Iraq Veterans Against the War: Operation First Casualty - San Francisco's Union Square 11.28.08
November 2008 Archives
photo courtesy of Ian Paul
The following IndyBay post comes from Hal Muskat, http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/11/29/18553125.php
As crowds of shoppers and ice skaters passed, a squad of camouflaged Iraq vets "detained" "suspects" (i.e. willing participants who had been trained), at two tables at an outdoor cafe in Union Square, in downtown San Francisco. The squad pulled almost a dozen "suspects" from their chairs, put them on the ground, cuffed, then herded the "suspects" to their knees on the grass across the street from Macy's and within viewing distance of Sachs. The squad put black hoods over the heads of their captives while cursing and yelling at them, articulating much anger and contempt. Instead of weapons, the squad held their arms as if holding weapons and, with their fingers pointing straight ahead looked menacing and threatening. Many shoppers had confused and shocked looks on their faces.
After a while, the "suspects" were dragged across several intersections and manhandled to the sidewalk here and there. The destination was the fountain at MLK Park where the "suspects" would be water boarded.
SF cops were not hostile and a squad of motor bike cops flanked the IVAW squad while another, on foot covered their rear, lending a bit more authenticity to the street theater. After departing MLK Park, the IVAW squad cut through Bloomingdale's to the Market Street side before surrounding and suppressing a group of anti-war demonstrators at the Powell Street cable car turnaround as several hundred shoppers milled about.
Onlookers were aghast. Teens, just wanting to be downtown to score a pair of tight-ass jeans, stood wide-eyed and a bit nervous. One child cried as his mother scurried him away. Tourists stared dumbfounded as a supporter read "These are NOT actors, they are veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. What you are seeing here today is not theater in the nations we occupy. . ."
Being that this IS San Francisco, most shoppers were very supportive and seemed to enjoy the brief respite from such hectic shopping. Most respected the action for what it was, then continued shopping.
|Friday November 28|
|TIME:||10:30 AM - 1:30 PM|
|Event volunteers gather at NW corner of Union Square (at the SF heart - look for others in white Tshirts). at 10:30 for breakfast. Event starts promptly at 11 am and people must be in place at that time.|
|Event Type:||Party/Street Party|
|Contact Name||Stephen Funk|
|Email Address||bayarea [at] ivaw.org|
|On the busiest shopping day of the year, the day after Thanksgiving, Bay Area Iraq Veterans Against the War will occupy the shopping district of downtown San Francisco. |
Operation First Casualty (OFC) is about bringing TRUTH - the first casualty of war - to the people. To make the action a success we need volunteers to pretend to be Iraq citizens suffering under the occupation of U.S. Forces.
Thank you to everyone that met up at Dolores Park today for OFC training. After today we are confident that this OFC will be a major success, keep up that energy for Friday and everything will be fine.
For those who were unable to make today's training you can still take part of the action this Friday. Today's training ensured that enough people would have a good idea if what was going on, that the "untrained" would be able to follow along by watching what was happening to others. We will also have coordinators day-of to answer questions that pop up, and guide people to where they should be.
Please invite your friends, and if you were at the training today fill them in on what they missed.
DETAILED SCHEDULE (closely estimated times)
WHEN / WHERE
10:30am / NW corner of Union Square (at the Heart - look for people in white shirts)
...show up early for breakfast foods and arm band. Must be in uniform to participate; blank white Tshirt. Civilian squads will be placed at their particular locations.
11:00am / Geary side of Union Square
...Mob Freeze to bring attention to the action ~10minutes.
11:00am / Union Square
...Action starts! Groups posted to Cafe, Ice rink, Geary and Powell corner, and St. Francis. Extra squads will be spaced out throughout Union Square.
11:30am / Geary and Stockton -> Yerba Buena Gardens
...Torturees (6) to Yerba Buena Gardens, patrol pushes down Stockton (~15minutes) and meets up with waterboarding demonstrator at the MLK fountain.
...All others remain at Union Square guarded for a bit (should be a really good visual). After escaping, this group will head down Powell towards the Powell Turnaround at Market. Be at the Turnaround by 12:00 noon, flyer the demonstration, chill til we get there.
12:00pm / Yerba Buena Gardens > Metreon > Bloomingdales
...IVAW will regroup after the extraordinary rendition, torturees will head over to Powell Turnaround where we will join soon.
...IVAW runs through Metron
...IVAW police patrols Bloomingdales and Westfield, enters on Mission and exits at Powell Turnaround on Market
12:15pm / Powell Turnaround
...Checkpoint > Iraqis trickle through our checkpoint, get harassed for a few minutes
...Taking Fire > Sound machine will sound and we will "take fire"
...Eddie's hit! > We'll take him out of the way and return fire on everyone
...Die - in > Blood packets for those who want 'em, pile up and remember to be dramatic!
12:45pm / Walkover to UN Plaza (2 blocks)
...Civilians go on ahead at normal pace, assemble and start
protesting, carrying signs, and chanting "U.S.!", "Out of Iraq!".
1:00pm / UN Plaza
...IVAW squad will arrive later because we'll be marching at patrol speed. Once we arrive we work on riot control.
...Depending on the reaction from the crowd we can drag this out or end sooner, we'll get a feeling for it. But the result will be U.S. Forces being overthrown by PEOPLE POWER, we will retreat to the UN Plaza Fountain to deliver the press conference
~1:30pm LUNCH! Thanks to Food Not Bombs.
