Monday, March 19, 2007

Protest or Appropriation? Pro War Rally at the Lafayette Crosses Pts 3 & 4

On March 8th the pro-war group, Move America Forward (MAF), staged a rally at the Lafayette Hillside Iraq War memorial that was built and is maintained by anti-war activists. MAF awful group with horrible credentials. Read about them at sourcewatch or a well informed comment on this page.

Pt 3: Speeches

This video contains the Speeches from the pro-war rally. With anger and threats they proclaim that the troops can only be supported with blind-faith in the administration. To them appropriating our memorial of peace bolsters their self-righteous belief that their way is the true American way. Download or link to video of speeches.

Pt 4: The Bikers

The only thing I enjoyed about the pro-war rally was the presence of about 2 dozen bikers. Despite their politics I thought they were fun and they were the most chilled out pro-war folks at the rally. Regarding the bikers, jimstaro posted this on dailykos:

In a CNN report on the DC actions today:

‘Crowds gather to denounce, support war Veterans, some from the Rolling Thunder motorcycle group, lined up at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
"I'm not sure I'm in support of the war," said William "Skip" Publicover of Charleston, South Carolina, who was a swift boat gunner in Vietnam and lost two friends whose names are etched on the memorial's wall.
"I learned in Vietnam that it's difficult if not impossible to win the hearts and minds of the people."’

Rolling Thunder, at least the leadership and many who aren't Vets are running with the so called 'Move America Forward' group.

I won't go into the History of 'Rolling Thunder' except to say that Many of the Real'Nam Veterans held this as a Great Tradition, once started, till they figured out the extreme right swing of the leadership and that many allowed to join weren't veterans. Some still participate but stay clear of using 'The Wall' or any other Memorial as a Political Statement!
Will also add that some of those, who are 'Nam Vets, and run with these groups, like this 'Move America Forward' were in Total Opposition of even having 'The Wall' Built!!

Download or link to video of bikers.


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Protest or Appropriation: Pro-War Rally Held at Our Memorial Pts 1 & 2

Part 1: Sights and Sounds

On March 8th the pro-war group, Move America Forward, staged a rally at the Lafayette Hillside Iraq War memorial that was built and is maintained by anti-war activists. The rally was the groups first stop on a cross country caravan to DC. They used our spatial representation of the cost of the war to serve there agenda, unquestioning aproval of the Bush regime and continous warfare and attacking the peace movement as cowardly. Many of the Move America Forward protesters have or have lost love one in Iraq and as the blogger, Insane Begger, commented on my last post, they express their pain as anger at those who want to honor the soldiers but not the war. Perhaps, they see the Lafayette Memorial as simply an attack on the Bush war policy and not as an attempt to create a culture that is aware of what war really means. What comes across is there agression and as one anti-war activist observeded "I've never seen so much machismo on International Women's Day." For sights and sounds from the Pro-War rally link to or download this video.

Pt 2: Ballad of a Stollen Name

At the Move America Forward rally a Goldstar father found his son's name on a cross. Understandably, he became very offended that his son's name was being used for a memorial with goals that ran counter to his own politics. However he dealt with the situation in an agrressive and bullyish way using the situation to attack the anti-war movement and the memorial organizer. Memorial volunteers and Goldstar Mothers for Peace had put the names of fallen Californian soldiers on various crosses on the hillside. Among the volunteers the use of names was debated and the majority wanted them taken down. The anger of the pro-war Goldstar father brings into perspective the problem with having names on the crosses. The names and his anger at anti-war activists shifts the memorial to specific people and away from the policy of war in general. The altercation between the Goldstar father and anti-war activists also reveals the problem with the pro-war rally itself, it attacked peace-activists as people and did not address their goals for government and foriegn policy. For one story from the culture war link to or download this video.


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Pro-War Rally Appropriates the Lafayette Crosses

On March 8th, the pro-war activist group, Move America Forward, staged a rally at the Lafayette Crosses Hillside Memorial. Lafayette was the first stop on their cross country caravan to Washington, DC where they will demonstrate in support of the war on March 17th. The best footage can be came from KTVU with both a general report and a clip of a "debate" between an angry Goldstar father and memorial organizer Jeff Heaton. CBS Channel 5 and NBC Channel 11 also covered the story. The Oakland Tribune has run an article.

The rally called the memorial a mock cemetary that disgraces American soldiers. It seemed to me that they used the occasion to attack and discredit the peace movement rather than explain why an undefined and continous war on terror supports the troops. I say this because what I saw was flag waving and aggression, what I heard was hate, not a message. This might not be surmized from the videos above but my own footage should follow on Sunday.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Building & Painting

Now that over 3,000 crosses stand at the Lafayette hillside memorial to the Iraq war, I figure it is a good time to share some pretty footage of what it was like to build and paint a cross. Download or link to video (1:01 min).


Monday, March 05, 2007

On Mar 4th A Cross for Every Fallen Soldier

3,170 crosses now stand at the Lafayette Hillside Memorial, one for every soldier who has died in Iraq. While the number of crosses will continue to meet the ever increasing number of war dead the site will now shift from a community art project in production to a space for gatherings and reflection. ABC Channel 7 News covered the event on Sunday. Link to Video. SF Gate also published a better video with voice overs of activist interviews. Link to SF Gate Video.

An article in the SF Chronicle followed on Monday. The blog eschew obfuscation has also posted about it.

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Caravan for the War to Stop at Crosses Thursday

In a reverse of its normal use, the Lafayette memorial will be the first stop of a pro-war caravan heading to DC. A Contra Costa Times article by Katherine Tam reports:

"The Lafayette crosses that have become a gathering spot for Iraq war opponents is slated to be the first stop Thursday for a support-the-troops caravan en route to Washington, D.C.

Move America Forward, a Sacramento group that supports the war against terrorism including military missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, is organizing a coast-to-coast caravan that's scheduled to leave San Francisco March 8 and reach Lafayette about 10 a.m.

The group plans to hold a 30-minute rally at the crosses blanketing a hillside on Deer Hill Road. Local supporters plan to give caravan members flags, letters from soldiers and other items to take to the nation's capital."