Are FBI raids on activists focused on UNAC strategies?

The UNAC is claiming that recent FBI raids on the offices of various antiwar organizations are linked to those which attended its July conference, an attempt to coordinate national antiwar activities.

Even the title of the conference was never pinned down. Here are the 28 action points decided for the upcoming year, which reads like a clearinghouse of ideas.

Action Program Adopted by the National Conference to Bring the Troops Home Now!

Albany, New York, July 25, 2010

The Rainbow PUSH Coalition and the United Auto Workers (UAW) have invited peace organizations to endorse and participate in a campaign for Jobs, Justice, and Peace. We endorse this campaign and plan to be a part of it. On August 28, 2010, in Detroit, we will march on the anniversary of that day in 1963 when Walter Reuther, president of the UAW, Martin Luther King, Jr., and other civil rights leaders joined with hundreds of thousands of Americans for the March on Washington. In Detroit, prior to the March on Washington, 125,000 marchers participated in the Freedom Walk led by Dr. King. At the march, King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech for the first time before sharing it with the world in Washington. This year, a massive march has been called for October 2 in Washington. We will begin to build momentum again in Detroit on August 28th. We also endorse the August 28, 2010 Reclaim the Dream Rally and March called by Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network to begin at 11 a.m. at Dunbar High School, 1301 New Jersey Avenue Northwest, Washington D.C. .

Endorse, promote and mobilize for the Saturday, October 2nd “One Nation” march on Washington, DC initiated by 1199SEIU and the NAACP, now being promoted by a growing coalition, which includes the AFL-CIO and U.S. Labor Against the War, and civil rights, peace and other social justice forces in support of the demand for jobs, redirection of national resources from militarism and war to meeting human needs, fully funding vital social programs, and addressing the fiscal crisis of state and local governments. Organize and build an antiwar contingent to participate in the march. Launch a full-scale campaign to get endorsements for the October 2 march on Washington commencing with the final plenary session of this conference.

Endorse the call issued by a range of student groups for Thursday, October 7, as a national day of action to defend education from the horrendous budget cuts that are laying off teachers, closing schools, raising tuition and limiting access to education, especially for working and low income people. Demand “Money for Education, not U.S. Occupations” and otherwise link the cuts in spending for education to the astronomical costs of U.S. wars and occupations.

Devote October 7-16 to organizing local and regional protests to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan through demonstrations, marches, rallies, vigils, teach-ins, cultural events and other actions to demand an immediate end to the wars and occupations in both Iraq and Afghanistan and complete withdrawal of all military forces and private security contractors and other mercenaries. The nature and scheduling of these events will reflect the needs of local sponsors and should be designed to attract broad co-sponsorship and diverse participation of antiwar forces with other social justice organizations and progressive constituencies.

The U.S. military is the largest polluter in the world. Therefore, we endorse the “climate chaos” demonstration in Washington D.C. on October 11, coordinated by the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance.

Support and build Remember Fallujah Week November 15-19.

Join the new and existing broad-based campaigns to fund human needs and cut the military budget. Join with organizations representing the fight against cutbacks (especially labor and community groups) to build coalitions at the city/town, state and national level. Draft resolutions for city councils, town and village meetings and voter referendum ballot questions linking astronomical war spending to denial of essential public services at home. (Model resolutions and ballot questions will be circulated for consideration of local groups.) Obtain endorsements of elected officials, town and city councils, state parties and legislatures, and labor bodies. Work the legislative process to make military spending an issue. Oppose specific military funding programs and bills, and couple them with human needs funding issues. Use lobbying and other forms of protest, including civil disobedience campaigns, to focus attention on the issue.

Mid-March, 2011 nationally coordinated local teach-ins and protests to mark the eighth year of the Iraq War and to prepare for bi-coastal spring demonstrations the following month.

