Hollywood peace vigil

Hollywood peace vigil

At the peace vigil in Hollywood tonight, in the space of just a few minutes, I went from gang-tackling a crazy naked bleeding man to, just minutes later, dancing happily along with a South Asian drumming circle. Ying and yang, madness and ecstasy.

The vigil was on the corner of Hollywood and Highland, in the heart of the tourist area; an area with hordes of people on the streets and many cars passing by.

The speakers emphasized our need to get out of Iraq. No United Nations forces. Remember, the United Nations approved and enforced sanctions that, by their own estimate, caused the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children. Doesn’t take much to realize Iraqis don’t want the U.N. there either, especially since they would no doubt simply be a proxy for the United States, enforcing our rule, making Iraq a puppet state.

If we genuinely believe in democracy and self-determination as we say we do, we will get out of Iraq and give Iraqis back their own country.

A heckler tonight was screaming ‘no more Vietnams’, that we must save the lives of our troops. Precisely. The way to save their lives is to bring them home, not sacrifice them in pointless battles we aren’t likely to win. Let’s not forget, the Viet Cong kicked our ass. They won, we lost, and it cost us thousands of lives and them, by some estimates, several million. And to what end? The heckler, at first, meant no more Vietnams as we should kick their ass now. After some, uh, heated discussion, he came around to our view, and said he might come to an ANSWER meeting. Go figure!

Hardcore peacenik folk duo The Believers, performed their impassioned “Let’s Stop The War” and
New (R)evolution“.

It’s an illusion
A bunch of confusion
The only solution
A new (r)evolution, a new (r)evolution
Modern day robbin hoods in three piece suits
Stealing for the rich from the poor
They get elected then we’re subjected
To the things that they make us pay for
Talkin’ bout your bureaucratic power trips
Hypocrite bullshit
We see through the great facade
Gotta stop playin’ God
Oil war prostitution
Never making restitution
Steppin’ on the constitution
Let’s start a revolution

Hip hop artist Wil B., who is also a representative for KRS-One and The Temple of Hip Hop, did his wonderful “Dear Mr. Bush“.

Dear Mr. Bush,

I got few questions for you.
Why’d the September Saga turn ta Kill em  for some oil?
Why do you scream about Hussein when our beef was with Osama?
How did you manipulate a War from our post-dramatic trauma?

Can’t you hear the voices cry when they’re screamin’ “Hell No”?
Do you really think Iraq; is where our money needs to go?
See my babies need food and their minds need to grow?
My brother needs a job and my sister’s on the stroll?

Dear Mr. Bush, we don’t wanna go to War
We’ve been down this road, We all seen this before
It’s gonna wind up in a third world war
Or A second Vietnam – what’s the message in this song

(Note: both of their websites are brand new and will have more content soon. Check back often. Both have mp3’s for listening!)

All in all an amazing street corner demonstration. But you’re probably still wondering about that crazy naked bleeding man, right? What I can I say? He was obviously deranged, on serious drugs, and had slashed himself repeatedly. He charged the stage (a table) early on and almost grabbed the mike when a few of us dragged him off. Then later, just as the paramedics were arriving, he stripped naked and charged again, knocking people over. We dragged him down and then the cops and paramedics were there and took him away. He needs help. I hope he gets it.

Just minutes after, as mentioned, a South Asian drum troupe performed and I had a wonderful time dancing. Then the Aztec Dancers ended the evening with their usual powerful performance.

Many cultures, races, and nationalities were in the audience, and spoke and performed – an apt metaphor for the growing numbers of people who oppose this lunatic war.

My camblog has some photos