 2,000 troops in Iraq.

"With the beginning of its unilateral and illegal invasion of Iraq, the Bush Administration has now plunged us all into very dangerous times," said Joseph Gerson today from the local American Friends Service Committee. He called it "fundamentally important" to "hold as much public space as we can as the nation moves toward the tribalism of war."

In Boston 36 people were arrested yesterday at a federal building and outside the Boston Stock Exchange. Dozens were arrested in Washington D.C. protesting a war, and marching to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's house in northwest Washington.

Around 100,000 protested in Athens, Greece and 20,000 in Berlin, reports Agence France Presse. US embassies and consulates worldwide increased their security. Anti-war groups have called demonstrations outside diplomatic missions. British activists called on workers to stage a mass walk-out from offices & colleges.

U.S. Rep. Pete Stark said President Bush would be responsible for "an act of terror" by launching a massive bombing campaign to oust Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Immediately opposing the U.S. attack were France, Russia, Indonesia, China, Malasia, India, Pakistan, Greece, and New Zealand, which said it "won't assist in a baseless war." China called for an immediate halt to the attack. Indonesia requested an immediate meeting of the UN Security Council to stop the war.

Hans Blix hours before the attack said "disarmament could have been verified in a matter of months." Kofi Annan said he would present proposals to deal with the humanitarian emergency, an "imminent disaster."

The US military also launched the biggest raid in Afghanistan in over a year. 1,000 US troops invaded southeast Afghanistan.

Quietly, the US gave Israel an unprecedented $10 billion aid package. Already the biggest recipient of US aid in the world, Israel will receive $1 billion in direct military aid and $9 billion in loan guarantees, according to Israel's finance ministry.

"The top National Security Council official in the war on terror resigned this week for what a NSC spokesman said were personal reasons, but intelligence sources say the move reflects concern that the looming war with Iraq is hurting the fight against terrorism," reported UPI yesterday.

"Some of the biggest rallies this month have endorsed President Bush's strategy against Saddam Hussein" and they were sponsored by "Clear Channel Worldwide Inc., the nation's largest owner of radio stations," reported the Chicago Tribune yesterday.

The New York Times today reports that "foreign ministers of France, Germany and Russia" said the "invasion to disarm Iraq and oust Saddam Hussein had no basis in international law." Reuters reports "Bush and his allies are unlikely to face trial for war crimes although many nations and legal experts say a strike on Iraq without an explicit UN mandate breaches international law."

Professor Noam Chomsky joined around 600 students at the MIT student center as police helicopters circled them before they marched. One sign read "Alt-F4, Ctrl-Alt-Del" computer key-commands calling for a total reset of a completely bungled system. Chomsky speaks on "Iraq and the Imperial Vision" this Sunday, March 23, at 7:00 p.m. in the Power Gym near Conte Forum at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA.

As major media broadcast privately contracted generals' comments--standards practiced in the US and during the '91 Gulf War--Bostonians are finding local electronic media independent of such practices. The 6 p.m. nightly news on 88.1 FM features today's protests. And the local "Weekly Dig" paper reports the new broadcast of "Democracy Now!" on 90.3 FM every weekday at noon.
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quick report from Govt Center & Copley Squ (english)
20 Mar 2003
Unfortunately, I don't have the time to do a real article. However, I can say that I got to Government Center around 5:30 today, and I have no idea how many people were there--easily a thousand, quite possibly more. It was too many to see. There was march to Copley Square around 6:00, taking up large chunks of the street--I don't think it was a permited march, but the cops shut down the streets to let it happen anyway. (Who knows, may be they're against the war too.) I have been to several rallies at Copley Square and I don't think I've ever seen the park so crowded. Unfortunately Workers World Party/ANSWER was the only group with a decent sound system and they ended up taking over from the original organizers of the Copley Square rally. I think the latter managed to get some sort of march going by going around the crowd with a megaphone, but lots of people stayed at Copley as well. Some groups went off on there own to hold candle lit vigils.

There were lots of creative signs. My favorite was a large banner reading, "Bush Lies, Freedom Fries," with a picture of the Statue of Liberty in an electric chair. The crowd was generally upbeat, with vigorous drumming and a smattering of giant puppets. Probably the most creative chant was, "Money for jobs and education, not war and occupation."
More media coverage of the rally (english)
20 Mar 2003
More tv news coverage of the government center/copley square rally is on www.necn.com. You might have to search for it, it's called "protesters take to the streets" and I assume it was on the new england cable news network at some piont tonight.

