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!
You guys did a great job yesterday!
It might be good next time to have one person go in inconspicuously (dressing the part of course) to find out what is discussed further.
These people think that they own the moral high ground. Next time you go, start reading from the Black Book of Communism. They'll be howling.
Yep, mention God those folks and you'd be accused of creating a hostile atmosphere... :-)
Well done you three - just be careful out there.
I plan to head up to NYC Feburary 2nd for the following "IAC/I-ANSWER" event:
The International ANSWER Coalition - Act Now to Stop War and End Racism - calls for mobilizations on February 1 and 2 in New York City.
To endorse these events, contact the International ANSWER Coalition at ANSWER@afgj.org. For more information: ANSWER@afgj.org or call: New York 212-633-6646, Washington 202-543-2777, San Francisco 415-821-6545, Chicago 773-583-7728
· Declare war on unemployment, poverty and mass layoffs - not the people of the Afghanistan and the Middle East.
· Defend civil liberties.
· Money for jobs, education and health care - not war in Afghanistan and the Middle East and corporate tax cuts.
From January 31 to February 4, corporate bosses from the world's largest transnationals and political leaders will meet in New York City for their annual World Economic Forum. In past years they met in Davos, Switzerland, but massive demonstrations forced a change in venue. This year they'll be meeting at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in mid-town Manhattan. The World Economic Forum will celebrate war in Afghanistan and the Middle East, attacks on civil liberties, and corporate tax cuts. The International ANSWER Coalition calls for alternatives - jobs, health care, education, civil rights, and peace with justice - that reflect the needs of the vast majority of people. The corporate agenda wasn't welcome in Davos, and it's not welcome in New York City.
Teach-in at Community Church, 35th between Park and Madison, starting at 9:00am
Featuring workshops on:
· War in the Middle East
· Civil liberties
· Immigrant rights
· Corporate-centered globalization
· Domestic economic policies
· Alternative visions from the progressive community
Mass rally at the World Economic Forum starting at 11:00am Park Ave., between 49th and 50th Bring signs, puppets, street theater, noise-makers, and your creativity.
· NO to war in Afghanistan and the Middle East!
· NO to corporate-centered globalization!
· YES to jobs, education, health care, and civil rights!
Since September 11, hundreds of thousands of workers from the travel industry, hotels, restaurants, and others have lost their jobs. Unemployment and mass layoffs are sweeping through all sectors of the world economy. Politicians, working for the interests of corporate elites, are providing billions of dollars in bailouts for investors and transnational corporations, but not a penny for increased unemployment insurance. The Congressional "economic stimulus" plan offers huge corporate tax cuts, but only pennies for working people. The lowest paid workers, especially immigrants and service sector workers, are suffering the repercussions of 9-11, while the rich get richer.
Immigrants and those who are struggling against the corporate agenda are in for a double whammy, as Attorney General Ashcroft curtails basic civil liberties and constitutional rights. Today the attacks are against immigrants - incarceration without charges and racial profiling. Tomorrow the target will be US citizens as Ashcroft pushes to legalize surveillance of religious and political groups.
Internationally, the Bush administration wages war in Afghanistan and encourages expanded war in Palestinian territories. Now Bush is preparing the public for prolonged war in Iraq and perhaps other nations. The deaths of thousands of civilians in the Middle East, both from direct military action and the resulting refugee crisis, is nothing short of state-sponsored terrorism. This is not the way to find justice for 3,000 civilians who died on September 11. And this is not the way to build a more secure and stable world.
We must respond to increasing attacks on our well-being by corporate-dominated politicians that bring us war, layoffs and increased poverty. At the same time as the ANSWER events in New York City, the World Social Forum will gather tens of thousands of representatives from every corner of the world in Porto Alegre, Brazil, to discuss alternative visions.
The events in New York and Porto Alegre will mark a new plateau in the people's capacity to organize, to reject old classist models, and to build a better world.
39 W. 14 St. NY NY 10011
Do we have any FReepers in Porto Alegre, Brazil?
Love to be there, things are slow around here, but I am going to be in Miss. I will ask around and see if any of our NE Freepers want to see the big city.
And here I thought that those leftist kooks *are* the puppets! ;-D
And major kudos to our three brave FReepers!
Giambi even shaved his goatee...what a woooossie SELL-OUT!!
Yeah, NY deserves the PUNK...MUD
What does this mean? Davos can't handle "massive" demonstrations, but NYC can?
The World Economic Forum will celebrate war in Afghanistan and the Middle East, attacks on civil liberties, and corporate tax cuts.
Yeah, right. How can they say stuff like this with a straight face? Sheesh.
Count me in for 02/02/02. I'm sure if we start planning now, we can get a good turnout.
APPLAUSE TO THE THREE OF YOU