Bi-Coastal mass spring mobilizations in New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles on April 9, 2011. These will be accompanied by distinct and separate non-violent direct actions on the same day. A prime component of these mobilizations will be major efforts to include broad new forces from youth to veterans to trade unionists to civil and human rights groups to the Arab, Muslim and other oppressed communities, to environmental organizations, social justice and faith-based groups. Veterans and military families will be key to these mobilizations with special efforts to organize this community to be the lead contingent. Launch a full-scale campaign to get endorsements for these actions commencing with the final plenary session of this conference.

Select a week prior to or after the April actions for local lobbying of elected officials at a time when Congress is not in session. Lobbying to take multiple forms from meeting with local officials to protests at their offices and homes. We will attend the town hall meetings of our Congresspersons and confront them vigorously on their support for the wars and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and sanctions on Iran. We also will press them on the unconstitutional diminution of the civil liberties of all Americans and targeted populations.

Consistent with the call to include broad popular sectors of society in our efforts and to contend with the challenges of opposing U.S. wars and occupations while also rejecting attacks at home, National Peace Conference participants will join May Day actions on May 1, 2011, so as to unite all those standing against war and for rights. U.S. military and trade wars force millions of refugees and migrants to the U.S., where they face growing repression, including mass detentions and deportations. Many immigrants, including youth, are forced into the military, through the economic draft as well as under threat of deportation and using false promises of citizenship. By standing together as one on May Day, the antiwar and immigrant rights movements make clear their united stand against U.S. wars and for the rights of all at home and abroad.

National tours: Organize, over a series of months, nationally-coordinated tours of prominent speakers and local activists that link the demands for immediate withdrawal to the demands for funding social programs, as outlined above. Encourage alternatives to military/lethal intervention, relying on research and experience of local and international peace team efforts.

Pressure on Iran from the U.S., Israel and other quarters continues to rise and the threat of a catastrophic military attack on Iran, as well as the ratcheting up of punitive sanctions that primarily impact the people of that country, are of grave concern. In the event of an imminent U.S. government attack on Iran, or such an attack, or a U.S.-backed Israeli attack against Iran, or any other major international crisis triggered by U.S. military action, a continuations committee approved by the conference will mount rapid, broad and nationally coordinated protests by antiwar and social justice activists.

In the event of U.S.-backed military action by Israel against Palestinians, aid activists attempting to end the blockade of Gaza, or attacks on other countries such as Lebanon, Syria, or Iran, a continuations committee approved by the conference will condemn such attacks and support widespread protest actions.

In solidarity with the antiwar movements of Japan and Korea, each calling for U.S. Troops to Get Out Now, and given the great increase in U.S. military preparations against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, National Peace Conference participants will organize immediate protests following any attack by the U.S. on Korea. U.S. war preparations include stockpiling hundreds of bunker-busters and conducting major war games near the territorial waters of China and Korea. In keeping with our stand for the right of self-determination and our demand of Out Now, the National Peace Conference calls for Bringing All U.S. Troops Home Now!

Support actions to end the Israeli occupation and repression of Palestinians and the blockade of Gaza.

Support actions aimed at dismantling the Cold War nuclear, biological, radiological and chemical weapons and delivery systems. Support actions aimed at stopping the nuclear renaissance of this Administration, which has proposed to spend $80 billion over the next 10 years to build three new nuclear bomb making facilities and “well over” $100 billion over the same period to modernize nuclear weapons delivery systems. We must support actions aimed at dismantling nuclear, biological, radiological and chemical weapons and delivery systems. We must oppose the re-opening of the uranium mining industry, new nuclear power plants, and extraction of other fossil fuels that the military consumes.

Work in solidarity with GIs, veterans, and military families to support their campaigns and calls for action. Demand support for the troops when they return home and support efforts to counter military recruitment.

Take actions against war profiteers, including oil and energy companies, weapons manufacturers, and engineering firms, whose contractors are working to insure U.S. economic control of Iraq’s and Afghanistan’s resources.

Support actions, educational efforts and lobbying campaigns to promote a transition to a sustainable peace economy.

