The News Media and the Antiwar Movement

by Norman Solomon

It's reasonable to estimate that more than a quarter of a million people demonstrated against the Iraq war on Saturday in Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco and other U.S. cities. The next day, the Washington Post front-paged a decent story that described "the largest show of antiwar sentiment in the nation's capital since the conflict in Iraq began." But more perfunctory back-page articles were typical in daily papers across the country. And over the weekend, many TV news watchers saw little or nothing about the protests.

Hurricane Rita was clearly a factor. But even without dramatic natural disasters, the news media are ready, willing and able to downplay news about war -- and the antiwar movement -- for any number of reasons. Conventional wisdom on Capitol Hill or in newsrooms can tamp down media coverage of a surging movement. What's crucial is that the movement not allow its momentum to be interrupted by media treatment.

Update from Arrestees

Barbara Cummings just phoned me. She was arrested at the White House and says she is on the fourth bus in a line of six. There are about 50 people on each bus, she said, plus several small vans of people. She estimates 300 have been arrested. The police are making them wait in the buses and vans, with plastic handcuffs on. Barbara slipped hers off to use the phone, but hung up when a police officer saw her and headed her way. She predicted he'd put the cuffs on her and jerk them tight.

A Democrat Speaks Up

Democratic congressman says conspiracy trial ironic; Sees Bush conspiracy to attack and occupy Iraq
RAW STORY

New York congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) delivered a fiery critique of the Bush Administration's drive to war in Iraq, labeling the push part of a "conspiracy" to deceive Congress and occupy the country.

The speech, made Sept. 19 outside the District Courthouse in Binghamton, New York before the federal trial of the St. Patrick’s Four, was transcribed by RAW STORY's Jennifer Van Bergen.

Speaking of the four protesters who spilled their own blood at a military recruiting center, Hinchey said "what they were protesting was the conspiracy of the Administration of George W. Bush to bring about an attack and then an occupation of the country of Iraq, and as a result making the world a much more dangerous and difficult place than it was prior to those actions."

We Are Not Safer

By Amy Branham

Houston, Texas. Hurricane Rita has come and gone from Houston. I am happy to report that all of my family and friends came through the experience alive and unscathed physically, but I think emotionally we’ll be feeling the after effects for a very, very long time. This past week has been an emotional roller coaster for all of us.

We started making preparations for Hurricane Rita Tuesday afternoon when we began to realize that the Texas coast was the most likely target for Hurricane Rita to hit. My family lives about 70 miles inland from the Gulf Coast, in far northwest Harris County, but damage from a hurricane can be devastating this far inland and even further, as we have all seen. Jim, my husband, took off work early and came home to begin making preparations on the house, and I took the rest of the week off work to do the same. We went to Home Depot, where there was a rush on plywood. We were fortunate enough that in our part of town, not everyone had swamped the store yet to board up their windows. We were able to get enough to cover all of our windows, but it cost us nearly $400 to do it.

Santa Cruz City Council to Consider Asking for Bush Impeachment

PRESS RELEASE CONTACT: Sherry Conable 831-459-7259 Louie Lafortune 831-588-8487 Santa Cruz City Council Members 831-420-5020

On Tuesday Sept 27th, the Santa Cruz City Council will consider resubmitting a letter to the House Judiciary Committee of the United States Congress calling for the investigation and possible impeachment of the the Bush Administration.

A press conference will be held between 12:30 and 1:30 PM, with Council Member Emily Reilly, Mayor Mike Rotkin, and representatives of the Coalition for Impeachment Now! (COIN!) explaining the reasons for taking this new action at this time.

Out of Iraq Congressional Caucus Now Has 67 Members

‘Out of Iraq’ Caucus Membership
(As of September 26, 2005)
Rep. Maxine Waters, Chair, Co-Founder
Rep. Lynn Woolsey, Co-Founder
Rep. John Conyers, Co-Founder
Rep. Charlie Rangel, Co-Founder
Rep. Barbara Lee, Co-Founder
Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Co-Founder
Rep. William Delahunt, Co-Founder
Rep. John Lewis, Co-Founder
Rep. Neil Abercrombie
Rep. Tammy Baldwin
Rep. Xavier Becerra
Rep. Corrine Brown
Rep. Sherrod Brown
Rep. Lois Capps
Rep. Michael Capuano
Rep. Julia Carson
Rep. Donna Christensen
Rep. William Lacy Clay
Rep. Elijah Cummings
Rep. Danny Davis
Rep. Lloyd Doggett
Rep. Lane Evans

Civil Resistance at the White House

Civil Resistance at the White House
By David Swanson

PHOTO GALLERY

I got to the White House around noon and found hundreds of people gathered awaiting the arrival of marchers who planned to get themselves arrested protesting the war.

