Counter-Protesters 101

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster." ~ Nietzsche

If we want our leaders to be ambassadors of peace then we must take the lead and be role models. Role Model Peaceful behavior prior to, during and after the action! On September 15th 2007 the Iraq Veterans Against the War led a 100,000 strong march of anti-war protesters from the White House to the Capitol building. They were supported by the Veterans for Peace. Along the way the marchers were harassed by a pro-war gathering. "Their own actions speak louder than words", watch this video and see if you don't agree: A classic CODEPINK video showing how we truly model peaceful behavior and encourage all to do the same!

And Words from Medea Benjamin:
Be nice. Take the high road. Give peace signs. Blow kisses. Don’t yell.

The Gathering of Eagles [GOE], Rolling Thunder and other groups can and will do many things to try and upset a peaceful action but they look like total fools with their bulging eyeballs and their mouths screaming obscenities at beautiful smiling [pink] women and men who are emitting love, peace and tolerance.

So who are these counter-protester people? Well, I suspect that many of them are white supremacists. In this video the guy actually says "like one guy at OUR Nazi's march" so This video is only 3 minutes and it is very weird listening to a KKK talk about how to handle the hippies at a march. The Nazi comment is at the 1:45 mark.

Prior to Oct 27, 2007 in Orlando*, we held three trainings regarding non-violent action and peace-keeping, one conference call, one meeting centrally located and one meeting at the University of Central Florida for the many students who were planning on attending our rally and march. We also sent emails to all 85 groups involved and hardly any one on our side of the barricades acted out or was aggressive. We also had Peace-Keepers walking throughout the march. These trainings proved to be very important and effective.

Are you expecting counter-protesters at your event? Let the media know that many of these Pro-War folks are very nasty and have specifically targeted CODEPINK and FRIENDS (Quakers) in recent months in many cities around the country. They have screamed and cursed at us, ripped up peace signs and photos of our loved ones who have died in Iraq, even spit on the Veterans for Peace. Let them and everyone know that you intend to show the world a different way to protest! Let the media know that you will not engage these people in argument or word-slinging, that you respect their right to be there and will only act in a peaceful and powerful way to lift up your voices and Stop the War NOW. It's imperative for you to encourage the media to be responsible and get this message out BEFORE your event!


Invite everyone to join your group including the Clowns (especially the clowns!), artists, anarchist, activists and green groups to creatively and nonviolently confront these Pro-War supporters. Invite Artists to bring chalk and fill the sidewalks with Peace talk and to be part of your banner making, costumes and any other creative visuals you plan on relating to the war.

And don't forget street theater groups! Below is a part of an article about the "Bride Power" clowns that performed at the Nazi rally in Tennessee. Take a look and see if your group has any inspirations for a similar type of public response to the "Gathering of Eagles" or whoever is planning on crashing your party. From http://asheville./

  • White Power! the Nazi's shouted, White Flour? the clowns yelled back running in circles throwing flour in the air and raising separate letters which spelt White Flour
  • White Power! the Nazi's angrily shouted once more, White flowers? the clowns cheers and threw white flowers in the air and danced about merrily.
  • White Power! the Nazi's tried once again in a doomed and somewhat funny attempt to clarify their message, ohhhhhh! the clowns yelled Tight Shower! and held a solar shower in the air and all tried to crowd under to get clean as per the Klan’s directions.
  • At this point several of the Nazi's and Klan members began clutching their hearts as if they were about to have a heart attack. Their beady eyes bulged, and the veins in their tiny narrow foreheads beat in rage. One last time they screamed White Power!
  • The clown women thought they finally understood what the Klan was trying to say. Ohhhhh... the women clowns said. Now we understand...
  • WIFE POWER! they lifted the letters up in the air, grabbed the nearest male clowns and lifted them in their arms and ran about merrily chanting WIFE POWER! WIFE POWER! WIFE POWER!

On Friday September 14th, the evening before a mass anti-war mobilization in Washington DC, the Rolling Thunder pro-war motorcycle veterans showed up at the CODEPINK house IN DC. What began as threatening posturing, turned into an engaging dialog between the two groups who are political polar opposites. See Video below ~ CODEPINK DC ROCKS!

"Rolling Thunder" Pro-War Vets Group Visits CODEPINK at Home!

*For the Oct27 rally here in Orlando, the GEO announced that they would be coming out strong. Since we have so many retired and x military here in Florida, we were expecting 1,000 to 2,000 of them. On the day of the event, the 25 to 35 GOEs hung out on their corner but by the time the march reached that location, it was pouring down rain and they all looked like a bunch of drowned rats. We ignored them, literally and smiled at the cops in full riot gear, waiving our peace signs and telling them "thank you" for keeping the peace. It was almost a let down for some but not for me. A beautiful march it was!

**It's doubley important!

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