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Power to the People (Inside Report From Anti-War Protest)
Human Events Online ^ | March 19, 2007 | Jack Langer

Posted on 03/19/2007 12:41:34 PM PDT by poisonivy27

I could tell right away this wasn’t going to be your average Washington D.C. antiwar protest.

For months, the antiwar coalition International A.N.S.W.E.R. had been publicizing its plans to hold a major antiwar rally in the nation’s capital on Saturday, March 17. However, reaching the protest staging site next to the Lincoln Memorial at 11:00 -- an hour before the protestors were slated to begin marching to the Pentagon -- I found the field nearly empty. Across the street stood several thousand counter-demonstrators, mostly comprised of Vietnam War veterans associated with various biker clubs. Wearing leather jackets emblazoned with organization names like “Rolling Thunder,” “Legacy Vets,” and “Combat Veterans of America Motorcycle Club,” the vets had turned out to stand guard at the Vietnam Wall and other monuments after some sites were desecrated at an antiwar rally in January. The vets were a grizzled, tough-looking lot, and their presence seemed to surprise the handful of Chinese tourists snapping photos in the area.

Across the street, the war protestors were arriving late with their usual collection of Che Guevara banners, placards decrying American imperialism, and bizarre signs denouncing the 9/11 attacks as a government-orchestrated conspiracy. Some tables were set up offering books and pamphlets advocating socialism while a few enterprising capitalists worked the crowd, briskly selling T-shirts commemorating the march. As they arrived, the protestors were entertained by a DJ who, we were informed over the loudspeakers, was from Puerto Rico – “the first country invaded by the U.S.” He played the Edwin Starr protest classic “War (What is it good for?)” several dozen times, it seemed, then launched into James Brown’s “I’m Black and I’m Proud,” as the mostly white crowd sang along.

Eventually, around 15,000 protestors arrived -- appearing to me about the same number as attended the January antiwar rally..This must have been a severe disappointment to A.N.S.W.E.R., which had drawn upwards of 100,000 people to previous protests. The poor turnout at this year’s rallies can largely be attributed to a schism between A.N.S.W.E.R. and the other main antiwar coalition, United for Peace and Justice. The two groups used to sponsor these rallies together, but have recently ceased cooperating.

Their dispute stems from two factors. First, there was some squabbling over the amount of time given to each group’s speakers at past rallies -- a surprising bit of selfishness from people who drive cars with bumper stickers proclaiming that everything they need to know they learned in kindergarten. Second, there was a disagreement over the Israel-Palestine issue. Apparently, A.N.S.W.E.R.’s position is that the Jews should be driven into the sea, while UPJ, being slightly more moderate, seeks to convince the Jews through peaceful dialogue to throw themselves in.

Before setting off for the Pentagon, the war protestors were addressed by a few speakers. The veterans watched quietly from just across the street until Cindy Sheehan was introduced. Even before she denounced President Bush as “the greatest terrorist in the world,” the mention of Sheehan’s name elicited from the vets a rigorous round of booing the likes of which is rarely heard outside the confines of a Philadelphia Eagles home game.

Finally, the march began. It was a motley collection of organizations and interest groups. The parade was led by a collection of antiwar military veterans, followed by the radical feminists of Code Pink. Then came a group of “drummers” who were really just banging sticks on the bottom of some empty pails, succeeded by the mandatory contingent of masked anarchists. Further back were lots of hippie-throwbacks, a good number of college students, some refugee from an anarchist rodeo twirling a lasso around himself, and a variety of people waving Lebanese and Palestinian flags. There were a few American flags as well, although nearly all of these were defaced with peace signs, political slogans, or sardonic renditions of corporate symbols.

The counter-demonstrators lined the first few hundred yards of the parade route, sometimes on both sides. Waving American flags, the vets gave the marchers a generally good heckling; “Go impress your professors!” was my favorite epithet. Despite their fetish for the right to “dissent,” the war protestors are unaccustomed to opposition, aside perhaps from a lone College Republican or two that might show up with an American flag at a campus protest. But these counter-demonstrators were different. They were combat veterans who still bristle at the memory of being jeered by these kinds of radicals when they returned from Vietnam. The marchers seemed not only nervous, but even ashamed -- to prove their patriotism to the vets, they began chanting “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” This was probably the first time that chant has ever been heard at an antiwar rally.

I fell in with the anarchists, since that’s where the action usually is. There were around 100 of them, although the number of face piercings exceeded that by a factor of 10, even with most of their nose rings and tongue rings hidden by masks and bandanas. Their banners proclaimed slogans like “Destroy all government” and “No war but class war.” The vets yelled out to them “Come over here!” and “Show your faces!” Declining either invitation, the anarchists responded by chanting “Whose streets? Our streets!”

But the chant lacked conviction, seeing as the only thing protecting the anarchists from a smackdown by the vets was the line of police officers separating the two sides. I spotted a group of four anarchists carrying an upside down American flag and wondered how far they’d get with it. It turned out to be about 50 yards. Then, a vet managed to infiltrate the parade and snatched the flag from them, causing all four members of the revolutionary vanguard to run scurrying away.

After parading through this gauntlet of counter-protestors, the rest of the march was pretty subdued. I walked back toward a portable loudspeaker surrounded by Palestinian flags. A speaker was leading a chant of “Stop bombing Lebanon!”, which I found strange, since no one is bombing Lebanon. The chanting stopped when the microphone was passed to a Middle Eastern woman whose accent was so thick that no one could understand what they were supposed to be protesting. Finally, they agreed on singing another refrain of “War,” which seemed to be their automatic fallback position for almost any unexpected situation.

We arrived at the Pentagon parking lot, where a DJ was again playing “War.” I couldn’t take the song anymore, so I wandered off in search of the anarchists. I found them at the end of a bridge leading to the Pentagon itself. They were facing a line of police officers in full riot gear, replete with gas masks. “Whose streets? Our streets!” rang out again, but it was pretty clear whose streets these were, since the anarchists weren’t allowed to keep marching forward on them.

The police announced through a bullhorn that they’d use teargas if the protestors didn’t return to the parking lot. In response, a female-looking anarchist in dreadlocks yelled out to me and some other reporters nearby, asking if we’d help get the word out that the police, without cause, had gassed peaceful protestors. “No!” I instinctively yelled back, eliciting some shocked stares from the anarchists. Another anarchist approached us and asked if we’d stand between them and the police to prevent the cops from “attacking” them. He pointed to one elderly female reporter: “You ma’am, if you get in the middle, there’s no way the police will knock you over.” The request caught me off guard -- I was unaware that old women are used as human shields anywhere outside of the Middle East.

The group sat down in front of the police to decide what to do. Some people passed out food, at which point most of the anarchists removed their masks and bandanas to eat, then put them back on when they had finished. My respect for this bunch was rapidly declining.

They took a series of votes, decided to leave the bridge to the police, and backed off about 20 yards. Then, in one final act of “resistance” before vacating the bridge, one of them burned an American flag, to the cheers of all the rest. This incident went unreported in all of the mainstream media, despite the presence on the bridge of numerous journalists and photographers.

Walking home, I reflected on what the antiwar movement has degenerated into -- a squabbling collection of aging socialists, pro-Palestinian militants, and cowardly anarchists. The Vietnam vets -- who were there just to protect our monuments and show support for the troops -- had a surprising effect on the protestors. “Fight back! Fight back!” was one of the protestors’ slogans. But it was all talk. When confronted by people who actually fought and bled for their country, the protestors grew sheepish and embarrassed -- I would even say humiliated.

I couldn’t help but notice that the anarchists – the supposed hardcore fringe of the movement – waited until they were safely out of range of the veterans to burn a flag. Afraid of the vets, afraid of the cops, they don’t seem to be good for much other than occasionally smashing storefront windows when there’s no one else around.

“Whose streets? Our streets!”, they chanted. Not on Saturday they weren’t.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: antiwarprotests; gatheringofeagles; march17; politics; rally
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1 posted on 03/19/2007 12:41:39 PM PDT by poisonivy27
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To: poisonivy27

Ouch, that's gonna leave a mark.


2 posted on 03/19/2007 12:46:48 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: poisonivy27
"I spotted a group of four anarchists carrying an upside down American flag and wondered how far they’d get with it. It turned out to be about 50 yards. Then, a vet managed to infiltrate the parade and snatched the flag from them, causing all four members of the revolutionary vanguard to run scurrying away."

LOL!!! LibTards scurrying away!

3 posted on 03/19/2007 12:48:30 PM PDT by avacado
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To: poisonivy27

Thanks for posting that.


4 posted on 03/19/2007 12:49:34 PM PDT by brothers4thID (Hillary: "We are going to take from you.. to provide for the common good")
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To: poisonivy27
Apparently, A.N.S.W.E.R.’s position is that the Jews should be driven into the sea, while UPJ, being slightly more moderate, seeks to convince the Jews through peaceful dialogue to throw themselves in.

LOL

5 posted on 03/19/2007 12:49:40 PM PDT by txhurl
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To: poisonivy27

Old Hippie farts trying to relive the glory days of the late '60s.


6 posted on 03/19/2007 12:51:10 PM PDT by AU72
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To: poisonivy27
In the end, they're just slack-jawed faggots.
7 posted on 03/19/2007 12:51:16 PM PDT by Buffalo Bob
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To: poisonivy27
“Rolling Thunder,” “Legacy Vets,” and “Combat Veterans of America Motorcycle Club,”

Thank you for your services!

8 posted on 03/19/2007 12:51:36 PM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: poisonivy27
“Whose streets? Our streets!” rang out again, but it was pretty clear whose streets these were, since the anarchists weren’t allowed to keep marching forward on them.

Haha! Sweet.

Great article.

9 posted on 03/19/2007 12:51:59 PM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: poisonivy27

Nice report. Just think if those idiots had tried to burn the flag in front of thsoe vets, I thinkit wouldn't have been a pretty sight.

And if they had tried to break through the lines of vets protecdting the Vietnam Memorial it would have been really bad for the anit-war crowd.

What this sould show us all is if we take to the streets and acounter them, they will not win.

No Retreat No Surrender - Tom Delay, great book reaading it now.


10 posted on 03/19/2007 12:52:13 PM PDT by stockpirate (NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER - Tom Delay - Read and learn how to fight back!)
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To: poisonivy27

Woo hoo hoo!

Bump-
er-
ooooooo!


11 posted on 03/19/2007 12:52:53 PM PDT by roaddog727 (BullS##t does not get bridges built)
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To: poisonivy27

Great! That's one of my favorite AARs.


12 posted on 03/19/2007 12:53:02 PM PDT by WVNan
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To: poisonivy27
This reminds me of the two liberal groups here in Houston that can not even come together on Martin Luther King Day to honor their most respected icon.

Houston has to have 2 MLK parades on the same day. ...the judge said so.

13 posted on 03/19/2007 12:53:16 PM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: poisonivy27

Good freakin' report


14 posted on 03/19/2007 12:53:23 PM PDT by wastedyears ("These colours don't run, from cold bloody war." - Steve Harris, Bruce Dickinson)
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To: poisonivy27
Man O Man....you gotta like that!!!
15 posted on 03/19/2007 12:56:52 PM PDT by HardStarboard (The Democrats are more afraid of American Victory than Defeat!)
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To: poisonivy27

The best post I've read in a while, LOL several times.


16 posted on 03/19/2007 12:57:36 PM PDT by the_devils_advocate_666
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To: poisonivy27

One of the BEST article I've read in a very long time - I's still laughing! Thanks for posting.


17 posted on 03/19/2007 12:59:21 PM PDT by PajamaTruthMafia
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To: poisonivy27
Typical sight at anti-war rallies...



This upside-down flag can also be found at Democratic Underground forum as quite a few of the posters use it as an avatar.

DISGUSTING!!
18 posted on 03/19/2007 12:59:26 PM PDT by HOTTIEBOY (The more people I meet, the more I like my dog.)
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To: poisonivy27
I couldn’t help but notice that the anarchists – the supposed hardcore fringe of the movement – waited until they were safely out of range of the veterans to burn a flag. Afraid of the vets, afraid of the cops, they don’t seem to be good for much other than occasionally smashing storefront windows when there’s no one else around.

Oh brave anarchists....

19 posted on 03/19/2007 1:00:35 PM PDT by PogySailor (Media bias? What media bias)
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To: poisonivy27
The Commies and the Lefties ran away after one hour at the Vietnam Wall, and only a handful showed up at the Pentagon parking lot. Many were HS kids. The Leftie leaders ran away when they saw what they were facing, cowards and bullies that they are, so they simply ran away.
OUR SIDE WON. PASS THE WORD.

