On Sunday July 20th, in response to the latest incursion by Israeli forces into the Gaza Strip, protests erupted world wide on every continent and in many countries out of outrage for the current West Bank Israeli incursion.
There was a spirited Sunday protest at the Federal Building on Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles of about 3000 people that was fervent and mildly disruptive to traffic. This was the second protest in two weeks with the first rally resulting in some clashes between Israeli and Palestinian activists ending in four arrests and one homeland security officer discharging a firearm into the air.
The crowd was overwhelmingly family centered with many children, parents, grandparents and extended relatives all marching together down Wilshire Boulevard to the Israeli Consulate. There were Jewish protesters carrying signs against the Israeli action and surprisingly no counter pro Israel protests.
People protested who had been directly affected by the invasion such as Abir El Zawidi who lost five family members.
Full story and picture galleries: Los Angeles Joins World Wide Protest Against Israeli Aggression by Robert Stuart Lowden
March 14, 2014: On Friday afternoons, the corner of Sunset and Echo Park is usually the site of the weekly Echo Park peace vigil (now in its 12th year). This week, however, special emphasis was placed on U.S. meddling in Venezuela and Ukraine. This author counted 25 people (though I left early). Flyers were handed out to the fairly heavy foot traffic. As has been the pattern lately at community demonstrations, a police car was present. (A demonstration against U.S.-backed instability in Venezuela has also been held in San Francisco
"Nobody should be fooled here, especially left forces," said John Parker of the International Action Center. "History shows you what the U.S. is about--they're not about democracy, they're about profits by any means."
Story and photos: Protest Against Latest U.S. Meddling by RP
On Monday evening, MoveOn called for vigils around the country against the threatened U.S. bombing of Syria. In Silver "Lake," the turnout was large--67 people were counted an hour into it (and by that time several had left). (Other local vigils listed here
.) People of all ages participated. Unlike the demonstrations against invading Iraq in '02-'03, public response was overwhelmingly positive. The honking was almost non-stop at the busy intersection of Glendale and Silver Lake Boulevards and could be heard from blocks away. Also, there was media coverage by NBC and NPR. All four corners of the intersection were occupied.
The crowd was passionate. One participant made a trip to the west side to fetch a banner for this event. Due to the large turnout, the one-hour vigil (originally scheduled from 6-7) was extended by an additional half hour.
Additional actions were planned for the following day, September 10, in and in front of the office of Congressman Adam Schiff in Hollywood.
Photos and report: Silver "Lake" Protests Invasion of Syria by R. Plesset
On the third Wednesday of each month, a vigil is held outside Congressman Adam Schiff's Pasadena office. Due to redistricting, Schiff, who currently represents areas including Pasadena, South Pasadena, Alhambra, San Gabriel, Temple City, Monterey Park, Burbank, and parts of Glendale, will soon "represent" La Canada Flintridge, Glendale, Burbank, Echo Park, Silver Lake, Hollywood, and West Hollywood. This vigil will continue up to and after the redistricting goes into effect in January 2013, organizers say.
In 2002, Schiff voted to give President Bush powers to invade Iraq--despite very large protests held outside his office beforehand.
Nine people turned out for the June 2012 vigil. Other issues addressed included universal healthcare, support for Representative Pete Stark's Save Our Climate Act, and job creation. Recently, Schiff has talked of an orderly U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan but has not followed through with any concrete actions. However, some of his current constituents are thankful for his recently introducing a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.
Full story and pictures: Schiff Happens by R. Plesset
A series of demonstrations drew attention to one of the biggest (and least-discussed) government welfare programs: the Military Industrial Complex. Although Boeing was the main target, demonstrations also occurred in front of Northrop Grumman and Raytheon. By late afternoon, there were about 50 participants. That number increased to approximately 75 by early evening. Most response from vehicular traffic seemed positive.
Emphasis was placed on the staggering amounts of public money spent on weapons (over 50% of government spending) while people here and abroad suffer from hunger, disease, and illiteracy. And despite the huge Military budget, various demonstrators observed that they do not feel any safer. Various participants also spoke out against the current U.S. military build-up in the Pacific--against America's greatest trading partner, China. There was considerable emphasis, too, on flying drones. "We are in secret wars in Yemen [and] Pakistan," read a widely-distributed leaflet. "There will soon be thousands of weaponized predator drones in the United States airspace."
Story and photos: Occupy the Military Industrial Complex (report back) by Rick Panna
June 16, 2011: Seven thirty in the morning at the Alhambra Court House in southern California saw a strong showing of anti-FBI repression activists protesting the recent charges filed against veteran community activist and Brown Beret founder Carlos Montes. This demonstration was one of many being held across the country for Mr. Montes in the wake of new expansive FBI rules and an apparent new surge of repression against American anti-war and internationalist activism. There have been raids on citizens in Minneapolis, Chicago, Michigan and North Carolina as well as Los Angeles.