Develop and implement a multi-pronged national media campaign which includes the following: the honing of a message which will capture our message: “End the Wars and Occupations, Bring the Dollars Home;” a fundraising campaign which would enable the creation and national placement and broadcast of professionally developed print ads as public service radio and television spots which communicate this imperative to the public as a whole (which would involve coordinated outreach to some major funders); outreach to sympathetic media artists to enable the creation of these pieces; an intentional, aggressive, coordinated campaign to garner interviews on as many targeted national news venues as possible which would feature movement voices speaking our nationally coordinated message to the honed; a plan to place on message op-ed pieces in papers around the country on a nationally coordinated schedule.

We demand the immediate and total withdrawal of U.S. military forces, mercenaries and contractors from Afghanistan and Iraq, and an end to drone attacks on Pakistan, Afghanistan and other countries and call for self-determination for the people of all countries. In this demand is the necessity for full truth and transparency regarding all U.S./NATO actions and an expanded development of independent news sources for broad public knowledge of the state of the wars and occupations. We demand an end to censorship of news topics and full democratic access to freedom of information within the U.S. NATO Military Industrial Media Empire.

We call for the equal participation of women in all aspects of the antiwar movement. We propose nonviolent direct actions either in Congressional offices or other appropriate and strategic locations, possibly defense contractors, Federal Buildings, or military bases in the U.S. These actions would be local and coordinated nationally, i.e., the same day for everyone (times may vary). The actions would probably result in arrests for sitting in after offices close. Entering certain facilities could also result in arrests. Participants would be prepared for that possible outcome before joining the action. Nonviolence training would be offered locally, with lists of trainers being made available. The message/demand would be a vote, a congressional action to end the wars: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan. Close U.S. bases. Costs of war and financial issues related to social needs neglected because of war spending would need to be studied and statements regarding same be prepared before the actions. Press release would encourage coverage because of the actions being local and nationally coordinated.

We will convene one or more committees or conferences for the purpose of identifying and arranging boycotts, sit-ins, and other actions that directly interfere with the immoral aspects of the violence and wars that we protest.

We call for the immediate release from Israeli prisons of Mordechai Vanunu and for ending restrictions on his right to speak. We also call upon the Israeli government to let him travel freely and to leave Israel permanently if he so desires.

We oppose the prosecution for Bradley Manning for being the source of the Wikileaks leaks. Manning has done what all GIs should do when they see war crimes: expose them! Bradley Manning’s prosecution sends a message that if you expose illegal activity in the military, you will be prosecuted. We call for the unconditional release of Bradley Manning and an end to all war crimes.

We call for building and expanding the movement for peace by consciously and continually linking it with the urgent necessity to create jobs and fund social needs. We call for support from the antiwar movement to tie the wars and the funding for the wars to the urgent domestic issues through leaflets, signs, banners and active participation in the growing number of mass actions demanding jobs, health care, housing, education and immigrant rights such as:

July 25 – March in Albany in Support of Muslims Targeted by Preemptive Prosecution called by the Muslim Solidarity Committee and Project SALAM.

July 29 & 30 – Boycott Arizona Actions across the country as racist Arizona law SB 1070 goes into effect, including the mass march July 30 in NYC as the Arizona Diamondbacks play the Mets.

All the other mass actions listed above leading up to the bi-coastal actions on April 9, 2011.

The continuations committee elected at this conference shall reach out to other peace and social justice groups holding protests in the fall of 2010 and the spring of 2011, where such groups’ demands and tactics are not inconsistent with those adopted at the UNAC conference, on behalf of exploring ways to maximize unity within the peace and social justice movements this fall and next spring.

How to get on the terrorist watch list

Impersonate an astronaut? Criticize defense contractors? I have no idea. But at the airport, welcome to the tertiary security check delay, where they dust your hands for potential explosive residue.

“Dust” in an antiquated term relating to the dust detectives used to sprinkle at crime scenes to make fingerprints more visible. These days they “wipe” objects with chemically treated cloths to register the presence of particular substances. The pH strip meets the Swiffer.

I have lost all sense of a control passenger to measure what security measures subjugate the average citizen, as most of my friends do qualify as “persons of interest” to the increasingly hostile corporate atmosphere.