I ran into Mike Ferner of Veterans for Peace, who showed me the paperwork from his arrest early this morning at the Pentagon. He said he'd been one of 41 people arrested between 6:30 and nearly 7:30 a.m. at the Pentagon. Three Veterans for Peace members had joined others from the War Resisters League. They'd shut down an entrance and the Pentagon Metro stop. They were swiftly booked and released, charged with "disobeying a lawful order" and given court dates in federal district court in Alexandria in January.

Time To Bring Our Troops Home

Published on Sunday, September 25, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
By Todd Huffman

When my daughter asked why our daily newspaper only updates the number of Americans killed in Iraq, at first I fumbled for an answer. Somehow managing an air of assuredness, I told her that no one really knows how many Iraqis have died, which, I suppose, is a half-truth. I could not admit the whole truth, that the countless Iraqi dead are only countless because America does not bother to count them.

Over the past two and a half years, how many Americans have given thought, like my daughter, to how many Iraqis have been killed as a result of this profoundly misbegotten war? Truth is thousands upon tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians have died in the rubble of our misdeeds, along with nearly two-thousand Americans. That most Americans seem unaware or simply unbothered, blithely evoking the memory of our own catastrophic loss four years ago as justification, has led the global community to conclude that to Americans, non-American life must be cheap.

Anti-War Idealism

Published on Sunday, September 25, 2005 by The Capital Times (Madison, Wisconsin)

Almost 35 years ago, in the fall of 1970 when the United States was stuck in another "quagmire" war, The Capital Times published the following editorial under the headline, "Debra Sweet's act of courage":
"President Nixon heard the real voice of young America Thursday. It came from Debra Sweet,a 19-year-old Madison girl who was in the White House to accept a medal from the president for public service.

"As the president handed her the Young American medal, one of four handed out Thursday by Mr. Nixon, she said softly and unsmilingly, 'I find it hard to believe in your sincerity in giving out the awards until you get us out of Vietnam.'

Article from Daily Oklahoman

Protesters gather in city park
Sun September 25, 2005
http://newsok.com/article/1625274/

As many as 1,500 anti-war protesters rallied Saturday in Oklahoma City's Memorial Park, adding their voices to a nationwide day of protest and calling on President Bush to bring U.S. forces back home.

"People have been coming and going all day long," said organizer Lisa Ghariani. Among the speakers was Elizabeth Walters, a sophomore at the University of Oklahoma, who read a fiery challenge to the president from her father, former Gov. David Walters.

"Quit destroying the reputation and effectiveness of the United States, this great and noble country, by assaulting clumsily, tragically, arrogantly, deceptively the people of Iraq, a people whose only sin is that they had more bombing targets, important for CNN video broadcast, than Afghanistan," Walters read.

Syracuse anti-war protestors take to road

The Daily Orange - Opinion

In a crowd of what some speculate to be more than 300,000, five Syracuse-area strangers came together with one goal in mind - to bring the United States troops home now.

These five protestors, each representing a different walk of life, were among the nearly 100 people from around Syracuse that boarded a bus early Saturday morning to make the seven-hour journey to Washington, D.C.

The two buses, which were organized by the Syracuse Peace Council, were made up of a mix of elderly and middle-aged citizens alike, but there were also a small number of college students as well. Most of these students came from Hamilton College in Clinton.

A Grassroots Media Strategy

Remarks from David Swanson's presentation at the Sept. 25 Progressive Democrats of America Strategy Day conference panel, "Building a PDA Media Response Team":
LINK.


(Other photos can be found here.)

Photos of PDA Grassroots Conference Sept 25 in DC

Here.

And here.

And here for photo's of the sessions:

  • Building PDA at the Precint, City, and National Level
  • Building the Progrssive Wing of the Democratic Party.
  • Building a PDA Media Response Team" sessions.

More Photos from DC

By James Starowicz

Camp Casey Washington, WWII Memorial, Lisa-- Myself and Harry Belafonte, Cindy's & Gold Star Mom's Press Conferance 9/23/2005

See the photos here:
http://www.sendpix.com/albums/05092516/il9m2rv2rf/

Candle Lite Vigil and Procession to 'The Wall' on Friday Night 9/23/2005 Washington DC, from Camp Casey Washington!! [These, because of night are Dark,the Little Lights you see in Complete darkness were some 300 to 400 People in Silent Procession for some 5 blocks to the Vietnam Memorial on Friday Night!!

