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Anti war activists.....Anti American (Marxist)?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Leadfoot, Mar 21, 2003.

  1. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Interesting article http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,81425,00.html

    Tuesday, March 18, 2003

    SEATTLE — Large anti-war protests come with a hefty price tag.





    Money is needed to rent or buy stages, sound systems, permits and portable toilets, and tabs often run as high as $200,000 per demonstration — much more than the average grassroots peace group will ever have in its coffers.

    So who is picking up the tab?

    "The major anti-U.S. government demonstrations are organized by people who have been around for a long time, particularly the Workers World Party, which has existed for more than 30 years now and has always supported the enemies of the United States," said Herbert Romerstein, a retired agent of the U.S. Information Agency.

    The Workers World Party describes itself as Marxist in nature.

    Officially, protest organizers are groups such as Not in Our Name and International A.N.S.W.E.R., but the demonstration's sponsors have long histories of backing anti-government causes.

    Not in Our Name is financed by the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization. I.F.C.O. is a million-dollar-a-year non-profit that supports Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and once sponsored a group headed by Sami Al-Arian — the University of South Florida professor being charged with fundraising for terrorist organizations Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

    A.N.S.W.E.R. is an offshoot of the International Action Center, which intelligence officials say is a front for the Worker's World Party. A.N.S.W.E.R. canceled a scheduled interview with Fox News but a worker in the Seattle field office acknowledged there are ties.

    "There are some Workers World Party members in A.N.S.W.E.R.," said A.N.S.W.E.R. coordinator Jim McMahan.

    The International Action Center was founded by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, who is a longtime public face of the anti-war movement.

    The Workers World Party supports North Korea's brutal regime and I.F.C.O. defied U.N. sanctions when it made a trip to Iraq in the mid-1990s. Now, both are sugar daddies to the anti-war movement.

    "The American people have the right to know whether stooges of [North Korean leader] Kim Jong Il or Castro or Saddam Hussein are involved in these demonstrations," Romerstein said.

    The groups bankrolling these protests say they're spending their money the way donors would want, and protest organizers say it doesn't matter where the money comes from — the message is their own.

    Others wonder if knowing the fringe politics of the people paying the bills might keep some demonstrators off the streets.

    But anti-war organizers — regardless of their financial backing — are plugging ahead and are actually planning more aggressive action that they say will be hard to ignore, despite the fact that the United States is on the brink of war with Iraq.

    "People will step up their actions, there will be active civil disobedience," said Simona Sharoni of United for Peace in Thurston County, Wash.

    Direct Action, a San Francisco Bay-area group of anti-war veterans, has been drawing up their own battle plan should there be a war.

    They say they will shut down 70 targets in San Francisco alone, including power plants, water systems, the Federal Reserve, oil companies, the Pacific Exchange and the Transamerica Building.

    And their hit list goes beyond economic targets.

    Some protesters are promising to chain themselves to fences at schools and day care centers so working parents will have to stay home from their jobs. Organizers say this will give others a chance to contemplate how war affects the children of Iraq.

    "The civilians in Iraq are losing their lives and one day of work is worth a thousand lives," said Leone Reinbold, an anti-war activist in San Francisco.

    Reinbold helped organize the World Trade Organization protest in Seattle three years ago. She blames the violence and damage on anarchists from the radical fringe, not the mainstream demonstrators.

    All the same, police departments from coast to coast know that keeping things peaceful won't be easy.

    "We know based on the last one that each preceding demonstration has been a little bit more volatile than the one before," said Deputy Chief Greg Suhr of the San Francisco Police Department.

    Some protestors are vowing to bring traffic to a standstill, as they recently did on a Seattle bridge. But many wonder if paralyzing the morning commute and engaging in similar disruptions will win converts or make enemies of people losing patience with their tactics.

    Fox News' Dan Springer contributed to this report.
     

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