I dropped Protester X off at the bus stop on Lake Circle, between the two roundabouts and went to park the car. I’d left her to don her spacesuit and walk the quarter block to the corner where we’d hold a banner at the Broadmoor’s main entrance. As I doubled back along the sidewalk, I could hear the convention center security radios squawking one after another. “We’ve spotted one by the parking structure” they rang out in alarm. From the next I heard: “She’s at the El Pomar Exit, moving south.” A security official sped by me on a three-wheeled Segway.

By the time I reached my colleague, her new wheeled escort was poised impassively behind her. Here she was, peace flag in hand, looking every bit like a moon walker coming toward me on the sidewalk, with Broadmoor’s grumpy head of security having no sense he was spoiling the imagery. He rolled quietly behind and past us as we assumed our stance on the lawn, and I explained to my fellow astronaut the walkie-talkie hullabalu which had announced her landing. The now usual, annual steps for man, hoping for peace in space, a not inconsiderate leap of faith for mankind.

I’ve had no trouble at airports, perhaps because my actions are an open book. Someone with fewer records or an indeterminate daily schedule, might perhaps rate a question mark on security agency lists.

It’s become more than an inconvenience. Whether your political opinions score the watch list, the no-fly list, or the permissible to assassinate while overseas list, your freedom of expression is abridged.

Academy Boulevard sounds off

Demonstration against 911 profiteers
Unqualified success! Turnout was light -BUT- we sustained banners at all four corners of the intersection for the full duration of the event, so we received honks of encouraging from traffic flowing in every direction. Participants were able to come and go as their schedule allowed. We tied up five security vehicles, two private foot patrolmen, someone watching through binoculars, two photographers, and one D.o.D. auditor who came out to say “THANK YOU!” We demonstrated neither a security threat, nor a safety risk, but simply that fellow citizens who every day drive past this military-industrial-complex turned out to be squarely, and loudly, in the peace camp. We knew it, now the defense contractors know it. They heard it in the steady cacophony of car and truck horns!

911 profiteer protest -SW corner

People doing military service apologize to us because they’re stuck following orders. Can those who market death for a profit make the same excuse?

More pictures at
Looking East toward Raytheon, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and 21st Century Tech


DESE Research
Lockheed Martin Corp
SYColeman, Suite 120

Allied Signal Technical Corp, Suite 100
Aerospace Corporation, Suite 136
Alliant Techsystems, ATK Thiokol Propulsion
BAE Systems, Suite 111
L-3 Communications Corporation, Suite 240
Lockheed Martin Corp
Overlook Systems Technology, Suite 114
RS Information Systems
SDS International, Suite 119

MITRE Corporation, Suite 212

ANSER, Suite 223
Applied Research Associates, Suite 235
Boeing Company Integrated Defense Systems (IDS), Suite 134
CACI, Suite 202
Harris Corp, Suite 242
Lockheed Martin Corp
Scitor Corporation, Suite 208
System Technology Associates (STA), Suite 116

21st Century Technology
ANSER, Inc., Suite 100
Applied Research Associates
Boeing-Autometric, Suite 330
DigitalNet , Suite 335
Dynetics, Suite 412
General Dynamics C4 Systems, Suite 160
Northrop Grumman Corporation
Raytheon, Suite 140
Schafer Corporation, Suite 450
Sigmatech, Inc. , Suite 120
Spectrum Astro Inc., Suite160
SYColeman, Suite 440
Teledyne Bown Engineering, Suite 350

General Dynamics Electronics Systems & Advanced Information Systems

‘The Peace and Stability Industry’ goes to work ‘for’ Darfur

Yes, there is such a creature that calls itself ‘The Peace and Stability Industry‘. The ‘International Peace Operations Association’ considers themselves to be just that. And they’re for ‘Saving Darfur’.