Mister Montes's home was raided by Los Angeles county Sheriffs and the FBI on May 17th of this year. The charges revolve around a firearms charge, however all of Mr. Monte's political and historical documents, computers and cell phones were confiscated making the original charge appear as a mere pretext for political harassment.
Story and pictures: Carlos Montes Arraignment and Protest in Ahambra, California by Robert Stuart Lowden
| | Carlos Montes Arraignment and Protest in Alhambra, California (photo set 2) by Robert Stuart Lowden
Hollywood saw in the eighth anniversary of the official start of the Iraq war with a demonstration numbering in the mid-thousands against the the American invasion. The action was organized by the ANSWER Coalition of Los Angeles and joined by groups as diverse as 911 truth advocates, CODEPINK, Iraq and Afghanistan Vets Against the War, Ron Kovich, Military Families Speak Out, Gold Star Families for Peace, California Wellness Centers, Los Angeles Jews for Peace and a wide swath of Los Angeles Social Justice groups.
Report and photos: Los Angeles Stages Hollywood Antiwar Protest for Eighth Year,Photo Set 2, and Photo Set 3 by Robert Stuart Lowden | | More: 03-19 Antiwar March in Hollywood (1 of 3), (2 of 3), and (3 of 3) by scha-la | | Photos and videos from the March 19th Anti War Rally by Give Peace a Chance | | Related: Santa Barbara Says "No!" to War by Isla Vista Chess Clique | | March 19 Anti-War Protesters Target Obama by Mark Gabrish Conlan
Meanwhile: Despite the best efforts of the City of Claremont and the Claremont Consortium of Colleges to obstruct, befuddle, and otherwise thwart a popular demonstration against fascism, the Southern California community succeeded in doing precisely that at two parallel demonstrations in response to a heavily-armed presence of a band of racist paramilitaries and their state-funded protectors. Story and photos: Claremont Authorities Promote Fascism at Hate Rally by Rockero | | VIDEO : Rally Against Hate and Nazi Rally March 19, 2011 - Claremont, Ca by NouvelleMaude
LOS ANGELES, March 20, 2010 - Hollywood Boulevard was the scene of an anti war protest marking the seventh year of the war in Iraq. It was well attended with thousands of people in the street.
Groups such as Iraq Veterans Against the War, Anarcha LA, AnswerLA, Code Pink, KPFK, Goldstar Families, Military Families Speak Out, the Los Angeles Bus Riders Union and others were there making their case for the quick cessation of America's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Speeches given at the end of the march focused on the immorality, imperialistic motivations, illegality, the cost to each American taxpayer and the profiteering aspects of these adventures. Speakers such as Ron Kovic, Margaret Prescod and Ryan Endicott gave fiery and impassioned testimonials.
Reports from the Newswire: Los Angeles Stages Protests Marking Seven Years of American War by Robert Stuart Lowden | | STOP THE WAR, BRING OUR TROOPS HOME, NOW! by Alliance-Philippines (AJLPP)
This was the sixth consecutive year (a conservative count) that the Northeast LA Radical Neighbors have held vigils on December 25. The last several vigils have been a joint collaboration with the weekly Montrose Peace Vigil.
Locations of our December 25 vigil have changed over the years. Yesterday, we had it in Eagle Rock. Six of us turned out. While many passersby were non-committal, many others gave us peace signs (and we exchanged waves with a police car). A few even thanked us for being there.
Many of ours signs addressed the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, but support for same-sex marriage was also prominent.
Story and photos"Peace on Earth" vigil 2009 by R of the Northeast LA Radical Neighbors
The weekly peace vigil in Eagle Rock, which has only missed two weeks since it started in November 2002, has never been interrupted by weather. Yet, in past years, turnout on rainy days has ranged from one to three. Yesterday our presence peaked at six. Much of the time we vigiled in a bus shelter. One of us was recovering from the flu but came out anyway. Besides the ongoing wars, signs addressed the continued militarization of our society vis-a-vis war toys, repealing Proposition 8, and universal health care. Even though fewer people noticed us due to the weather, there was ample positive response.
Story and photos: Vigiling in the Rain by R of the Northeast LA Radical Neighbors
Obviously, vigils such as this are not stopping America's many wars, but they seem to be reminding people that horrible things are going on. (Personally, I grew up during the Vietnam War totally unaware of that abomination. Had there been community vigils such as this, my world view would have been different.)
We got a lot of positive response from adults and children. One city employee read all of our signs aloud over a p.a. system on their vehicle.
