March 22, 2004


Grant McCool -- employed by Reuters, just like Opheera McDoom -- is McExcited about the anti-war protests:

More than a million antiwar protesters have poured into the streets of cities around the globe on the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq to demand the withdrawal of U.S.-led troops.

From Sydney to Tokyo, from Santiago, Chile, to Madrid, London, New York and San Francisco, demonstrators condemned U.S. policy in Iraq and said they did not believe Iraqis are better off or the world safer because of the war.

Journalists estimated that at least a million people streamed through Rome, in probably the biggest single protest.

As Roger L. Simon points out, other estimates of the Rome march were considerably lower. Contributor J.F. Beck recommends, with good reason, that you read all the way through to the final line of this Perth Sunday Times report on protests in the the Western Australian capital:

The Perth peace rally on the Perth Esplanade turned briefly into a war of words when protesters turned up the heat on convicted racist Jack van Tongeren.

When one speaker realised Mr van Tongeren was present, she encouraged people to tell him to go home.

Almost the entire crowd turned and began chanting "Piss off Jack" and "Go home racist scum".

One protester approached Mr van Tongeren in front of the media and told him he was a nazi and had no place at a peace protest.

"You spread hatred and you have got no solidarity with the working man," the protester said.

Mr van Tongeren was released from prison in September 2002, after serving 12 years of an 18-year prison sentence for a race-hate campaign that included firebombing Chinese restaurants.

Asked why he would attend a peace rally, Mr van Tongeren told The Sunday Times he and the peace movement had a lot in common.

Posted by Tim Blair at March 22, 2004 12:43 AM

I walked down Michigan Ave. in Chicago yesterday and saw considerably more police than protesters. Small pockets of 3 or 4 at a time, separated by several minutes of shoppers and tourists. The only moment that got any attention from the crowd was when a motorcycle club/gang went by honking horns and carrying a banner that said "Support Our Troops." They seemed to get some appreciative comment, while the crowd mostly just avoided eye contact with the "No War For Freedom" and "Restore Saddam" signbearers.

Posted by: Mike G at March 22, 2004 at 12:53 AM

I attended the Chicago antiwar/pro Cuba/pro Vegetarian/pro Jess Jackson rally at water tower yesterday. The police would not let them march down Michigan Ave. I'll post pictures. It is up to the reader to pick out the horses behind's and horse droppings.

Posted by: Alan M. Robertson at March 22, 2004 at 01:11 AM

"and the peace movement had a lot in common"

I went to his web site once and its true. Especially in the slogan department

Posted by: Dead Ed at March 22, 2004 at 01:14 AM

Let's see, McCool, McDoom; next should be McEoon, then McFooo, McGoop and so on. Has anyone seen McAooj or McBook?

Posted by: Elmer Blue at March 22, 2004 at 01:21 AM

Oh for fuck's sake. A wackjob turns up at a peace protest, they tell him to fuck off, and you still try to smear them with his excrement.

This is getting truly pathetic.

Posted by: Robert at March 22, 2004 at 01:59 AM

Robert, now, now, that's appeasement protest. Remember, connotation and denotation are two different things.

Posted by: ushie at March 22, 2004 at 02:05 AM

Whatever. I don't support "Troops Out Now", which is why I wasn't at the protest. But what Tim's trying to pull is disgusting.

Posted by: Robert at March 22, 2004 at 02:38 AM

Mike G, thank you for the eye witness report - according to local conventional media, Chicago had a huge march.

Of course, this disparity between what happened and what the media reports is shocking, shocking! I say.

Posted by: Percy Dovetonsils at March 22, 2004 at 02:52 AM

``...demonstrators condemned U.S. policy in Iraq and said they did not believe Iraqis are better off or the world safer because of the war.''

The obvious rejoinder is, ``Do the *Iraqis* think they're better off?'' - but I guess no one wants to ask that question. Maybe they've read the ``Le Monde'' article where France gets its nose rubbed in the dirt for not supporting the overthrow of Saddam.