The money for the Justice and Peace Darfur benefit tomorrow is going to a group called CARE. Here is an article that mentions in passing their general level of awareness of issues regarding US based military contractors and Darfur.
The Privatization Agenda: Hired Guns and Darfur

The U.S. under the Bush administration has served up more money for Darfur than any other country has to date. But when President Bush announces that he’s giving an impressive $10 million a month to AMIS, as he did in one of his innumerable Darfur press releases last year, where do all those greenbacks actually go? The answer may surprise readers who are unfamiliar with the modern cash cow of private security contracting. Much of it is channeled to Pacific Architects and Engineers (PAE)—an L.A.-based subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defense contractor. Another significant portion goes to the L.A.-based DynCorp International, a name you may recognize from the child sex trafficking scandal in Bosnia, or the alleged beatings of journalists in Haiti, or the toxic crop-spraying in Colombia. No individual DynCorp employee has been prosecuted in any of these cases. To the contrary, DynCorp went on to win more lucrative contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan … and, yes, Darfur.

Whereas the lack of accountability for hired guns in America’s current wars has proved to be one of the major stories of the past few years (think Blackwater in Fallujah, or Titan at Abu Ghraib), there’s been hardly a peep about U.S. defense contractors on the ground in Darfur. When I asked a senior official from CARE—a major humanitarian group working throughout Sudan—about the phenomenon, she replied: “Our people are not aware of private contractors in Darfur. Some in Khartoum, but not Darfur.” This oversight is difficult to comprehend, given that the vast majority of AMIS projects in Darfur are managed by PAE and DynCorp employees, from the building of barracks to the provision of strategic transport…..
This is just an excerpt from the whole article Can Drag Queens and Hired Guns Save Darfur? at Truthdig. One might also mention that Lockheed is the largest military-industrial employer in Colorado Springs.

Space Symposium protest 2006 part 2

N-8 silo revisited
Day 1: Monday
On Monday we stood, nearly two dozen of us at the corner of Lake and Lake Circle, we sang our song to an Oscar Meyer melody, we held banners, we blew our whistles and we handed out our baloney sanwiches. And nearly got arrested.

The Broadmoor had cordoned off the majority of the sidewalk in front of their new Convention Center. Our protest was relegated to only the corner. True, it was a very visible corner, and we could offer flyers to nearly everyone walking to the Convention Center from the Broadmoor Hotel. But we thought we could accomplish a little more if we paraded our banners more visibly.

Dave Therault noted that all the Harris security personel were bunched up around us. Dave proposed a plan to excercise their legs a little. He suggested that he and I parade a banner along Lake Circle, walking in the marked bike lane adjacent to where the Broadmoor had blocked off our pedestrian sidewalk. Our banner would then be seen by the attendees inside the center, not just those milling about the entrance. Our banner read STAR WARS RESEARCH: A WELFARE SYSTEM FOR TECHNOLOGY.

Sure enough, as soon as we began we heard the security radios squalk. “Stop them” was the gist of the messages. A nearby guard told us to stop but we looked at him and asked why, while still moving forward. He responded with a smile. Each time we passed somebody with a radio, we could hear the supervisor ask why they were not containing us.

When we returned from our first pass, we added another person to our parade and another banner. It was a Henry Ford quote: TAKE THE PROFIT OUT OF WAR & WE’LL HAVE PEACE TOMORROW. This time more security officers joined us. When we returned we noted that they were now quite spread out.

On our third pass, the head of security came down himself. He approached us from the street, simply to tell us, in no uncertain terms and not calmly or with civility, to get back to where they were permitting us to stand. We answered that we didn’t work for him, actually and would proceed how we pleased. He repeated his command and threatened to call the cops and have us taken away. Certainly everything accelerated from there.

Suddenly we were surrounded by a half dozen policemen. They listened and interjected in calm terms that we were on Broadmoor property and had to do what the man said. We argued public thoroughfare, pedestrian right-of-way, to no avail. Dave diffused the confrontation, I assumed my role as hothead.

I wonder, I know why we are so vociferous in our condemnation of the military complex. What is it that drives their enthousiasm to stop us? We’re holding banners. They are killing babies, ruining lives and subjugating unsuspecting masses. We’re holding banners. Who should be the more indignant?

