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Throwing Stones for Peace

...and other tales of activism.

Protesters Throw Stones at National Guardsman

A group of Vermont teen-agers threw rocks at a uniformed female Vermont National Guard sergeant last week, in the latest example of a service member facing hostility in the United States. The woman was not injured in Friday's incident, but has decided she will no longer wear her uniform outside of work.

Peaceful Protests Please

The above account is yet another being heard about so-called "peace activists," who have been demonstrating daily since the start of the war. Patience is wearing thin on both sides, and the war is only in its second week. Hearing about thugs hiding behind the issue of peace to assault women only inflames an already smoking populace.

Whether you are for or against the war, if you participate in demonstrations and rallies, please be peaceful! Other people are just trying to get on with their lives in the face of economic problems here at home. Whether at home or abroad, life does go on, no matter what happens somewhere else.

Yesterday, activists declared there would be "No Business as Usual" and lay down on the pavement, representing themselves as Iraqi war dead. Police had to drag them away, a tremendous amount of work and trouble for everyone, including people trying to do business downtown or get to and from work. -- Ed.

A woman caught in snarled traffic wrote the following in the Austin American-Statesman:

Nobody Wins When Civil Disobedience Loses Its Civility

Latest Protests

Belgian actor Benjamin Verdonck lived nearly naked in a cage with a pig in Ghent for three days in November hoping the pig would "teach" him why there is such strife in the world (results not reported). And James Albert Ernest Togo, 20, of Brisbane, arrested for mooning a policeman, claimed in December that Australia's Constitution gave him the right to stick out his bare buttocks in political protest, which he said was part of his Aboriginal tradition. And in October, in the midst of a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals anti-milk demonstration at an Aberdeen, Scotland, high school, about 100 milk-loving students spent 10 minutes angrily drenching PETA's cow-costumed spokesman with milk.
[Reuters, 11-15-02] [, 12-13-02] [The Scotsman, 10-12-02]
Chuck Shepherd's News of the Weird, 03/30/03

AlterNet: Bring Back the Body Count

"We don't do body counts," says America's soldier-in-chief, Tommy Franks.

That's a damn shame. True, the body count may turn people into abstract numbers. But it also requires soldiers to say to the world, "I killed human beings today."

During the Vietnam war, the body count was served up every day on the evening news. While Americans ate dinner, they watched a graphic visual scorecard: how many Americans had died that day, how many South Vietnamese and how many Communists. At the time, it seemed the height of dehumanized violence. Compared to Tommy Franks' new way of war, though, the old way looks very humane indeed.

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