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LA DEMONSTRATORS BLOCK CAR OF GEN. TOMMY FRANKS

by from France Thursday, Apr. 21, 2005 at 3:41 PM

LOS ANGELES SCHOOL IS SITE OF DRAMATIC CONFRONTATION General Franks, attempting to leave the school in an SUV with tinted windows, was totally blocked by protesters who climbed onto the hood and body of the car and blocked his departure with banners, signs and their own bodies. it remained immobilized in the middle of the street.

DEMONSTRATORS BLOCK CAR OF GEN. TOMMY FRANKS;

LOS ANGELES SCHOOL IS SITE OF DRAMATIC CONFRONTATION

by don white

LOS ANGELES [April 19, 2005] A small but militant

group of anti-war protesters confronted retired Iraqi

war general Tommy Franks this morning as he left a

student assembly at Logan Street Elementery School in

the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.

General Franks, attempting to leave the school in an

SUV with tinted windows, was totally blocked by

protesters who climbed onto the hood and body of the

car and blocked his departure with banners, signs and

their own bodies. "War criminal! Murderer of the Iraqi

People!" and other chants were directed at the car as

it remained immobilized in the middle of the street.

Parents and community people, outraged by the

appearance of the general, joined in the direct

confrontation which came as the vehicle was leaving

campus. A father whose son was killed in the Iraqi

war reported after the episode, "I looked Franks right

in the eye and told him he killed my boy." Veterans

of the Iraqi war also reported that they were able to

see into the lightly tinted windows and address Franks

with their comments.

Protesters were nudged by the driver but no injuries

and no arrests took place. Police made an exit route

for the general's car.

The protest, called and organized in a three-hour

time frame, came about when parents, teachers and

community members learned of the appearance of General

Franks at the school. The school's administration and

Los Angeles Unified School District officials kept the

appearance a secret from the community.

"We had no idea this was going to happen," a veteran

teacher told reporters. A parent commented, "I didn't

know a military man was speaking to our children

today; we should have been told," she told KNX Radio

News in an interview. Many parents, speaking in

Spanish, told protesters they did not like the idea of

the military being on campus promoting that option to

their young people.

Logan Street is a grade school in a working class,

heavily immigrant community just west of downtown Los

Angeles. The general was brought to the campus by a

non-profit pro-military foundation which arranges

celebrity appearances.

The school was in full lockdown as demonstrators

arrived at 11:00 a.m. No community people were

allowed on campus and signs indicating a press

conference were at main entrances.

About 25 loud and lively demonstrators carried signs

and banners with various messages:

---NO GENERALS TEACHING WAR; TEACH PEACE

---DON'T RECRUIT OUR FIFTH GRADERS FOR THE WAR

---ROTC AND GENERALS OFF CAMPUS

---LOGAN STREET HAS SOLD OUT ITS STUDENTS

and other protest signs. Several organizations in the

peace movement sent representatives and community

people joined the activity.

Los Angeles Unified District police threatened to

take one protester into custody if she did not provide

her name and personal information. After a lengthy

exchange she did so under protest. Logan Street

vice-principal had reported, "She twice requested to

come on campus and we are afraid she will disrupt."

The protester denied she did anything illegal or

provocative and a legal observer from the National

Lawyer's Guild said an inquiry would probably be made

at school district headquarters.

The situation grew tense when protesters angrily

confronted administrators at the school for providing

General Franks as a role model for fifth graders. The

event ended shortly after General Franks left the

campus.





CISPES

Committee In Solidarity With The People of El Salvador

8124 West 3rd Street L.A. Ca. 90048

323-852-0721

Founded: 1980 - 25 Years of Solidarity

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Love it!!! Damotclese Friday, Apr. 22, 2005 at 9:15 AM
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Bravo to Peaceniks! DLi Friday, Apr. 22, 2005 at 5:19 PM
Nothing Accomplished, Battle Plan Needed Kurt Brown, SainTramBone Wednesday, Apr. 27, 2005 at 11:43 PM
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