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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lockheedville 2010 Anti-war Protest

The Brandywine Peace Community held a protest on November 27, 2010 at the defense contractor, Lockheed Martin, property in King of Prussia, PA, outside of Philadelphia. About ten protesters attended.

This libertarian had some good conversations with the other protesters who were of varying left wing ideologies. They were quite open to the idea of working with libertarians and anti-war conservatives for peace.

Pictures of the protest below:


Monday, November 22, 2010

End the Fed Rally in Philadelphia, November 20, 2010 (video and pictures)

This was definitely the best End the Fed rally we've put on so far! Turn you back on the Fed (Federal Reserve System) was the theme. Thousands of fliers were distributed, many more saw the signs and heard the message of liberty. Oh, and we had fun too.

Let's start  with a picture and a thought for future rallies. The two people in the picture below had a great idea about the Fed and bubbles:

They said the bubbles they were blowing symbolized the bubble economy the Fed created with its inflation. A brilliant idea! Perhaps that could be the theme of a future rally.

Enjoy the video and pictures below:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

"They’re Democrats here!"

"They’re Democrats here!". That’s what a man said when he saw me standing on the anti war side of the street. This was last Saturday in West Chester, PA where there are pro war and anti war factions demonstrating opposite each other each weekend. What got him started was seeing me holding up my Gadsden flag and a sign that reads "End the Fed - End the Wars" *:
(This picture is actually from a previous Saturday not the one this article is about.)

We had a pleasant conversation during which he said that I was on the wrong side of the street. This seemed like a very strange thing for him to say since I was with the people advocating peace and that is my stance as my sign makes clear. He explained that I was standing with Democrats that have insulted the troops and hate America. When I said that I stand here representing only my own libertarian views this man went on to say that he too was a libertarian and also a Ron Paul supporter. Continuing he claimed that he stands with the other side not supporting the war but supporting the troops and the country. That is how most on his side of the street feel, he added, though he did admit that some were neocons (his word).

During the whole conversation I kept feeling that this man was terribly confused. One cannot support the troops without supporting their mission. One cannot stand for their mission, imperial wars, while standing for the republic of the Founders (as one does by supporting Ron Paul).  Not to mention, I have to assume, that he thinks the Republicans are the good guys and the Democrats evil. (For the record, I think both parties are corrupt and evil.)

At this point it is worth looking at a picture of the pro war crowd:
(This picture is also from a previous Saturday not the one this article is about.)

In the picture we see many signs advocating victory also thanks to and support for the troops and their mission. None about liberty or bringing the troops home. There is a predominance of American flags too.

This brings to mind the warning by President John Quincy Adams from way back in 1821. On the 4th of July that year he gave a speech concerning the issue of whether or not the United States should support the Greeks in their bid for independence from the Turks. The she he refers to is the United States:
Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been unfurled, there will her  heart, her benedictions, and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own...
The reason why the United States should not go abroad is made clear:
She well knows that, by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself, beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy and ambition, which assume the color and usurp the standard of freedom.
President Adams went on to explain why this is a problem:
The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force. The frontlets upon her brows would no longer beam with the ineffable splendor of freedom and independence; but in its stead would soon be substituted an imperial diadem, flashing in false and tarnished luster the murky radiance of dominion and power.
After speaking to that man on Saturday and reflecting on the pictures from the previous demonstrations two parts of President Adam’s speech really stand out. The first is, "…wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy and ambition, which assume the color and usurp the standard of freedom." This, sadly, is an apt description of the wars the United States is now fighting and how the government propagandizes about them.

The second is a part of the speech not shared above that very accurately describes the United States today, "She might become the dictatress of the world; she would no longer be the ruler of her own spirit." We will only find our spirit, the spirit of liberty, when we put fear aside, stop being an empire, and end the wars.

* The Fed is the Federal Reserve System, the American central bank.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

An Inclusive Antiwar Movement?

The International Action Center (IAC) is having a conference this Saturday, November 6, 2010. Named the "Regional ANTIWAR Conference and a National meeting to STOP FBI Repression", they’re hailing it as "…a discussion of a new kind of unified & inclusive antiwar movement that can challenge the wars abroad and at home". As is usually the case with left wing antiwar organizations this one too comes with their social agenda as part of the package. On their website they state that part of the discussion is to be about "…a massive movement to bring  the war $$, troops, and mercenaries home now, rebuilding our cities, providing jobs, schools and health care that we all have a right to". Bringing the troops and mercenaries home sounds great. It is the part about then using the money saved to finance the government’s spending on social programs the is a problem for the liberty minded. Given these realities the question has to be asked, is this really an inclusive antiwar movement?

No doubt that by now progressive readers are rolling their eyes wondering how this crazy libertarian can be against spending money on health care and education. This isn’t the time or place to engage in a debate about these subjects, we can do that later after we end the wars. Now is the time to agree to disagree on some things and unite to stop the wars and oppression.

Libertarians are reaching out to the left to stand together for peace. (See "Organizing a Left-Right Alliance Against the War Parties ") This author approached the organizers of the October 16, 2010 peace rally in Philadelphia (See "Raising Eyebrows at a Peace Rally") at their planning meeting a few days before the event. There I was politely, but firmly, told that they were completely unwilling to change their agenda for future rallies to accommodate other points of view.

When the left tacks on a social agenda to their antiwar coalitions that the liberty minded can not endorse they tell us we’re not welcome. We’re not asking any of the organizations and individuals that are part of IAC or similar groups to change their advocacy. Their speakers can advocate all the same things they have before. Same with the signs they carry. All we ask is that the antiwar coalitions themselves be politically neutral so we can all join them in good conscience.

Imagine the strength of a truly united and inclusive peace movement. We can do it. All it takes is a little tolerance and understanding.