Once content to thump drums and dig deep for chants that rhyme, the “peace” movement’s foothold on the public soapbox has slipped. The peaceniks — ANSWER, MoveOn.org, Code Pink and the rest — are in the midst of very public identity crisis. They are facing, for the first time, visible and vocal opposition to both their words and their methods. And it has made them angry….very angry….angry enough to (pause for dramatic effect) use violence as an option!
As organizations have come together to face them in the streets (and have successfully released the left’s stranglehold on activism and the media) the lefties have revealed their inner violent streak to which they have always proclaimed an immunity.
We have certainly seen incidents of violence within the misnamed “peace” movement since its inception decades ago. These lovers of dialogue and group hugs have bombed buildings (just ask Obama’s “acquaintance” William Ayers of the Weather Underground), stormed institutions and screamed vile and evil comments to Vietnam Veterans, since they first began their activism. In Ayers memoir, “Fugitive Days,” he goes so far as to write, “I don’t regret setting bombs. I didn’t do enough.” At least he is honest about it.
His disturbing perspective and the inherently un-peaceful legacy of the 1960s peace movement has been enthusiastically embraced by the newest generation, tutored by the aging hippies of yore.
A steady uptick in violence against the military has been unfolding in recent months. The recruiting station in Washington, DC at 14th & L, the site of a storming and trashing on February 15, received additional overtures of “peace” last week when rocks were thrown at the windows and the exterior of the building, DC Metro police and counter protestors there to support the recruiters, were covered in red paint lobbed at them. What happened to daisies? They don’t stain and they don’t hurt!
The Times Square recruiting station in New York was the site of a bombing on March 6. Recruiters in Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Texas and Tennessee have all been the recipients of this special kind of leftist love in the last 12 months, just to name a few. Counter protestors in Berkley have not received hugs and love, but instead have been shoved and hit with signs proclaiming “Give Peace a Chance.”
Even the peace and tranquility of a church on Easter Sunday is not immune to their inherent anger and their willingness to put shock value and confrontation above dialogue and communication. A group calling themselves “Catholic Schoolgirls Against the War” interrupted Chicago’s Cardinal George’s Easter homily and threw fake stage blood on themselves and fellow churchgoers while denouncing the war in Iraq.
In the narcissistic mind of the antiwar left, even the most holy and meaningful gift of resurrection does not trump the need for relevance and attention. Shouldn’t Catholic schoolgirls be railing against hemlines?
My own experience covering the left has provided a multitude of examples missing peace in the peace movement. I used to embrace the chance to bring my children to events to give them real world opportunities to hear diverse opinions first hand, unfiltered by the press or even their mother. It has added a great deal to our dinner table conversations over the years. It impressed upon them that views, however divergent from our own, come from real people with real passions.
Recent events and the escalation of violence on the left have, unfortunately, made me unwilling to provide them with this opportunity for the foreseeable future. My children have been on the receiving end of some of the most profane, hate-filled language known to man. They have been physically threatened, signs ripped from them and shredded, flags snatched from their hands. Simply put, the peaceniks are too violent to be around my children.
I can also tell you that the mail I get from the left is anything but peaceful. I am certain that the physical positions they suggest I emulate give me far too much credit for my flexibility. I am confident that not one of their suggestions is a sanctioned yoga pose.
This past week, the length to which the left will go has been further exposed and shows how personal and violent they become when they lose the spotlight. No longer content to lob bombs and projectiles at institutions of “the man,” these embracers of peace have developed a comfortable pattern of physically assaulting their ideological opponents.
This week, Ann DeWalt, 82, was found guilty of harassment for kicking a 33-year-old Iraq war veteran in the back during a January 19 vigil. In a calculated and desperate move, the left has is adept at using the young and the elderly to do their dirty work, secure in the knowledge that the media, the authorities and even the victims themselves will be more reluctant to pursue charges. I believe Saddam called them “human shields.”
More chillingly, last weekend a man attending a Chester County Peace Movement (CCPM) peace vigil in West Chester, Pennsylvania, assaulted a citizen journalist and blogger. At 12:10 PM, blogger “Skye” was videotaping an exchange between opposing groups. As the conversation gets both animated and heated, she shifts her filming position to capture all parties involved. The shot is abruptly cut when a fist flies at her face, she is slapped and the camera is jammed into her face. Not satisfied by the first blow, he strikes her a second time.
Nearby police intervened and the party involved was quickly pointed out by the victim and witnesses. The officer requested the suspect’s cooperation in the investigation. During his “refusal,” this lover of peace took his physical abuse past shoving a woman and shoved the officer. He was rewarded with handcuffs and removal.
Skye frequently attends events throughout the Northeast to document the multilayered story via video and stills and our paths have crossed several times. In my experience, I have known her to be respectful, professional and downright cheery. She works diligently to capture both the pro-troop and the anti-war sides of rallies.
Where are the feminists denouncing a man in their midst using his physical power to try cower a woman? Of course I am still waiting for feminists to address Bill’s approach to fringe benefits.
Where are the pithy chants touting love? Where are the hugs?
I can’t help but wonder when the lefties will give peace a chance.