Protest the War this Saturday! (and why it still matters…)

This Saturday, October 11, is the six-year anniversary of the Iraq War Resolution granting President Bush the power to invade Iraq. There will be a large and kickin’ protest on Saturday, October 11 on the Boston Common.  The events begin at 11 am, with speakers including prominent socialist journalist Ashley Smith, pacifist author Joseph Gerson, and respected community organizer and activist Chuck Turner. Tons of activist and progressive groups will be tabling at the rally. Plus, the events will coincide with the HONK! music festival, which seems to be a gathering of socialist street bands who will play with the marchers. Fucking. Awesome.



From the rally, we will begin marching at 2 p.m. and travel about a mile and a half, holding signs, singing songs, chanting, and just making a ruckus and getting our opposition out there.

Soooooo, you ask, how do I get to this protest thingamajig? Brandeis will be sending a (hopefully) big delegation, departing from the Brandeis/Roberts commuter rail station on the 10:19 a.m. train Saturday morning. Most likely, DFA and SDS will spearhead this effort, and we’ll probably have a sign-making party later this week. I’ll try to get some form of reimbursement available for train and T tickets for those who need it. We should be able to take the first Saturday shuttle back to campus. I’ll update the world with more information on this once we have the DFA meeting Tuesday and decide shit.

So, there will a protest. But some people I’ve talked to have asked, “Gee whiz Loki, what is the point of protesting anymore? Its just a bunch of angry hippies whose opinions are peed on by the government.” Well, while the government does have a good deal of urine, mass demonstration against the war is vital, now more than ever. Here’s why.

Public demonstrations serve at least two purposes: the personal and the public. A large demonstration filled with angry marchers shows that people not only oppose the war passively, but care enough that they are willing to go to the streets. It increases public visibility of your opinion – the sight of such a large and impassioned crowd makes passersby think about the issue for which you are demonstrating and hopefully inspires them to take a more vocal stance on something they might have kept to the back of their minds. Then there is the media attention, which serves the same purpose on a larger, if more removed, scale. So this is the public effect – demonstration can bring an issue to the forefront and spark more active, rather than passive, public resistance. 

Especially considering that we are still following the Bush plan for the war almost to the letter, despite the recent election of Democratic Congresspeople largely on their pledge to bring home the troops, it is pivotal to indicate that the public hasn’t given this up.

Then, there is the personal effect of demonstration, often overlooked but perhaps even more important. Essentially, this shit pumps you up. I became politically active largely because of how motivated I was after a protest in DC at the beginning of the war. The enthusiasm of thousands and thousands of people as pissed off as you, about a war it sometimes seems hopeless to oppose, gives you hope and a renewed energy for action. Demonstrations are filled with the electric possibility of change, and can make real activists out of people who might have simply come to check out the scene.

So be there.


One thought on “Protest the War this Saturday! (and why it still matters…)”

  1. Reasons YOU should NOT go
    (and make every effort to discourage your friends NOT to visit

    1) We can’t afford to make the Dems look bad by calling them out on their broken promise to end the war.

    2) We can’t protest because that might shift the Republican stance on the war and make both parties even more indistinguishable, allowing a Third Party the chance to hold the Presidency next year – and who knows what insane shit might happen (even though what’s going on now sucks, at least it’s tried and true).

    3) Or… Protesting will turn the public against us as we take to the streets and obstruct traffic on a Saturday afternoon, and they vote for Republicans out of spite – you never can trust the proletariat.

    4) Protesting will draw attention to us, and who knows what subversive/dumb/authoritarian/independent/righteous bastard the news will pick up and interview – spoiling the message for all involved.

    5) Protesting and being against things is alienating and gives the impression that you are negative and small-minded.

    6) Protesting acknowledges that we are a part of a community beyond Brandeis with Real Life™ consequences, we can’t risk our insular bubble by mingling and forming connections!

    7) Protesting never accomplishes anything (at least if we keep dragging our feet). Just look at what it did for Vietnam, Civil Rights, Woman’s Suffrage, Queer Rights, Immigrant Rights, the 8-hour work day…. wait… forget all that.

    Remember, DON’T forget NOT to check out

    I look forward to not seeing you in the streets!

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