James Starowicz USN '67-'71 GMG3 Vietnam In-Country '70-'71 COMNAVFORV Member: Veterans For Peace

No Iraqis Left Me on a Roof to Die

From Tomdispatch today, "'No Iraqis Left Me on a Roof to Die,' Katrina and Cindy Blow into Town," http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=24319

-- my report from the antiwar demonstration in Washington. In this, our first majority antiwar protest, reflecting the opinion polls, the commonest statement I heard in the six hours I spent talking to as many protesters as I could was: "This is my first demonstration." In our media world, we seldom enough hear the voices of Americans directly. In this dispatch -- lengthy exactly because it's meant to be the opposite of the norm -- you'll hear the voices of 22 Americans from grandfathers and grandmothers to a 12 year old boy; you'll hear from a nurse who served in Vietnam; a Montana woman for peace dressed up as the statue of liberty; an angry graphic designer; a father, his daughter, and her little girl (whose father is now in Iraq); and so on. I believe you'll find nothing like this elsewhere on a demonstration that was quite remarkable and reflected our changing post-Katrina, post-Cindy moment. I hope you'll take a careful look.

Write to CNN and Complain, Won't You?

By Cynthia Bogard, Sheehanista

I just watched CNN "cover" our protest on Saturday in DC. I admit--I was out on the streets of Washington, DC for most of the past few days so maybe I missed something. But all I've seen on CNN so far were several sentences in the crawl line. On TV, CNN misrepresented what went on in DC and they need to be told.

I don't pretend I can count how many people attended the anti-war protest on Saturday but as a veteran of many such marches over the years, it surely was the largest anti-war protest since the war on Iraq began on March 19, 2003. There were certainly at least twice the 100,000 folks that some news outlets, including CNN.com, were reporting.

Creative Signs & Shirts from the Sept. 24 March in DC

Photos of other creative signs and t-shirts from the 9/24 protest can be found at:
benslade.com/pictures/2005/sep/dcwarprotest

No Permanent Military Bases in Iraq!

Tell your Congress Member here that even if they lack the integrity to support getting out now, they need to summon the nerve to oppose staying forever, or stand revealed as supporters of a dishonest imperialistic slaughter.

Talk to Tim Carpenter

3 PM (Pac): Tim Carpenter, National Director of Progressive Democrats of America
Report from Washington, DC on Grassroots Strategy Day, Lobbying, and Demonstrations
From the BackBoneCampaign

When: Monday, September 26th, 3 PM Pacific/ 6 PM Eastern
Where: Everywhere...
How to Participate? Two ways:

1. Dial 1-641-297-5500, follow prompts then enter access code 7764-7377 followed by #.
Please RSVP with "Carpenter" in the subject so we can reserve a spot for you. or
2. Log in to chat and ask questions while you listen at Voice of Vashon

"Victory Means Exit Strategy..."

Published on Saturday, September 24, 2005 by The Nation
By John Nichols

It's anti-war quiz time.
Who made the following statement:

"I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now."

A.) Cindy Sheehan?
B.) Phil Donahue?
C.) Michael Moore?
D.) A prominent politician who was not afraid to dissent in a time of war.

Answer: D.) A prominent politician who was not afraid to dissent in a time of war.

Defenders of the occupation of Iraq will, before the weekend is done, have some choice words for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who are marching and rallying for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from that Middle Eastern nation.

We Don't Exist

By Cindy Sheehan

Last weekend, Karl Rove said that I was a clown and the antiwar movement was "non-existent." I wonder if the hundreds of thousands of people who showed up today to protest this war and George's failed policies know that they don't exist. It is also so incredible to me that Karl thinks that he can wish us away by saying we aren't real. Well, Karl and Co., we are real, we do exist and we are not going away until this illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq is over and you are sent back to the depths of whatever slimy, dark, and loathsome place you came from. I may be a clown Karl, but you are about to be indicted. You also preside over one of the biggest three ring, malevolent circuses of all time: the Bush administration.

Kafka Does Iraq: The Disturbing Case of Abdul Amir Younes Hussein

Published on Saturday, September 24, 2005 by the Huffington Post
By Arianna Huffington

The disturbing case of Abdul Amir Younes Hussein, the CBS cameraman who has been detained by U.S. forces in Iraq for over five months without a shred of evidence being publicly presented against him, has taken yet another bizarre turn.

