A week of events meant to crank up a national demonstration against the war in Iraq is set to begin Saturday, with a 1,000-person "die-in" at the U.S. Capitol led by current and former American troops and accompanied by taps and a mock 21-gun salute.A counter-demonstration is planned by A Gathering of Eagles (I blogged twice recently on pro-war activities planned this month, here and here):
The die-in will be the culmination of a march and rally. Organizers hope the event will spur people in the antiwar movement to move from protesting to performing acts of civil disobedience that "get in the way of the war machine," said Brian Becker, national coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition, at a news conference yesterday at the National Press Club.
At a news conference Monday, Gathering of Eagles spokesman Kristinn Taylor said the group's purpose is "to not allow this generation of America's servicemen and women to be betrayed on the battlefield and at home, as happened during and after the Vietnam War."Be sure to check Michelle Malkin's powerful post denouncing the radicals and their "vandalism, desecration, and cowardice." Malkin reports that antiwar protesters are suspected of desecrating the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial:
But at the ANSWER news conference yesterday, Carlos Arredondo, whose son Alex was killed in Iraq in 2004, said, "My passport says 'We the people,' and we the people are responsible for stopping this madness." Arredondo held a folded U.S. flag in one hand and his open passport in the other.
Other speakers included antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan and Adam Kokesh, co-chairman of Iraq Veterans Against the War.
The antiwar movement "is far from where Bush would like you to think we are, that we are the fringe. They are the fringe. We are the mainstream," said Mahdi Bray, executive director of the Muslim American Society's Freedom Foundation, which encourages Muslim civic participation.
War opponents have carried out acts of civil disobedience since the war began, but Becker said the die-in will be different because it was conceived by and will be led by Iraq war veterans and their families.
Over the weekend, something happened here at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC. Something destructive. Something dishonorable. Along the foot of the wall, covering a stretch almost two-thirds of the entire monument, an oily substance was spilled on the panels and paving stones that were built to pay tribute to those who gave their lives on the battlefield.See also Spree at Wake Up America, who has been running regular posts with information on prowar counter-rallies.