On the way out, walking into the Broadmoor neighborhood to retrieve one of our cars, I encountered a soldier walking the other way. He’d just parked his car perhaps and we crossed paths on this tree lined street. He wore a full dress uniform, lots of medals and a beret, and he carried himself with informal dignity. I was wearing a bright green t-shirt enblazoned with a large peace sign and my Camp Casey cap. I was carrying several rolled banners over my shoulder and walked like I was returning from the front line.

The soldier and I nodded to each other and smiled. I couldn’t help but feel we had communicated a solidarity. He has been doing his job, I have been doing mine, both on the periphery of those making the decisions. The war mongers aren’t the soldiers. The war mongers are the guys in suits, sporting golf tans. Our common adversaries. And boy are there a lot of them. Three more symposium days to go.

Day 2: Tuesday
In conjunction with the Space Symposium protest at the Broadmoor, CITIZENS FOR PEACE IN SPACE held a screening on Monday night in the WES room at Colorado College. We watched the new documentary CONVICTION, about the three Dominican sisters who served almost four years in Federal Prison for protesting at a Minuteman missile silo in 2002. It had screened the day before in Denver to an audience of 350. The director and producer were on hand to answer questions, as were sisters Ardeth, Carol and Jackie. On Tueday night CONVICTION was scheduled to screen again in Greeley, so CPIS decided to make a day trip out of the event and provide an entourage for the sisters.

On the way of course Bill scheduled protest actions at Lockeed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Buckley AFB and Minuteman silo N-8, the site of the sisters’ 2002 Plowshare action.

Noteworthy perhaps was the degree to which preparations were made in advance of our arrival. Even Aurora Community College, where we planned to park and disperse ourselves to three of the defense contractors in Aurora, was ready for us. Bill had mentioned receiving several telephone inquiries from the various police departments, they had been checking CSAction for details of our plans. When we arrived at each location, we found barriers had been installed at the entrance of every parking lot with a minimum of a half dozen security personel standing about. I cannot say they were there to greet us, because they were not. They stood off to the side, or backed up when we approached. They were keeping a healthy no-man zone between us. At Raytheon there were even people posted on the roof to watch us.

At Buckley Airforce Base we were read a letter of greeting from the security officer that sounded like our Miranda rights, although it was full of cautionary advisories should we consider trying to force our way past the security booth. Our only intentions had been to conduct a rally and listen to what several experts could tell us about the activities conducted at Buckley, particularly having to do with those huge golf balls. I wondered if the security detail which contained us had sufficient clearance to be hearing such information.

Here is perhaps why protesters have to expect NSA surveillance. Because we learn too damn much. If the military doesn’t trust its own officers with classified information, they certainly don’t trust us to keep it secret. And we’re willing to let anyone overhear us, maybe that could be a genuine national security risk. In this case, we spoke about NSA/Defense Department complicity in the presence of Buckley AFB part-time security guard contractors.

The highlight of the day was of course Minuteman silo N-8, where the sisters held a press conference to reporters from Denver and Greeley. It was an emotional event and hard to describe. Many of us had never stood so near to a weapon of mass destruction. In this case, mass-mass-destruction, many-many times more powerful than the bombs unleashed upon Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This missile carries payloads for thirty separate destinations. In light of the fall of the Soviet Union, the Minuteman missile’s purpose is obsolete. Strategically it can now serve only an offensive purpose. Technically its existence violates the non-proliferation treaties to which our nation is signatory. N-8 presents a very, very grave danger to humankind’s survival. It is not a toy.

We drove Northeast from Greely to reach N-8. We probably could have found a nearer missile if we wanted. There are 49 missile sites in Colorado, out of 500 sites nation-wide.

While we conducted our action, wrapping the gate with CRIME SCENE tape, marking the site with a poster designating it as a WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION, and an EVICTION NOTICE, a black helicopter circled. Apparently within just minutes of our leaving, several matte black SUVs arrived and removed our decorations.

Tennis courts in the shadow of golf balls
Day 3: Wednesday
Was it because I hadn’t had any non-violence training? Is that why everyone jumped in to enforce a stand down from my assailant?