As we have done in the past, we brought food for the local homeless people. It was alarming to see how much the local homeless population had increased. . . .
Story/photos: Anti-War Demonstration on Thankstaking Day by R of the Northeast L.A. Radical Neighbors
On March 21, 2009, a peace march was held in Hollywood. The goal was to bring about the end of war on a global scale. It was a call for solidarity amongst all members of the left. I had seen the posters for months. By D-Day, I could almost hear the footsteps of the march that was going to stop the war in my head. There was no way I was going to miss this.
I spent the first twenty-four years of my life in my mother's basement in Philadelphia, spinning old records, decorating my room with upside-down American flags, and reading the Communist Manifesto. Most of my youth, I dreamed of attending a massive peace rally. At last I would be given my chance to run through the streets with blood on my face. I was ready to stop the war.
When I got to Hollywood and Vine, I found the rally all right.... Full Report & Photos
by Nick Anastasi
Six years after our troops went into Iraq, the occupation continues, and Americans and Iraqis are still dying in a war based on lies. We have been fighting to stop this war since before it started, and we will continue that fight until all our troops are home from Iraq. . . . Military Families Speak Out, Long Beach Area Peace Network, Iraq Vets Against the War, Veterans for Peace and Vietnam Veterans Against the War protest occupation in Seal Beach and Long Beach, California in symbolic funeral procession.
Photos and story: Mock Funeral Procession Remembers Military In Iraq by esewolfie
ANTI WAR PEACE ADVOCATES MARCH AT MLK DAY in LA
Marching at the largest Martin Luther King Jr Day-the 24th year commemoration last January 19, 2009 from Western to Leimert Park, hundreds of peace activist and anti-war advocates marched with thousands of people chanting: "MONEY FOR JOBS AND EDUCATION. NOT FOR WAR AND OCCUPATION!" The more than 200 protestors marched under the lead banner of the Topanga Peace Alliance and Veterans for Peace and led by the Cuahtemoc Azteca Dancers banging their drums. They marched together with more than 400 different delegations, floats and marching bands representing all shades and political color all over Southern California marched past the mains stage located at Crenshaw Blvd.
From the newswire: ANTI WAR PEACE ADVOCATES MARCH AT MLK DAY in LA by Echo Park Communtiy Coalition
| | Peace Activists At the MLK Jr. parade by Cliff Olin | New: Video by Cliff Olin
December 25, 2008: Despite the threat of heavy rain, five of us turned out for our annual Xmas Day vigil. We have been vigiling on Xmas, at various locations, since 2004. Last year's holiday vigil was covered here
This was the second year that the Northeast LA Radical Neighbors collaborated with the Montrose vigil. Some of us were a bit reticent to go out in the rain on a holiday, but activism isn't always about doing what one wants or feels like.
Story and photos: Xmas Day Vigil 2008 by R of the Northeast LA Radical Neighbors
October 31: While some of the weekly vigils went on hiatus tonight, the Glendale vigil (at Brand & Broadway) proceeded as usual--except participants were encouraged to come in costume. Also, candy was handed out for a time. When the candy ran out, pencils publicizing the Glendale vigil were distributed. Flyers were passed, too, announcing an upcoming showing of the film Afghanistan (see glendalepeacevigil.org
Full story: Halloween at the Glendale Peace Vigil
For the sixth consecutive Easter, a peace demonstration was held in Highland Park at York and Figueroa. In keeping with tradition, there were signs with messages including "resurrect peace," "resurrect justice," "resurrect the planet," and "who would Jesus bomb?" Also, a potluck meal was shared with the local homeless, and there was an egg hunt.
Story and photos: Easter Day Vigil in Highland Park
by R of the Northeast LA Radical Neighbors
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, CA: On the 25th anniversary of the ICBM program at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, activists gathered to march and rally in support of nuclear disarmament in outer space. Organizer Bruce Gagnon, who was himself in the Air Force until protests outside of his base changed his mind towards peace activism, said, "America is addicted to war and militarism."
Gagnon, who is the coordinator of Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, warned that the testing and other operations at Vandenberg are "moving the arms race into space." In 1983 the first nuclear-capable Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) was tested at Vandenberg and since then the base's mission has expanded to launching and monitoring orbiting satellites, and managing space surveillance operations, in addition to its work with missiles. The protests also began in 1983.
Full story: STAR WARS PROTEST: Vandenberg Air Force Base by df | | Vandenberg AFB Protest by Mike Wisniewski
ISLA VISTA / SANTA BARBARA, Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - About 350 anti-war activists met to rally at Pardall Tunnel, where they were addressed by speakers at an open microphone, including a man from Iraq and a former Marine-turned-organizer. Emotions ran high and alternated between intense anger against the war, sadness over the loss of life, and hope, joy, and optimism for the future. At times, feelings were tense, and the police helicopter circling overhead made an ominous presence. The demonstrators shortly proceeded to converge on UCSB's Corwin Pavilion with the goal of shutting down the 2008 ICB (Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies) Army-Industry Collaboration Conference.