They, and everything else i've seen have focused exclusively on "college and high school students." As a post-college "grown up" who met many many older people at the rally here and in washington last weekend, I would like to urge all of you other "grown ups" to jump in front of the news cameras and make your presence known, in order to deter the mainstream media suggestion that this is purely teenage angst at work. Good work everyone, keep it going!
Pictures Available (english)
21 Mar 2003
protest-lj.jpg
Just wanted to let everyone know that there are lots of pictures available on my site.
See also:
http://www.herot.com/~eherot/artistic/documentary/digital/govt-center-protest/
Post-report on Boston march (english)
21 Mar 2003
I arrived at the march just as it was leaving Government Center, to find a large (thousands) group of people marching with a heavy police escort, both on motorcycles and also walking among the crowd. The crowd continued to march, meekly following the police, who were blocking off streets as we went, and had a group of about five cops following the dozen Bloc who were walking together at that point. There were a group of people who seemed to be from the organizing group (ANSWER/UFP, I believe, though I'm not sure) who were walking at the front of the march, trying to force people to stay behind the banners and not walk anywhere they weren't told to. I was disgusted by this behavior, as were a few others, but the majority of people followed the directions like sheep. Some of the organizers were actively collaborating with police as to keeping the crowd contained and ineffective, and one even told the police they should keep a close eye on the people in black masks, as they would be creating trouble. To be honest, I wanted to jump the man and ask him where he got off conspiring with police to keep certain "unsavory" protestors from behaving as they wished.

At Copley, the group marched in and kept chanting things like "This is what democracy looks like" and "Whose streets?Our streets!". More like "This is what a Huxleyan police state looks like" and "Whose streets? The cops' streets!". There was a sound truck present, which gave the sanctioned speakers a chance to drown out the voices of anyone else who was trying to talk to the crowd. There was a point where I almost left because it seemed like everyone was pleased with walking along with a police escort to a park, patting themselves on the back for making a difference. Fortunately, there was a movement back to the streets after about half an hour or so.

Groups moved out of the park, with a large contingent of black bloc, probably around fifty or so, marching wrapped in a protective banner, with about twenty police walking right on the other side. We moved across and down Newbury Street, recieving little resistance from the police until we reached Mass Ave and a move was made towards the onramp to I-90. We made it about halfway down before police started rushing in to block the marchers. If the crowd had moved faster, or rallied and made a break for the highway, it would have been unstoppable. As it were, people got scared by the flashing lights and running cops and froze halfway down, giving the police a chance to drive in more motorcycles and literally layer them three deep across the ramp, effectively blocking it.

A group then decided to sit down in protest, as the police were starting to get rough with people, pushing and throwing them back and being threatening with their clubs. The group sitting grew to roughly thirty or so as police began pushing protesters back up the ramp. The sit-down caused some confusion among the police as to how to deal with it, and all motion stopped for a minute or two as the situation was analyzed by both sides. After this short standoff of ten or fifteen minutes, the sitters got up and moved with the rest of the group back up the ramp, realizing that there was no way they could make it down onto the highway with such a strong police presence now in front of them.

Once back on Mass Ave, protesters began moving down towards the bridge to Cambridge. One protester was arrested, for a reason unknown to me, with the police taking them down on the side of the street and cuffing them as protesters chanted "shame, shame". This did nothing to deter the police, and the arrestee was taken away, with no attempts at unarresting or such made by the crowd.

Upon reaching the bridge, protesters proceeded onto it, with a few motorcycle police escorting (i.e. riding through the crowd). That was an amazing experience, being out there over the Charles River, with both parts of the city off in the distance and two or three thousand fellow peace activists out. There was some nervousness for a short time as we saw large numbers of police lights gathering at the far end, and realized that we were boxed in behind by police cruisers. As it turned out, it wasn't a setup for a mass arrest, merely the hand-off from Boston Police to Cambridge Police. The march continued down Mass Ave for some distance, eventually reaching Harvard Square, where the tired but elated protesters gathered to hear a few people give spontaneous speeches and drum up a storm. The crowd dissipated after about half an hour, heading out onto the T and down various streets. The police had had Harvard Square surrounded as we were present there, but there was no movement on their part, and no provocation on the parts of the protesters.

