I think Bush may have avoided our demonstration
>From about 3:45 PM to 7 PM yesterday afternoon and evening, anti-Bushdemonstrators occupied the corners of the intersection of 24th Street and
Camelback Road in midtown Phoenix. President Bush had been scheduled to
speak at the Los Olivos Senior Center at 28th Street a few blocks north
of Indian School Road at 4 PM and had been scheduled to speak at a dinner
at the Biltmore Resort on 24th Street betweem Camelback Road and Glendale
Road at 6 PM. It seemed logical, therefore that he would be in transit
between about 4:30 and 5:45 PM, and the newspaper had published his
planned route as passing by the intersection of 24th Street and Camelback
Road, so the demonstration was planned accordingly. For the entire time
of the demonstration, however, Bush's motorcade was not seen, though he
attended both functions on schedule. I suspect that he either diverted
his route (possibly taking 32nd Street to Lincoln Drive and doubling
back on 24th Street) to avoid us, or that the published route was a sham
from the beginning. In any case, we did have some media coverage.
The demonstrators included a large group of Dean supporters, who converged
on the northwest corner of the intersection, along with a smaller group of
Kerry supporters, the Phoenix Anarchist Coalition, and the Arizona Coalition
for Peace and Justice. Apart from the foolishness of supporting Democratic
Party candidates as any better than Bush, there were people with signs
calling for the United Nations to replace the USA as colonial administrators
of Iraq, which certainly could not be called progressive. I am told there
was also a Libertarian there who had heeded Mike Ross's call on the AZRKBA
list to show up with weapons. Mike Ross was himself there, but in the
capacity as a Copwatch member, monitoring the activities of the police,
not as a participant. I'm sure his contribution in protecting the
demonstrators is much appreciated. I had considered making a sign saying
"Down With the Black Hawks", but I figured bearing the Palestinian flag
would keep my hands full, which it did. There were some signs that were
good and simple and rejected "politically correct" collaborationist
lines. Some clever ones were, "This Thanksgiving our national turkey
comes from Texas", "Drop Bush not bombs", and "these colors run".
Both police and demonstrators were well-behaved, and I did not witness any
serious incidents of disorder. A man came by to thank me for a role I
had played in a serious incident during the 23 March demonstration at the
same place. He thanked me for displaying my .45 and threatening to use it
on two pro-war people who had assaulted him. I asked him if he had prosecuted
those two for assault. He said he had been content to let the matter drop.
He said he had perhaps used intemperate language. I said, "I figured you
had all had a little too much to drink that night."
No pro-war or pro-Bush people were present counterdemonstrating, and we only
had a few negative responses from those passing by us on foot or in
automobiles. One of the negative responses was quite telling. It was from
a young white man who claimed to have had a friend who died at al-Nasiriyah.
Supposedly Lori Piestewa, a Hopi, was the only Arizonan to die at al-
Nasiriyah. Looks like the Pentagon has been covering up some casualties.
He had been berating everyone from his car for not "supporting our troops"
and berating me and threatening me with physical violence for shouting,
"Long live Saddam Hussein!" I responded that his friend deserved to die
and that anyone who helped the Jew government deserved to be killed. He
stopped talking at that point, and then I began to catch flak from my
fellow demonstrators. One of them said I must not say "Jew". I told him
the Jews would never intimidate this Aryan and keep him from speaking his
mind in his own country. This liberal said, "That's called anti-Semitism,
and it makes all of us look bad."
I said, "Anti-Semitism is what the Jews do to Arabs!" I had no further
problems with our side after that, but I noticed most of those who had been
on that corner left and went to other corners.
The war was the main issue, but there were several people there to lobby
about health care and medicare, something which some Libertarians had
cited as a reason to avoid the demonstration. Then again the anarchists
were chanting "Smash the state!", and I'm sure the liberals didn't like
that. Well, at least we were all opposed to Bush.