As reported by the New York Times and Wall Street Journal last week, Hussein is a 25-year-old freelancer who has found himself trapped in a nightmare of secrecy, suspicion, and legal uncertainty since being wounded by U.S. forces while filming the aftermath of a car bombing in Mosul on April 5th.

Media Notices March

Even with Bush hiding out of town, the media has acknowledged the massive march through DC yesterday.

According to Truthout.org, C-Span says there were 500,000 marching. Citing unnamed organizers, the Washington Post reports that 300,000 people came, while Knight Ridder says 250,000, and the LA Times says 200,000. The New York Times names whom they talked to, but stays silent on the crowd size. Meanwhile, Reuters simply says "over 100,000." This additional story in the Washington Post says something about some of the marchers, and visitors to AfterDowningStreet.org will recognize some of the names.

Britain to pull troops from Iraq as Blair says 'don't force me out'

Defence Secretary confident withdrawal will start in May
-- Plan follows pressure for exit strategy
Peter Beaumont and Gaby Hinsliff
Sunday September 25 2005
The Observer, http://www.observer.co.uk

British troops will start a major withdrawal from Iraq next May under detailed plans on military disengagement to be published next month, The Observer can reveal.

The document being drawn up by the British government and the US will be presented to the Iraqi parliament in October and will spark fresh controversy over how long British troops will stay in the country. Tony Blair hopes that, despite continuing and widespread violence in Iraq, the move will show that there is progress following the conflict of 2003.

The Mother of All Anti-War Rallies

By William Hughes

Washington, D.C. - As I pulled my car into the parking lot of the "New Carrollton" metro station, just northeast of our nation’s capital, around 9:30 AM, on Sept. 24, 2005, I knew it was going to be a great day! The place was already mobbed with Anti-War protesters carrying all kinds of flashy banners, signs and posters indicating their opposition to the Iraqi War. From New Carrollton, it is only a short hop to the "Smithsonian" metro station, which is right on the National Mall and very close to the Washington Monument. A further hike by foot takes you - to the staging area for the "Bring the Troops Home Now," rally: the Ellipse.

AP Improves a Little

AP is now saying 100,000, which was the gross underprediction of UFPJ, presumably aimed at being able to later claim to have drastically overshot the prediction. Trouble is, the best we're getting from the media now is the prediction.

_____________

Crowds Opposed to Iraq War March on D.C.
By JENNIFER C. KERR, Associated Press Writer

Crowds opposed to the war in Iraq surged past the White House on Saturday, shouting "Peace now" in the largest anti-war protest in the nation's capital since the U.S. invasion.

The rally stretched through the day and into the night, a marathon of music, speechmaking and dissent on the National Mall. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey, noting that organizers had hoped to draw 100,000 people, said, "I think they probably hit that."

'You Can't Wash Your Hands When They're Covered in Blood'

By Hart Viges, The Independent UK
via Truthout.org
Saturday 24 September 2005

My name is Hart Viges. September 11 happened. Next day I was in the recruiting office. I thought that was the way I could make a difference in the world for the better.

So I went to infantry school and jump school and I arrived with my unit of the 82nd Airborne Division. I was deployed to Kuwait in February 2003. We drove into Iraq because Third Infantry Division was ahead of schedule, and so I didn't need to jump into Baghdad airport.

As we drove into Samawa to secure their supplies my mortar platoon dropped numerous rounds on this town. I watched Kiowa attack helicopters fire Hellfire missile after Hellfire missile. I saw a C130 Spectre gunship ... it will level a town. It had belt-fed artillery rounds pounding with these super-Gatling guns.

Turnout Huge in DC

Today's march in DC certainly looked from the middle of it like the biggest we've had.
Here are some photos.

Here are more photos.
Here's some blogging at truthout.
Here's coverage, including videos at BradBlog.
Here are photos and blogging at DemocracyCellProject.
More photos on Dailykos.
Some photos of creative Protest Signs and Shirts.

The Associated Press Lies

There are hundreds of thousands of people marching in DC, right now, but the AP reports:

Demonstrators call for U.S. troops to leave Iraq
JENNIFER C. KERR
Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Opponents of the war in Iraq marched by the tens of thousands Saturday in a clamorous day of protest, song and remembrance of the dead, some showing surprisingly diverse political views even as they spoke with one loud voice in wanting U.S. troops home.

____________

REUTERS LIES:
Thousands protest Iraq war, economic globalization
By Lisa Lambert
WASHINGTON, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Thousands of protesters flooded Washington on Saturday to stage dual demonstrations against the U.S.-led war in Iraq and economic globalization, and to demand that President George W. Bush bring troops home.

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