Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


Bring Home The Troops - Send In The Protestors

Stateside: Rosalea's War Diary

Bring Home The Troops - Send In The Protestors

Gmng, gmng, gmng! I'll say one thing about this war - it's getting me into some very good habits. I walked up Market Street to school again last night because it didn't look like a bus would be coming any time soon, on account of a protest march. On the way I passed a chap with a map giving instructions to some bicycling protestors about which intersections to scurry to and from.

The first business day of the war, people were urged to call in sick to school and work and go to San Francisco to disrupt the business district. There had been some disruption in the morning, but it seems that most people went to work (me included) and tagged out some other milder form of protest to participate in. Many Bay Area cities had peace rallies and candlelight vigils in the evening.

During a break in class one of my fellow students called her husband who told her that the area around the entrance to the Civic Center Bart station was in turmoil, but by the time class ended it was OK. The last half of class had been conducted to the accompaniment of a helicopter patrolling over downtown San Francisco, and it was still overhead as we walked to the station. The Starbucks in the hotel opposite the station entrance had its windows boarded up, presumably done in anticipation of damage as someone had seen them doing it much earlier in the evening.

The newspaper headlines in the morning had been "War", "It's war", "War's on" - predictable big black headlines. In the evening one paper had a big red "Extra Edition" across the top and "SF gridlocked" in those same big black letters beneath. Turns out 1400 protestors were arrested, after successfully stuffing up the commute. Whoever organized this should be drafted. The war would be over in a couple of days. For some of the more interesting sidelights, you could look at

Dissent is a way of life here, of course. On the rock radio show I listen to, a number of callers this morning were sympathetic to the protestors but angry at the inconvenience they had caused to them personally. One protestor called in and said that if people had phoned in sick like they were asked to, the protest wouldn't have been a problem for them. Sitting for two hours in traffic seems a small price to pay if you really do want the strength of the opposition of this war to be known in the hopes of stopping it.

War is not a spectator sport, but you'd think it was. Radio and newspapers yesterday analysed how television had handled the damp squib of the opening salvos. I overheard one person who'd just left the peace rally in Berkeley say: "This is the most boring war coverage I've seen." Gee, hell. Nobody being torn limb from limb by lions? No war correspondent getting blown away in front of your very eyes as you sit in your bean bag and toke on a joint? That sucks, man.

Francis Ford Coppola was on the radio this morning talking about an event he cooks for each year for the homeless in North Beach, the SF suburb where he lives. Asked about his stance on the war he said that he's neither a hawk nor a dove, but an owl. Force is necessary sometimes, he said, to avert worse consequences. Better to have a war now than in four years' time when it would be a nuclear war.

After his interview, the announcer read the news, including an item saying the US military expects the war to be over soon. Even as he finished reading that, he was handed a different story, this time from the White House, reiterating that the war would go on longer than expected. If the military has the ability to finish it quickly then they should, and not be beholden to a political agenda that demands dragging the war out. There's nothing Bush would like better than for the unions to start refusing to load ships bound for the war zone, which would put the Democrats in a seriously awkward position.


© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news