Thursday, August 31, 2006

Salt Lake sounds off in protest and support

Salt Lake Tribune

A crowd of thousands cheered Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson for calling President Bush a "dishonest, war-mongering, human-rights violating president" whose time in office would "rank as the worst presidency our nation has ever had to endure."

Don't hold back, dude! You don't have to candy-coat it for me!

With their signs labeling Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld the "axis of evil," calling the Iraq war a "mission of lies" or comparing the invasion of Iraq after Sept. 11, 2001, to invading Mexico after Pearl Harbor, the estimated 1,500 to 4,000 protesters hoped their demonstration at the Salt Lake City-County Building sent a message about the reddest state in the country.

"If they [the Bush administration] lack support in Utah, my God they're in trouble," the Rev. Tom Goldsmith of the First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City told the lively gathering between protest songs and banner waving.

If they're getting it in Utah, the whole country's getting it. BushCo is toast.

For those who didn't get enough, organizers held a "Rock Against Rumsfeld" concert at Pioneer Park in the evening. Between songs, Salt Lake City singer Colin Robison challenged Rumsfeld's Tuesday speech to the American Legion.

"Critics of the war were equated with Nazi sympathizers. How dare he?" Robison asked the crowd of over 300. "What about Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay? Who's the Nazi?

A mother of an Iraqi war veteran on his second tour, Debbie Johnson, told the crowd they need not heed the "Orwellian double-speak" of the administration.

"This war is illegal. You don't have to support the war to support our troops."

At the federal building, protesters had to wait outside as organizers delivered the petition. The lingering pack, observed by five armed federal guards, chanted "No more war" and "We are the people."

Looking around the spectacle, Ruth Dunn, of Tooele, summed up the day: "This is what democracy looks like."

I'm very glad to see a large anti-war demonstration. They are going to get larger. The anti-Vietnam-war demonstrations started slowly and small as well, and built up to huge ones.

Just as an aside, Tooele is home to the Tooele Army Depot, where a lot of our WMD are stored.

The saying east of here is "Welcome to Utah. Set your clock back 25 years." It's more like 50, but they're catching up, I think.

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot: the post title has "support" in it. The American Legion refused to allow the Mayor into the speech in a show of support for Bush's War.

Speaking as a member of the American Legion, fuck them.

No comments: