Skip to comments.After-Action Report: IAC Meeting, Manhattan
Posted on 12/14/2001 7:39:08 AM PST by hellinahandcart
Last week we were notified of an IAC event right here in town, featuring Ramsey Clark and the usual suspects. This is a group I had never heard of before last year; but, after catching their post 9/11 act on C-Span (that rather large anti-war, bash-America and "Free Mumia" fest in DC), and countering their much-smaller Oct 7 rally in Union square, I definitely feel like I know them. And don't like them! So, some of us thought that crashing the meeting was definitely in order. I knew that Nitro and KLT had made already plans to meet in the neighborhood, and fortunately I was able to join them.
We met up at around 5:30 for a strategy session. After a few adult beverages, we managed to reach consensus--there would be no "plan". We would simply show up, pay our fee, and rely on what was said to motivate one of us to speak up.
We were winging it, in other words. There was no "first I'll say this, and then *you* jump up and say that" under discussion. We didn't rehearse. About the only advance preparation came from Nitro, who had purchased an American flag for the occasion in case he felt the need to unfurl it at the meeting. So we left the bar and , with no real plan of action, walked to the Community Church of New York on 35th St.
The meeting was in the basement, and I am sad to report that , by the time we got there, it was standing room only. I estimate there were about 300 people there. We were first asked "were we on their mailing list", which I hadn't anticipated; I took it to be a sort of "screening" question, and in retrospect perhaps we should have said yes, but I think they were already well aware that we didn't really belong there. Nitro was wearing a Navy cap, KLT was wearing a faux fur, and I has a cross around my neck that I forgot to tuck under my shirt. So much for infiltrating; we stood out like sore thumbs. We paid our donation and walked in, past a long table of pamphlets and flyers, and books by and about Mumia Abul-Jamal. KLT took a chair in the last row, Nitro and I ended up in the very back, in a doorway to the coatroom/hallway/exit.
It was quite crowded. I observed that most people there were (a) white and (b)either under 30 or over 60.
One of the older women at the book table knocked over a stack of fliers, I picked them up and handed them to her, and she thanked me. I had one more encounter with this woman before the evening was over. And it was over sooner than I ever would have guessed.
A man I believe I had seen speaking at the DC protest took the microphone up front. It was the usual stuff you hear at these things--the bombing is hurting people, the Bush administration's "war on terrorism" has institutionalized racial profiling and unjust imprisonment here in the U.S., yada yada. Wish I'd brought a tape recorder, so I could transcribe his exact words. But I do remember him saying that "we should take George Bush at his word" when he says he intends to pursue and uproot terrorists organizations wherever they exist in the world--oddly, he didn't seem to think that was a GOOD thing at all. He thought it was downright sinister. He said, "We must stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Somalia, Colombia, Vieques, and Korea--"
Nitro piped up with "You mean North Korea". Heads turned. Dirty looks in our direction.
The speaker continued with "George Bush could possibly invade all these countries".
Nitro said "Sounds good to me" and began clapping.
The next sequence of events took place over a period of about fifteen seconds. Nitro was politely asked to leave by a soft-spoken young man, while the other men standing at the back began moving in his direction. At that point Nitro took his new flag out of his jacket and began ripping the plastic off of it (note to anyone who does this in the future, take the plastic off beforehand, it'll save time). The sight of the Stars & Stripes had a remarkable effect on those present. No sooner did he have it unfurled than at least four people tried to tear it way from him, while several others were physically propelling him into the back hallway. That flag was pulled in so many directions I was sure they were trying to rip it--but it was nylon, and defeated their efforts. They finally got it out of his hands after shoving him into the coatrack, and as I was following, the whole gaggle shoved him in my direction and I ended up being briefly pinned against the other wall. They kept pushing him toward the stairs--I heard Nitro say "I had a HAT when I came in here, guys" and realized that his cap must have been knocked off, but I wasn't about to look for it then. I didn't want to take my eyes off the people who were shoving him up the stairs and out the door.
As I was on my way to the exit, the woman who had knocked over the flyers stopped me and handed me the flag, which she had folded up. I thought that was nice of her.
KLT had been left behind in the auditorium, and we had to wait until she came out to find out what happened while we were being "escorted" out. Apparently we stood out more than even I realized, because, according to KLT, the speaker at the microphone said "There's one more" and everyone pointed to her. I thought that was odd, as this guy certainly didn't see her come in, but the people working the desk had probably passed the word along that we looked like trouble.
So KLT said "You people should be ashamed of yourselves; have you been to Ground Zero?" She was told "Your friends are waiting for you outside--get out and don't come back." She said "I wouldn't come back here, you people are *crazy*", and left. Someone handed Nitro's cap to her on her way out.
And that, as they say, was that.
A good time was had by all!!
Yeah, too bad you didn't have a tape recorder -- no telling what kind of anti-Americn rhetoric Ramsey Clark might have regurgitated. What a bunch of mutants...
There's more in the same vein. You could go blind trying to find the word "God" in their reading material.
And no matter what situation they're discussing, they always manage to make it about Mumia Abu-Jamal and Vieques at the same time. If we were to invade Venus they'd find a way to relate it to the "oppression" of their brothers in Vieques. What IS it with these characters and Vieques?
As usual just the sight of the good ole' Stars and Stripes sent them into a violent frenzy! Still it took a least half-a-dozen of those limp-wristed commies to hustle me out!!</bragging off>
Oh, what a bunch of leftist puke!