|Article Overview: Yesterday
30,000 people marched through New York City to protest the war.
As I walked through the crowds taking pictures, I wondered if they
were protesting War or supporting Terrorism. The question
is one worth pondering rather than discarding. See what
Sunday, March 21,
2004—Ground Zero Plus 921
Protesting The War On Terrorism--A Vigilant View
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Mar.
21, 2004 -- New York City is one of the world's capitals of
protestation. No matter what the issue, thousands will
line up with placards shouting their polarization to government's
"heavy hand," as the protestors see it, and chant and march and
sometimes revolt against the "authority" in hopes of effecting change.
march in Manhattan yesterday
gangs marching up Broadway to women's suffrage movements, to countless
of anti-war protests from as many eras as war has sprung, marching and
protesting violence or injustice has been the hallmark of a democracy.
Only when such protests turn violent do
they become criminal in nature, for then the public safety not the
Constitution is at risk.
Yesterday was an example of the
Victory of Vigilance over Terrorism, even though more than 30,000
protestors vermiculated their way down Madison Ave and up Sixth Avenue
with signs and shouts calling America the Great Terrorist of the 21st
In free nations, ruled by the Vigilance of
Democracy, citizens of such states can throw verbal rocks at their
government without oppression or tyranny. They can shout
and scream and rant and rave with impunity. No one is
going to arrest them and put them in the torture or rape chambers for
carrying a sign of the President of the United States with a label:
"Bush Is The Real Terrorist!"
No one is going to arrest parents of
young children who dress their children up in anti-government slogans
and force them to march along with protestors as though the innocent
children had already formed a hatred for their government and leaders.
I walked the
march with my wife and friend Steve Moore
I walked the march with my wife and
another photographer, Steve Moore, and captured a number of photos of
the protest march. I like to go early as it is being
organized, and capture the temperature at the beginning to see how far
it will go.
This protest was reasonable, mature.
Out of 30,000 marchers, only four arrests were made. I
have been in countless protests since 9-11, taking pictures and
reporting the events for the VigilanceVoice. In most of them the
protestors sought to be arrested, especially those who laid down on
Fifth Avenue in protest to the war more than a year ago, and those who
attacked the police in another protest near Washington Square Park
that brought out more than 200,000 activists.
Of course, I have a little more than
current war protestation under my belt. As a Vietnam Veteran, I
witnessed hundreds of protests against the war, including being spat
upon by some of them because I had been a warrior.
attitude I might have about protestors, I respect their rights.
Without such rights to stand up and shout one's beliefs, democracy and
freedom are in peril. I offered my life in
vain to give Vietnam that freedom, but the attempt will not go
unnoticed in history. One day, when Vietnam is democracy, those
of us who fought for that nation's right to be free will be honored.
That will be the redemption of the thousands who died feeling shame
and guilt and defeat.
The same is true in Iraq.
American protestors may rise up and attack the War on Terrorism with
such ferocity as to drive the politics of Vigilance underground and
allow the free reign of Terrorism to beat its chest in victory.
I saw the
protestors not shouting down war, but rather promoting Terrorism's
right to rule.
All the warriors in Iraq
are volunteers. None has been drafted. Each
warrior has chosen to fight for his or her nation, to die for it and
all the principles it stands for. One of those principles
has been to go to any land and fight for the people of that land to
enjoy freedom and liberty.
The Marines go
where needed to fight for freedom
Our international legacy goes way back. As a Marine, our theme
song: "From the Halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli..."
says it all in a way. We go where we need to fight for freedom.
are protesting not war, but Vigilance.
is driven out of the War on Iraq, who will stand up for the rights of
the people to be free?
Terrorism will have been victorious.
Vigilance will have lost one more battle.
hard for me to see the innocence of the protestors yesterday, but I
forced it upon myself. I listened to many scolding
America, and watched as they boiled the flesh of government in oil and
then tarred and feathered any righteousness in the name of greed and
being sold as better than democracy or capitalism
I saw all the communist tables with
bumper stickers and slogans, selling the idea of communism as though
it were some revelation better than democracy or capitalism.
And I saw the blindness of the young people--their right under a
democracy--to kick their government in the groin and treat it as an
ugly beast bent on chewing their viscera into pulp.
I offer these
pictures of the parade in hopes you might stop and think about what
was really being protested. Was it the War? Or was
it Vigilance? And, who really won in the end?
Did Terrorism or Democracy get stronger?
children what democracy means to them
children might answer the question better. If you don't
know what they think, ask them to define Terrorism: "What is
Terrorism to you?" Have them give you some
Then ask them what
Democracy is to them? Or Vigilance. Or
Freedom. See if you can get them to compare the two in
their own words and ways.
telling them or preaching to them, ask them what they think of people
who protest what the government is doing in Iraq.
Try not to charge the question with "Are you for or against war,"
because that answer is obvious.
See if your
children understand more than we might all expect.
See if Vigilance is
more an issue for them than protesting government. It just might
Some of what
what was being protested.....Or supported?
Mar 20--Birthday Of
The Children's Children's Children