I saw so many of those Vietnam vets in their leathers and flags. They kicked some serious hippie a@@ out there on Saturday! I also saw a moonbat woman bait a bunch of these guys on the platform of the Metro, and they were absolute gentlemen. Big, tough, and so extraordinary in their mission. I am still humbled by the actions of these brave and wonderful warriors! Every American conservative should be so proud of these guys, they did us proud and then some...there are no words. They were all kids fighting a war again, they were soldiers.

MY GOSH, THEY WERE MAGNIFICENT!
20 posted on 03/19/2007 1:00:45 PM PDT by ishabibble (ALL-AMERICAN INFIDEL)
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To: poisonivy27
A speaker was leading a chant of “Stop bombing Lebanon!”, which I found strange, since no one is bombing Lebanon.

LOLOL!...They're brain dead.

Great article, thanks for posting.

21 posted on 03/19/2007 1:04:53 PM PDT by jazusamo (http://warchronicle.com/TheyAreNotKillers/DefendOurMarines.htm)
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To: poisonivy27
When confronted by people who actually fought and bled for their country, the protestors grew sheepish and embarrassed -- I would even say humiliated.

Not surprising. Most were just there for the drugs and chix.

22 posted on 03/19/2007 1:07:09 PM PDT by randog (What the...?!)
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To: poisonivy27

Terrific article! Thanks for posting it.


23 posted on 03/19/2007 1:07:48 PM PDT by American Quilter (Support our troops at the Fort Carson rally on Saturday, April 7th!)
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To: poisonivy27

This is refreshing.

That they were "scared" just seeing opposition is very encouraging.

Let's roll with this GOE deal. Way to go!


24 posted on 03/19/2007 1:09:03 PM PDT by alarm rider (Why should I not vote my conscience?)
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To: poisonivy27
“You ma’am, if you get in the middle, there’s no way the police will knock you over.” The request caught me off guard -- I was unaware that old women are used as human shields anywhere outside of the Middle East.

Mikey Moore must be very proud of his brand of patriots and freedom fighters.
25 posted on 03/19/2007 1:12:02 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Peace without victory is a temporary illusion.)
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To: poisonivy27

"Pray God that America in her hour of need will always have sons like these to fight and die for her."


26 posted on 03/19/2007 1:17:10 PM PDT by Cuchulain ("...never treat with the enemy; never surrender to his mercy, but fight to the finish.")
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To: poisonivy27

Great article, thanks for sharing


27 posted on 03/19/2007 1:17:37 PM PDT by Teflonic
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To: poisonivy27

Wow, great report with some humor thrown in. Thank you vets for standing up to that scum.


28 posted on 03/19/2007 1:19:19 PM PDT by Reagan is King (Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the people doing it)
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To: poisonivy27

LOL! Thanks. That's the best post I've read about the protests.


29 posted on 03/19/2007 1:19:24 PM PDT by techcor
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To: poisonivy27

Your report made my day. Thanks!


30 posted on 03/19/2007 1:31:54 PM PDT by lilylangtree (Veni, Vidi, Vici)
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To: HOTTIEBOY

Uhh...it was also displayed by a lot of freepers during the Clinton years. An upside-down flag means "We are in distress".


31 posted on 03/19/2007 1:33:37 PM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: poisonivy27

Hahahaha. Loved it. Bookmarked.


32 posted on 03/19/2007 1:34:55 PM PDT by processing please hold (Duncan Hunter '08) (ROP and Open Borders-a terrorist marriage and hell's coming with them)
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To: poisonivy27
Thank You Eagles

33 posted on 03/19/2007 1:37:11 PM PDT by mdittmar (May God watch over those who serve,and have served, to keep us free.)
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To: aflaak

L...M...A...O...


34 posted on 03/19/2007 1:38:03 PM PDT by r-q-tek86 (Snakes can't be taught to walk.)
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To: ishabibble

This is the other thing that got me laughing--the anarchists VOTED on what to do next! How hilarious!!


35 posted on 03/19/2007 1:40:24 PM PDT by swatbuznik (Hunter '08 --apostrophes optional)
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To: AppyPappy
Hmmm.

I always took it as sign of disrespect ~ like when the illegals did it.

