Photo by OCW staff1-2-3-4 WE DON'T WANT YOUR IRAQI WAR! It seems you can't walk five steps without tripping over an anti-war protester around here. Besides the usual weekly actions in Brea, Laguna Beach, Long Beach, Riverside and across from South Coast Plaza, there's occasional demonstrating in Orange, Aliso Viejo, Huntington Beach and the grounds of just about any institution crammed with coeds looking for any excuse to blow off bio lab.
Pick-up points were organized throughout OC for carpools heading to the KPFK-FM (90.7) anti-war protest Jan. 11 in downtown Los Angeles that drew 5,000 to 15,000 participants, depending on who did the counting.
Jeez, is it just us or does it seem as if there's a whole lot more public dissent before the start of this upcoming Bush Family Persian Gulf War than there was before the last Bush Family Persian Gulf War in the 1990s? We e-mailed local anti-war activist and Green Party of Orange County member Gordon Johnson to see if he has noticed this, and sure enough, he has—and he has an explanation.
"Gulf War II and George II follow the usual pattern for sequels: more sloppily made and less popular than the original," he wrote. "Also, communication among like-minded people is a lot easier these days, with about half the people having e-mail."
Who knew computers were good for something other than downloading porn?
"The power of e-mail is supposedly what led to such a surprise for the authorities in Seattle in '99," Johnson explained. "They weren't so aware of how many people could be gathered so easily. In the old days, it had to be done with mailings and phone trees—much more costly."
E-mail is partly responsible for leading a bunch of Orange Countians to flock to what has promised to be a massive anti-war demonstration in San Francisco on Jan. 18 that coincides with a simultaneous march on Washington, D.C. Buses and caravans are scheduled to depart the Fullerton train station and peace-lovin' Soka University in Aliso Viejo on Jan. 17. Save us a seat and a laptop.
DON'T KNOW DICK Besides the hot spots outlined above, there have been recent peace marches on tourist-happy Disneyland and upper-crusty Fashion Island. Next up: on Jan. 18—for all you anti-warriors who aren't up for traveling to Frisco or D.C.—is the Richard Nixon Library, Birthplace and Carpet Bombitorium.
If Dick weren't burning in hell, he might join in.
Organizers are tying the Nixon Lie-brary protest to the birthday of America's leading symbol of peace, civil disobedience and racial harmony. It's ironic considering that Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in 1968 led to the civil unrest in black communities that helped rile an angry white electorate—aroused by Nixon's Southern strategy—into electing Orange County's favorite dishonored son.
Which got us wondering: What would King think of the Stubbly One? In a 1958 letter to a friend—reprinted in the slain civil rights leader's autobiography—King wrote, "When you are close to Nixon, he almost disarms you with his apparent sincerity. You never get the impression that he is the same man who campaigned in California a few years ago and who made a tear-jerking speech on television in the 1952 campaign to save himself from an obvious misdeed. And so I would conclude by saying that if Richard Nixon is not sincere, he is the most dangerous man in America."
IMMINENTLY QUOTABLE "The last four drivers in SUVs didn't think that they were supporting terrorists."
—a Fox 11 News reporter alongside a busy Los Angeles boulevard gets into the minds of motorists whizzing by to justify cross-town rival KCBS/Channel 2's rejection of a commercial linking gas-guzzling to terrorism.
"If cannabis was one of the main ingredients of the ancient anointing oil . . . and receiving this oil is what made Jesus the Christ and his followers Christians, then persecuting those who use cannabis could be considered anti-Christ."
—Chris Bennett, in a recentHigh Times magazine article titled "Was Jesus a Stoner?"