Our protest was just getting started, I was holding half of a banner in one hand and passing out fliers with the other when a very angry man zeroed right in. Maybe it was the bright green peace sign. He was jogging along Lake Circle and he had not even passed us. He shouted “I know people who died for you” and before I could answer, though I must not have looked sufficiently repentent, he repeated himself while leaping to clutch my collar and push against me to I don’t know where. I had time only to ask him if he knew that he was committing assault before the Police officers peeled him off and led him away for a discussion.

I regret not having requested that he be allowed to state his piece, minus the physical aggression, but instead we simply instructed the officers that there would be no need to press charges. I didn’t see it but eventually he must have jogged off. Our banner read BEWARE THE MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX, Dwight D. Eisenhower’s famous warning.

I am a non-violent person, even a pacifist, though perhaps I am not much of a verbal pacifist. I had no intention of matching this guy’s blows, but I had every intention to stand up to being pushed.

I would have liked to call him on his much mistaken, sentimentalist, flag-hugging, bullying world view. Jogging in the Broadmoor area, this red-shorted, military-coifed assailant had probably commanded some soldiers who had been killed. I do mourn their loss. But it sounds like he should have thrown his life into the ring instead of beating his breast about the sacrifice made by others. Who knows how voluntarily their lives were offered? It always amazes me to hear military commanders brag about the casualty rate faced by their units. When ships sink, we expect captains to go down with the ship. Why? Because we expect them to save the men for which they were responsible or die trying.

Am I being harsh? I didn’t try to knock him down. That’s what we’re protesting: people who are knocking others down, and calling it “defending our freedom.”

Day 4: Thursday.
The Broadmoor had the police explain that we would not be permitted to walk in the bicycle path as we had tried two days before. So this time we brought bikes. I got to the protest late, at nine am instead of eight, just as several of our participants had to be shuttled to the airport. So I was left to peddle my bike up and down Lake Circle alone. If ever I have felt like a big dweeb, this was it. And it got on the news.

There was too much wind to trail a banner. I had selected WILL YOUR CHILDREN SURVIVE YOUR WORK? Instead I waved a large peace pirate flag. The peace sign with crossbones beneath it. A peace sign Jolly Roger. Or symbol for poison. Either way it’s a message the war makers do not want to hear. If there was a symbol for what sunshine represents to vampires, maybe that would be appropriate too.

Our protest of the SPACE SYMPOSIUM had everything to do with the fact that space is being militarized out of sight of the American public. How can there be oversight in a democracy if the citizens aren’t told what is going on?

Each day we would see schoolbus-loads of kids parading through the symposium. The event is billed as something much more benign. But did we see any scientists? I doubt it. We only saw men with military haircuts, in uniform and out. I should say that I did see the odd Brit, and they often gave us a closely held thumbs up!

The flag I waved today was to demonstrate that the message of peace has been relegated to renegades. What a perfect example at the Broadmoor! The hotel had closed its sidewalks to keep our protest from being seen from the Convention Center windows. We had to use the bike paths in order to give our message visibility.

So I pedaled up the designated bike lane on one side and down the bike lane on the other. I had to navigate past hotel employees and delegates who were sometimes skirting the security cordons themselves. I had to steer around the security chief’s pickup as he alternated between following me around, or parking and calling out to me each time I would pass. He was counting my laps, starting at zero arbitrarily. At one point, having reached to ten, he held both hands out the window as if to signal to someone that he’d counted ten. I looked but couldn’t see who was supposed to be watching him. Every so often policemen would appear to loiter near to where I would pass, but they would only nod in greeting.

I stayed until past the lunch hour surge out of the center. A friend has informed me that the bicycle act was on the local KKTV news. “Broadmoor protester nearly arrested,” but I didn’t see their camera. Perhaps they were filming through a window in the center. I was busy catching the eye of the conventiongoers on the street. There were smiles and thumbs up, but mostly the attendees rushed past. There was also a “enjoy your freedom there buddy.” As if these very-well-paid guys in suits want to be paid credit for our freedom too. “Freedom can be hard work, actually” I told them.