Throughout the march, I met a large number of friendly and dedicated activists, people ranging all over the charts in age and political beliefs, and all were helpful and supportive, happy to be out voicing their dissent. At one point, a State Police officer on a motorcycle even told me that I would be surprised to know how many of them (police) agreed with us. He told me that just like we had to do our duty by being out there in the streets protesting, he had to do his by keeping us safe and preventing us from breaking the law. I thanked him for his candor and fairness, and it did a little to restore my belief in the essential humanity that everyone posesses, even police.

While this march was not a rowdy or violent one, it was widespread and forceful in it's strength. I travelled with one group, I assume there were a few all over the city, as we got split at a few different points throughout the night. Normally I'm an advocate of more disobedient and direct action when it comes to protesting, but in this case, I was pleasantly surprised. The evening certainly had its flash points, like at the onramp to I-90, but overall, it was an inspiring and uniting evening, the initial march and the organizers disgusting behavior not withstanding. Even the police didn't seem particularly opposed to our being there, though we didn't test their cooperation as much as I feel would have been appropriate. Hundreds of people came out of their homes and businesses to show support, and even the people stuck in their cars as we passed were friendly and positive to the cause. Hopefully this will be something we'll see a lot now that the war has begun, popular dissent taken to the streets where the world can see. More planning and organization in affinity groups would be good, especially if we are to take actions like blocking the Mass Turnpike, which I was disappointed to see fail. See you all in the streets again soon, like in New York this Saturday!
report on Boston march (english)
21 Mar 2003
Modified: 10:11:39 AM
I arrived at the march just as it was leaving Government Center, to find a large (thousands) group of people marching with a heavy police escort, both on motorcycles and also walking among the crowd. The crowd continued to march, meekly following the police, who were blocking off streets as we went, and had a group of about five cops following the dozen Bloc who were walking together at that point. There were a group of people who seemed to be from the organizing group (ANSWER/UFP, I believe, though I'm not sure) who were walking at the front of the march, trying to force people to stay behind the banners and not walk anywhere they weren't told to. I was disgusted by this behavior, as were a few others, but the majority of people followed the directions like sheep. Some of the organizers were actively collaborating with police as to keeping the crowd contained and ineffective, and one even told the police they should keep a close eye on the people in black masks, as they would be creating trouble. To be honest, I wanted to jump the man and ask him where he got off conspiring with police to keep certain "unsavory" protestors from behaving as they wished.

At Copley, the group marched in and kept chanting things like "This is what democracy looks like" and "Whose streets?Our streets!". More like "This is what a Huxleyan police state looks like" and "Whose streets? The cops' streets!". There was a sound truck present, which gave the sanctioned speakers a chance to drown out the voices of anyone else who was trying to talk to the crowd. There was a point where I almost left because it seemed like everyone was pleased with walking along with a police escort to a park, patting themselves on the back for making a difference. Fortunately, there was a movement back to the streets after about half an hour or so.

Groups moved out of the park, with a large contingent of black bloc, probably around fifty or so, marching wrapped in a protective banner, with about twenty police walking right on the other side. We moved across and down Newbury Street, recieving little resistance from the police until we reached Mass Ave and a move was made towards the onramp to I-90. We made it about halfway down before police started rushing in to block the marchers. If the crowd had moved faster, or rallied and made a break for the highway, it would have been unstoppable. As it were, people got scared by the flashing lights and running cops and froze halfway down, giving the police a chance to drive in more motorcycles and literally layer them three deep across the ramp, effectively blocking it.

A group then decided to sit down in protest, as the police were starting to get rough with people, pushing and throwing them back and being threatening with their clubs. The group sitting grew to roughly thirty or so as police began pushing protesters back up the ramp. The sit-down caused some confusion among the police as to how to deal with it, and all motion stopped for a minute or two as the situation was analyzed by both sides. After this short standoff of ten or fifteen minutes, the sitters got up and moved with the rest of the group back up the ramp, realizing that there was no way they could make it down onto the highway with such a strong police presence now in front of them.

Once back on Mass Ave, protesters began moving down towards the bridge to Cambridge. One protester was arrested, for a reason unknown to me, with the police taking them down on the side of the street and cuffing them as protesters chanted "shame, shame". This did nothing to deter the police, and the arrestee was taken away, with no attempts at unarresting or such made by the crowd.