Time for Immigrant Reform is Now
by Eric Quezada & Gen Fujiokaâ€š Nov. 21â€š 2008
The Chicago Chapter of World Can't Wait hosts the WCW National Meeting November 22-23 at two venues:
Saturday, November 22
St. Paul's Community Center, 2215 W. North Avenue, Chicago, IL
(two blocks west of the Blue line Damen stop)
Sunday, November 23
Gill Park Field House, 815 W. Sheridan, Chicago, IL
(corner of Broadway & Sheridan, four blocks east of the Red line Sheridan Rd stop)
It is time for the people of this country to establish a new direction for the future of our planet, reversing the legacy of the corporatist Bush Regime schemers, immediately halting and systematically de-constructing their advancing agenda. Though we have made significant gains in extending the cracks and openings on the faÃ§ade of the Bush regime, our biggest challenge still remains, that of creating a mass movement of sufficient strength to halt and reverse the Bush programs. Obama has yet to offer much focus on just how he plans to address this.
How can you help?
A movement based on students and volunteer activists, WCW has been made possible solely through individual contributions and grassroots support.
To make this National Meeting successful and have a major impact in the coming months, your support is needed in the following ways:
Financial contributions, from $4 to $4,000; every penny adds up!
Housing for out-of-town-activists for the weekend of November 22 and 23
Frequent Flier miles to enable low-income student organizers to travel to Chicago
Food donations, from restaurants and individuals, for breakfast and lunch both days
While the politicians and pundits continue to talk ad nauseam about "change", the WCW community has not only been creating that CHANGE, together we are re-defining the entire conversation with moral clarity, conscience and relentless activism!
At this most critical juncture in history, NOW is the time to make an investment to stop and reverse the entire Bush program. Contact us a.s.a.p. about how you can help: 773-227-2453 or Concact Us
When: Monday, November 10, 3-5 PM
Where: In Berkeley, march begins at MLK Park (Allston Way between Milvia Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way) and ends up at the Marine Corps Recruiting Station, 64 Shattuck Square.
What: A rush hour march through the streets of Downtown Berkeley. We will perform street theater along the way, and we'll call on the people to honk, shout, and join us in support. With our procession through the streets, we'll remind people of the reality of this war, some of us wearing orange jumpsuits to represent the victims of U.S. torture, and others bearing witness and showing what this war means for the civilians of Afghanistan and Iraq, and for the U.S. soldiers who carry out the mission. We are showing the human reality of this war - a war that will continue (yes, even if Obama becomes president) until we stand up and stop it.
Who: World Can't Wait; students and military veterans; anti-war activists; ordinary people, creative artists, anti-torture, civil liberties and human rights advocates - this is a non-denominational protest, so if you care about what we are talking about here, come - and bring everyone you know
As always, for questions, comments, or suggestions, call (415) 864-5153 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Protest and Speak Out!
Wednesday, Nov. 5, meet up with World Can't Wait, 5pm at Powell & Market Streets in San Francisco. The World Can't Wait message is needed by the people more than ever!
Only YOU Can Stop the Crimes of Your Government!
The crimes of your government are so deeply shocking that huge numbers of people in the U.S. want to put the hated Bush years behind. We must stop these crimes.
YOUR GOVERNMENT, on the basis of outrageous lies, is waging a murderous and utterly illegitimate war in Iraq, with other countries in its sights.
YOUR GOVERNMENT is openly torturing people, and justifying it.
YOUR GOVERNMENT puts people in jail on the merest suspicion, refusing them lawyers, and either holding them indefinitely or deporting them in the dead of night.
YOUR GOVERNMENT is moving each day closer to a theocracy, where a narrow and hateful brand of Christian fundamentalism will rule.
YOUR GOVERNMENT suppresses the science that doesn't fit its religious, political and economic agenda, forcing present and future generations to pay a terrible price.
YOUR GOVERNMENT is moving to deny women here, and all over the world, the right to birth control and abortion.
YOUR GOVERNMENT enforces a culture of greed, bigotry, intolerance and ignorance.
But we can't vote them away.
Obama IS PRO-WAR! He voted, as recently as June 2008, and every time he could, to fund the war in Iraq; 50-80,000 troops there until at least 2013, and plans to increase the size of the U.S. military by 92,000 troops. He says "We need more troops, more helicopters, better intelligence-gathering and more nonmilitary assistance to accomplish the mission" in Afghanistan, where the U.S. military has regularly killed scores of civilians. Obama suggested that Bush launch missile strikes inside Pakistan, which Bush began secretly in July, killing scores of civilians. Obama threatens Iran with "all options" (including nukes).
IS FOR POLICE STATE SPYING! Voted for Bush's FISA spying bill which gave immunity to those who broke the law, and allows more government spying than Bush even asked for.
IS FOR RESTRICTING, NOT DEFENDING, WOMEN'S RIGHT TO ABORTION! He will expand Bush's faith-based programs. Obama seeks "common ground" with religious fanatics who want to criminalize abortion and birth control.
Only you - not your government - can bring any of this to a halt. If you want these crimes to end, don't put your hopes in empty promises of "change." The whole world hopes to see the people in the U.S. break out of the killing confines of official politics and take things in a radically different direction.
We need an increasingly visible, independent political force of RESISTANCE, PROTEST, and ACTS of CONSCIENCE that people can join with and persevere with until this whole direction is stopped.
There is such a movement, but it's not big enough. The World Can't Wait! For the past three years, we have been resisting the fascist program of our government, and no matter who wins, we are not going away after the election!
People of conscience must take responsibility for what their own governments do. Step UP as someone who won't allow these crimes. Stop thinking like an American, and start thinking like a human being!