Police attempted to barricade the event against the approaching students, but the crowd forced itself through police lines and dismantled blockades. Police appeared helpless to stop the flow of demonstrators, who proceeded to occupy the courtyard in front of the pavilion, where collaborators, some in business suits and others, more honestly, in military fatigues, had been in the midst of a lunch break. From the Newswire: 350 War Resistors Blockade and Disrupt UCSB Army/Industrial Conference - 3 Arrests | | Army Biotech Conference Disrupted by UCSB Antiwar Activists
Shouting : "CLINTON ,OBAMA YOU WILL SEE, THE IRAQI PEOPLE WILL BE FREE!" Hundreds of activists ralled outside the Kodak Theatre 6801 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles last January 31,2008. Also shouting and holding banners that said: "End the war and occupation now! All U.S. and foreign troops out of Iraq immediately! Money for jobs, housing, education, health care - not for racist war! the rallyist braved the cold weather and stayed up to 7:30 in the evening even after the debates.
Report and photos: "Democrats lie, GIs die! Democrats lie, Iraqis die!"
by RP | Protesting Democrats (more pictures)
Also: Hundreds Attend Anti-War Protest & Picket in Hollywood , January 31
"Word began to spread as we researched the school and discovered what we had here was indeed a school of assassins, a school for dictators. These soldiers came here to learn counter insurgency. Who were the insurgency? They were the poor, the religious leaders, labor leaders, and many others. And then when the torture manuals were discovered in the curriculum, that got a lot of front-page coverage. Word began to spread, and our numbers in the movement grew."
-- Father Roy Bourgeois, founder, School of the Americas Watch
The story of the School of the Americas, or School of the Assassins is a disturbing tale of such organized and planned terrorism; one would never believe it was real. Every year in Fort Benning, Georgia the people protest. This year we brought it to LA. Read Reports: by LadyMadonna | by Ross Plesset and Anna Kunkin | more pics by Anna & Ross
Momentum is building for a demonstration against the war on Iraq at this year Rose Parade in Pasadena. Small locally organized protests have been held in past years
at the parade, but this year organizers going by the name, The White Rose Coalition, are attempting to mobilize thousands. Details from the calendar:
December 25, 2007: The Northeast LA Radical Neighbors (NelaRad) and the Montrose vigil collaborated on a holiday vigil. Whether one recognizes Christmas, Chriskwanzica, DeadTreesmas, or whatever, we wanted to remind people that not everyone in the world can celebrate at this time of year.
Story and photos:
Xmas Day Peace Vigil in Northeast L.A.
by The Northeast LA Radical Neighbors
The weekly Eagle Rock peace vigil has passed the five-year mark. It began in November of 2002 to protest the looming invasion of Iraq. The weekly turnout back then was 60 to 80--it is currently at two-to-four regulars (all "veterans"). We have never missed a Saturday regardless of weather or holidays--except once in December of '02 to observe Xmas.
The passion and momentum from this vigil resulted in much other activism in Northeast L.A., including a second weekly vigil on Sundays in nearby Highland Park (still ongoing); weekly film screenings at Flor y Canto, which occurred for two-and-a-half years (a comprehensive list of our screenings follows this article); donations to local homeless; leafleting at a local high school (now in its fifth year); and environmental endeavors including participation in Arroyo Fest 2003 and a campaign to daylight a stream that today is covered by Sycamore Grove Park.
Story and photos: The Eagle Rock Vigil Enters It's Sixth Year by R of the Northeast LA Radical Neighbors
Thousands Demonstrate at Downtown Anti-war Protest
LOS ANGELES, September 25, 2006 -- A coalition of faith based groups succeeded in closing the army recruitment center in Hollywood today. Early Monday morning a group of about 50 marched down Hollywood Blvd. to the recruitment center and proceeded to block the entrance. They were prepared to risk arrest but it did not come to that. Police monitored the group but did not interfere. It is believed that the center knew in advance of the action and closed because of the demonstration.
About 25 people set up an all day vigil at the front doors to make sure the recruitment center did not try to reopen. One of the people who took part, Ann Bishop, said of the action "We may have saved a few lives. Somebody didn't sign up, and maybe having a day to think it over they won't sign up, and they won't go some where and be killed or kill any body". From the Newswire Peace Group Shuts down Army Recruitment Center in Hollywood | | MP3 Audio: Declaration of Peace