Upon reaching the bridge, protesters proceeded onto it, with a few motorcycle police escorting (i.e. riding through the crowd). That was an amazing experience, being out there over the Charles River, with both parts of the city off in the distance and two or three thousand fellow peace activists out. There was some nervousness for a short time as we saw large numbers of police lights gathering at the far end, and realized that we were boxed in behind by police cruisers. As it turned out, it wasn't a setup for a mass arrest, merely the hand-off from Boston Police to Cambridge Police. The march continued down Mass Ave for some distance, eventually reaching Harvard Square, where the tired but elated protesters gathered to hear a few people give spontaneous speeches and drum up a storm. The crowd dissipated after about half an hour, heading out onto the T and down various streets. The police had had Harvard Square surrounded as we were present there, but there was no movement on their part, and no provocation on the parts of the protesters.

Throughout the march, I met a large number of friendly and dedicated activists, people ranging all over the charts in age and political beliefs, and all were helpful and supportive, happy to be out voicing their dissent. At one point, a State Police officer on a motorcycle even told me that I would be surprised to know how many of them (police) agreed with us. He told me that just like we had to do our duty by being out there in the streets protesting, he had to do his by keeping us safe and preventing us from breaking the law. I thanked him for his candor and fairness, and it did a little to restore my belief in the essential humanity that everyone posesses, even police.

While this march was not a rowdy or violent one, it was widespread and forceful in it's strength. I travelled with one group, I assume there were a few all over the city, as we got split at a few different points throughout the night. Normally I'm an advocate of more disobedient and direct action when it comes to protesting, but in this case, I was pleasantly surprised. The evening certainly had its flash points, like at the onramp to I-90, but overall, it was an inspiring and uniting evening, the initial march and the organizers disgusting behavior not withstanding. Even the police didn't seem particularly opposed to our being there, though we didn't test their cooperation as much as I feel would have been appropriate. Hundreds of people came out of their homes and businesses to show support, and even the people stuck in their cars as we passed were friendly and positive to the cause. Hopefully this will be something we'll see a lot now that the war has begun, popular dissent taken to the streets where the world can see. More planning and organization in affinity groups would be good, especially if we are to take actions like blocking the Mass Turnpike, which I was disappointed to see fail. See you all in the streets again soon, like in New York this Saturday!
Duh (english)
21 Mar 2003
Oh, just shutup Jon, go change your diaper, take some more meds, and go sleepy bye.
Okay, Dr SMERSH (english)
22 Mar 2003
You're right, Doc. I should learn to love Big Brother. Meanwhile, like most Americans, I'm taking my meds and sleeping just fine.

DON'T READ THIS:

During the Clinton years, they were an obscure bunch - almost a sect. Then they were all elevated to power - again: most had worked for Ronald Reagan and Bush senior. Now they have pushed America - and the world - to war because they want it. Period. An Asia Times Online investigation reveals this is no conspiracy theory: it's all about the implementation of a project.

The lexicon of the Bush doctrine of unilateral world domination is laid out in detail by the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), founded in Washington in 1997. The ideological, political, economic and military fundamentals of American foreign policy - and uncontested world hegemony - for the 21st century are there for all to see.

THE ROVING EYE
This war is brought to you by...
By Pepe Escobar

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/EC20Ak07.html

And send your "non-prophet" contributions to any guilty Anglo-Zio-AshkeNAZI money-laundering group, especially this one:

http://jinsa

Cheers!
See also:
egroups.com/group/JPChance
march starting from harvard square (english)
22 Mar 2003
i arrived at a rally at harvard university at around 12:30, to a very sizeable crowd. after about an hour of antiwar speakers, it appeared a few independent people with a megaphone announced that the march was starting, and everyone started following.

once we got out to the streets, we started marching down mass ave. the cops (along with the official peace marshalls) kept pushing us onto the sidewalks, and yelling loudly at everyone who defied. people, however, were too determined. each time a cop screamed to move to the sidewalk, more and more people just went around him on the other side. soon, along with chants of "WHO'S STREETS? OUR STREETS!", we had an entire lane of mass ave.

we marched to MIT, and the cops realized they were going to be able to contain us. when we arrived at mit, there seemed to be another very large group of people, which i think would have totalled our numbers somewhere around 2000 or so.

i was near the front of this march, and i think we were supposed to stop at MIT for a while, to listen to some people speak, or something. nobody was interested. we wanted to keep marching, against the grain of schedules, permits, and concessions the cops were giving us.

so everyone in our march started shouting "JOIN US!" "OUT OF MIT AND INTO THE STREETS", et cetera, until that large (and at first confused crowd) started heading towards us, and converging with us. we kept marching to the mass ave bridge.

about half way over it, with chants of "TELL ME WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!" "THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY SHOULD LOOK LIKE", we all stopped. a chant started, "WHO'S BRIDGE? OUR BRIDGE!", and we were informed we were very early for timeschedule, as it wasn't even 3:00 and we were supposed to converge on copley square at 5:00. so we sat.