Posted by: Annalucia at March 22, 2004 at 02:53 AM

To be fair, Percy (nice handle, by the way, may I have a martini too?), it sounds like I was never where the actual rally was-- I was about 4-5 blocks south. However, considering that I was on one major path people would have had to take walking to it from cars or public transportation, unless ten times as many people came from the north and west (nobody could have come from the east without scuba gear), I still find it hard to believe that the crowd was terribly large. Certainly dwarfed by the number of folks out shopping.

Posted by: Mike G at March 22, 2004 at 02:58 AM

Grant McCool wrote an article yesterday for Reuters about the protests in which he referred to the terrorist bombers of 9/11 as "islamic militants", not terrorists but militants. The attack was not even referred to as "terror."

I sent an email to the editor at Reuters asking them to clarify their editorial policy on how they distinguish between terrorists and militants but have yet to receive a reply. Grant McCool - Go figger.

Posted by: S.A. Smith at March 22, 2004 at 03:31 AM

"A wackjob turns up at a peace protest..."

In the words of Robin Williams, "For the definition of redundant, it says, see 'redundant'..."

Posted by: Richard McEnroe at March 22, 2004 at 04:38 AM

If you can fit 10,000 people in that little pocket park by Water Tower, I've got an entire extended Vietnamese family in my fridge.

Even the police estimate of 5000 seems likely to be overblown (since they too have an interest in justifying their numbers by the other guys' numbers). I would believe more like 1-2000 based on Alan's pictures and the size of the area they are said to have filled, as well as my own observations of how many were passing in that direction right around that time.

Posted by: Mike G at March 22, 2004 at 05:39 AM

``...unless ten times as many people came from the north and west (nobody could have come from the east without scuba gear)...''

Come to think of it Mike, maybe they came from the 48th Ward (North Side, lakefront). That's where they actually passed a resolution demanding that we pull all troops out of Iraq immediately. I'm sure Dubya's going to jump to it, of course...

Posted by: Annalucia at March 22, 2004 at 06:36 AM

Annalucia, I always remember that Unitarian Church or whatever it was near Broadway and Barry declaring itself a nuclear-free zone. As opposed to the rest of the Chicago area, where Titan II missiles were lodged under every two-flat.

Posted by: Mike G at March 22, 2004 at 08:02 AM

I wonder if they're any relation to
Lunchtime O'Booze?

blog treatment

Posted by: Man Mountain Molehill at March 22, 2004 at 10:55 AM

In my county, where they got about 1,500 antiwar protesters to stand still long enough to take a postcard photograph a year ago, they got 60 at yesterday's march.

That's down from about 1% to 0.0004%.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at March 22, 2004 at 11:02 AM

The Sunday Times article reports 200 appeasement marchers in Perth.

That means 1,399,800 non-appeasement marchers.

Posted by: Sue at March 22, 2004 at 12:17 PM

Robert, old Joh saying: Lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.

Posted by: slatts at March 22, 2004 at 02:38 PM

Beat me to it, Slatts. How about "you're known by the company you keep."

I was just south of Chicago all weekend, and, trust me, the work on the Borman Expressway (I90-94-80) caused a lot more trouble that the few puny protesters. On WMAQ Channel 5, one pathetic slob was shown reading his chant aloud from a card in his hand into his microphone. I can understand, because it was hard. "We want no war. We want peace." Over and over. I can see how he could get confused.

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at March 22, 2004 at 03:14 PM

Slatts, Jorg: I suppose that's why they told him to "Piss off Jack", and called him "racist scum".

Posted by: Robert at March 22, 2004 at 07:21 PM

Slatts, looks like that went right over Robert's head.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at March 22, 2004 at 08:36 PM

No, Andrea. It's just that they didn't lie down with that dog, they told him to piss off.

Posted by: Robert at March 23, 2004 at 12:09 AM