Guarantee you most of the protesters turned it upsidedown because they hate it.
36 posted on 03/19/2007 1:41:38 PM PDT by HOTTIEBOY (The more people I meet, the more I like my dog.)
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To: Calpernia
Hi, Calpernia. It was an event I will never forget. I was taking a picture of a sign, a Viet Nam vet behind me told me the story about it. He said, a woman who had no family member in the military made it and drove for hours to bring it to the rally. I told him we didn't have anyone in the military either, then he asked me how far we came. I told him, and he gave me the tightest bear hug and thank me for coming all that way to support them. When he let go, I shook his hand and thanked him for his service. It was a very touching moment.

God bless them all.

37 posted on 03/19/2007 1:57:05 PM PDT by processing please hold (Duncan Hunter '08) (ROP and Open Borders-a terrorist marriage and hell's coming with them)
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To: poisonivy27; stand watie; Doctor Raoul

A good, humorous recount of Saturday.


38 posted on 03/19/2007 2:02:47 PM PDT by ELS (Vivat Benedictus XVI!)
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To: poisonivy27

Great report, and thanks for posting. The peace creeps don't like pushback, do they? Never did.


39 posted on 03/19/2007 2:04:10 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: poisonivy27
I would reckon that a great majority of leftist protesters are people with no lives outside of protesting. Their lives are so inadequate they need these demonstrations to meet with other people whose lives are next to worthless too. This makes them realize that there are other people as miserable as they are, and they achieve a certain measure of non-misery.

Since leftists dislike practically everything about modern civilization and not just war, there is always something to protest. And that means there will always be marches, meetings, and demonstrations where their feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness are somewhat mitigated by being among those who they can share those feelings with. Nothing more than that.

40 posted on 03/19/2007 2:14:48 PM PDT by driftless2
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To: processing please hold

Thank you for being there!

::big virtual hug!::


41 posted on 03/19/2007 2:17:19 PM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: Calpernia
I was proud to be there.

*virtual hug returned* ;-)

42 posted on 03/19/2007 2:23:21 PM PDT by processing please hold (Duncan Hunter '08) (ROP and Open Borders-a terrorist marriage and hell's coming with them)
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To: ELS
THANKS!

free dixie,sw

43 posted on 03/19/2007 2:29:27 PM PDT by stand watie ("Resistance to tyrants is OBEDIENCE to God." - T. Jefferson, 1804)
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To: processing please hold
There are absolutely great pics and videos all over conservative sites and youtube.


44 posted on 03/19/2007 2:31:57 PM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: Calpernia
It was a glorious day. I have been to so many sites. The pictures are so numerous. I hope our soldiers know how much they are appreciated and supported by the silent majority. The loud minority, America hating leftists can go to h3ll.
45 posted on 03/19/2007 2:40:47 PM PDT by processing please hold (Duncan Hunter '08) (ROP and Open Borders-a terrorist marriage and hell's coming with them)
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To: HOTTIEBOY

"Guarantee you most of the protesters turned it upsidedown because they hate it."

Not gonna take that bet. They probably had no idea what an upside-down U.S. flag really means.


46 posted on 03/19/2007 2:45:20 PM PDT by L98Fiero (A fool who'll waste his life, God rest his guts.)
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To: poisonivy27

Thanks for that report! It is great!


47 posted on 03/19/2007 4:00:44 PM PDT by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like what you say))
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To: poisonivy27

Langer nails it. A very accurate description of these events.


48 posted on 03/19/2007 4:06:27 PM PDT by Doctor Raoul (What's the difference between the CIA and the Free Clinic? The Free Clinic knows how to stop leaks.)
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To: swatbuznik

"This is the other thing that got me laughing--the anarchists VOTED on what to do next! How hilarious!!"

That was my favorite too...bunch of phoney college kids that party, get failing grades while mumzy and daddie pay their 30k tuition.


49 posted on 03/19/2007 4:10:50 PM PDT by rbmillerjr ("Message to radical jihadis...come to my hood, it's understood ------ it's open season" Stuck Mojo)
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To: processing please hold

Did you hear that one from the Philipines? "Hello Militants!"

I almost died! Their masks have really come off. There is no turning back.


50 posted on 03/19/2007 5:25:13 PM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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