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Sunday, April 30, 2006

As I stood in the sunshine at Union Square yesterday observing thousands march down Broadway toward City Hall, a man with a camera asked me why I was there. I responded, 'because the men in the White House are extremely dangerous.' The man with the camera said, 'that's exactly what Dan Ellsberg just said'. Funny that.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting On Broadway, 4.29.06

Of course, it was Ellsberg's leak of the Pentagon Papers in the 1971 that helped turn an already anxious and angry public fully against the war in Vietnam. It wasn't just the hippies and yippies who had been protesting Vietnam action en masse, Nixon's own 'silent majority' finally turned against him. While the tide didn't turn soon enough to prevent him from winning a second term in '72, the seeds were sown with Ellsberg's leak.

At yesterday's march, I got into a discussion with someone on the sidelines about the effect these types of actions have. He presented the oft-used argument that these types of marches, because they are typically portrayed as only being joined by 'freaks, hippies, communists and lesbians', make it more difficult to attract the mainstream into the anti-war, anti-Bush fold. Frankly, I'm tired of that argument. The marchers I saw yesterday were the mainstream. They were stroller-pushing mothers and fathers, fed-up grandmothers, churchgoers, grocey-store clerks, construction workers, artists, accountants and veterans. This is not a 'fringe element', this is 70% of the country, a clear majority. And it isn't silent.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting That ol' silent majority.

So when do we start camping out on the White House lawn?

By the way, in the wake of Ellsberg's leak of the Pentagon Papers, Nixon's 'plumbers' raided Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office in an attempt to discredit and smear him publicly. The raid later became an important piece of the Watergate scandal which ultimately took down the Nixon presidency. Funny that, no?

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting He so is a crook.


NYDN: An Army of Protestors
Lassiter: Massive, beautiful and powerful
American Stories: Marching here, fleeing there
UC Berkley: Vietnam War multimedia timeline

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