Anti-NATO Protest in NYC
I was up early Saturday morning after a 4:00 am call from Delta airlines that said my 7:00 am flight from Portland to New York City had been cancelled. Mary Beth recalled that a new bus to NYC had recently started from Portland that was leaving at 6:30 am. I really wanted to attend the protest in New York yesterday that was scheduled for 2:00 pm in Times Square. This NATO protest, going on at the same time as NATO meetings in Poland, was for me a must attend event.
MB drove me to Portland and I was able to get on the bus which only had three seats left when I bought my ticket. The ride took 5 1/2 hours and I arrived in NYC with time to spare.
The event drew just over 100 people - not a big crowd but most peace groups in the US are not focusing on the NATO issue yet. There still remains lots of recycled red baiting in this country of anyone who dares criticize Washington's foreign policy toward Russia.
Even a couple long-time peaceniks that I've worked with for years have accused me of being 'Putinized'. But really I don't care what they think anymore - how can anyone stand frozen while the US-NATO encircle Russia and China with bases and 'missile defense' systems? How can any self respecting peacenik idly stand by and watch the provocative US-NATO create a coup in Ukraine and launch, fund and direct a civil war right on Russia's border trying to draw Moscow into making a response? The neo-cons inside the Obama administration are playing with fire and many peace folks are twiddling their thumbs!
We stood yesterday for an hour on a corner right in the heart of Times Square which was packed with people. Many took flyers and some stood around a while to listen to the speakers at our protest. Lots of alternative media covered the event.
After the protest eight of us went to the home of Rachel Clark who was the Japanese-American woman that served as our translator last December when our Veterans For Peace (VFP) delegation went to Okinawa. She made an amazing meal and we all sat around for several hours talking politics.
This morning I was picked up by Korean-American activist Juyeon Rhee who will be leading three of us from VFP on a delegation to Korea in July/August. Last year Juyeon was my guide on a similar trip to Korea during the same period.
I am at the LaGuardia airport now in NYC waiting for my return flight home.
I'm glad I came for the protest yesterday. When it comes to speaking out against the provocative, destabilizing, and expensive NATO imperial war project more opportunities are urgently needed to stand up against this US dominated military machine.