we sat for a good hour or so, chanting, dancing, having our photos taken by hordes of news helicopters and swarming reporters. then we got up at around 4:00 and kept marching.

we marched down mass ave through the traffic. we were an amazing site. hehe every idiot who gave us the peace symbol out of a window got a roaring half minute cheer.

we walked on boylston to copley. i saw an old woman giving us the middle finger from the hynes convention center.

when we arrived at copley, where maybe another couple thousand people were waiting, the same deal as at MIT happened. our march was too spontaneous, too stop at copley. with more chants of "WHO'S STREETS? OUR STREETS!", we got the people out of copley square to continue with us on our unpermitted march through the city.

we continued on, uneventful but very spirited, past the state house (where a few people gave us the thumbs up from state house windows), to city hall.

we arrived at city hall where i believe our numbers swelled to 5000 or so, and the spontaneity stopped for a while. we all hung loose and waited around for aw hile, as those answer people finally got to have their little speeches.

at around 6:30 or so, the march back to copley began again. i was stuck in a crowd listening to answer, i and no one around me had any idea the march to copley had started, but once i realized it, i pushed through the crowd, and eventually made my way to the front of the march again.

"NO BLOOD FOR OIL!" "OUT OF THE BUILDINGS AND INTO THE STREETS!" "POLICE STATE! SHUT IT DOWN!" "WAR MACHINE! SHUT IT DOWN!"

we arrived at copley, where a new and fresh 500 people or so were waiting for us. the front of the march collided with them, and a circle of media people taking pictures and video developed, where more intense chanting continued.

"MOVE BUSH, GET OUT THE WAY, GET OUT THE WAY BUSH GET OUT THE WAY!"

ANSWER showed up with their little speech truck. they talked for about a half an hour, until another march started.

about two thousand people, completely and absolutely unscheduled, started marching. there was a black bloc contingent, as blacked and blocked out as possible, who were escorted with police holding onto their banners. we marched down newbury street. suddenly, the general feeling of this march was that we were going to go for the mass pike.

as we got closer, we all linked arms together. it didn't even cross the cops MINDS at all, that we would be brave enough to try and sieze control of the mass pike. when we got to the mass pike ramp, we quickened our pace a bit, and went directly past a few police officers who kept shoving us to the side. we got about half way down, when a bunch of cop motorcycles burst their way through the crowd, running over at least one person (on the news, she was depicted as having "thrown herself in front of the motorcycle", but in the confusion of sirens and motorcycle engines she had completely and inadvertently gotten in the way of one).

now that the cops were in front of us, they took out their batons, and started pushing and grabbing and hitting. throughout the confusion, i got hit kind of lightly on the side, and i wimped the FUCK out (heh), and squeezed my way to the back. the black bloc pushed their way frontwords, and had their own ruckus with the police.

we continued our march towards kenmore square, about a thousand strong, through sitting cars. the cops stood by with plastic pull tie hand cuffs in their hands, and we made our way, for the second time that day, over the mass ave bridge. some cops screamed at us, "YO-AH DISRUPTIN THE TRAFFIC!", which everyone just burst out in intense laughter to, as that was the entire point of the entire day. we marched very slowly over the bridge, and into cambridge, and marched all th eway to harvard square, where the whole thing dissipated.

a few things i was happy to see:

i was happy to see that ANSWER lost their strict control over the rally, and see the control handed over to the people, spontaneity and spirit. i was so happy to see the rally progress past something which was just a concession the state was willing to give us to keep up the illusion of democracy.

noam chomsky, on channel 7, said how this rally and march was compltely unprecedented. i don't htink anything at this magnitude has happend since the 60s (and granted, the things in the 60s happend in larger and extremer proportions), and this is before a war has even begun.

my pessimism about the world has shifted over to slight optimism.

i'm looking forward to march 29th. at th at rally, don't wait for the march to become radical.

if you lead, people will follow.
See also:
http://bleedingeyebrow.com/
Did you witness an arrest at the Day After Em (english)
23 Mar 2003
Did you witness an arrest at the Day After Emergency Response to the War March?

We desparately need eyewitness reports, photographs and video of any arrests during the Emergency Response to the War march that left from Copley Square at 7pm.

One arrested protestor is facing serious charges and we need your help in building a defense case.

If you saw anything or know of anyone who did please email boguscharges (at) yahoo.com

Thank you