Even people in Orange County, California, one of the most conservative counties in the country, feel compelled to express their opposition to U.S. aggression in the Middle East. Every Friday evening for the past year people have gathered along a busy street in Costa Mesa amid the din of blaring horns, squealing tires and roaring, gas-guzzling SUV’s to protest U.S. war-mongering. They hold signs espousing a variety of views in opposition to the so-called war on terrorism and the impending invasion of Iraq. What began as a handful of protestors in October 2001 has grown to over 70, with more people showing up each week.
The demonstrators, informally known as the Coalition Against Unnecessary Wars, have no planning meetings, no leaders and no rules. Participants come from a number of different political backgrounds, including the Peace and Freedom Party, the Green Party and those who oppose Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Surprisingly, given Orange County’s conservative reputation and large Republican population, the response from the public has been largely positive. Passing motorists typically honk their horns and flash thumbs-up signals or peace signs, but occasionally respond to the demonstrators with obscene gestures or shouted epithets to “nuke Iraq.”
The group meets from 6—7 p.m. every Friday along Bristol St. (at Anton Blvd.) across from the South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. For details contact Chuck Anderson at 714-956-5037 or firstname.lastname@example.org