OB RAG– They assembled in a downtown park at First and Island Avenue today, Mar. 22nd at roughly 2pm. As they waited for the word to move out to the “die-in” site, most had their white T-shirts stenciled with the number “15703″ representing the number of both American and Iraqi deaths divided by the estimated number of people involved in the protest. Finally, the word came and they moved in small groups and pairs several blocks north to be right in front of NBC’s downtown office on Broadway and 3rd Street.
Once they reached Broadway, they laid down on the cement – just a half dozen at first. But by time all had reached the site, the total was 92.
They were very peaceful in their silent protest. Mostly young people, they came from colleges and high schools in the area – with the average age of the protester about 22. Another 10 supporters hung around the edges, taking photos, drawing chalk outlines of the “dead.”
They laid there for at least a half hour, as tourists walked by and watched, intrigued with the scene. Several San Diego Police officers stood across the street observing. Security personnel of the building were not happy, but the cops were nonchalant when they complained.
Organized by local groups 911 Truth and Scene Diego, this demonstration culminated a week of antiwar protests commemorating the 5th anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq by US forces.
From Friday, the 14th up to today, San Diego witnessed four different antiwar demonstrations within the City. It was either a sign of strength of the peace movement or a sign of weakness, but each protest event was held by different groups and people. Last Friday – Veterans for Peace did their thing, protesting the pro-war group which was kicking off an event aboard the Midway. Then Saturday, the 15th, there was of course the largest event – the march and rally in City Heights, sponsored by San Diego’s Coalition for Peace and Justice – which included the Vets naturally. Next was MoveOn’s candle-light vigil held in Balboa Park Wednesday night, the 19th, and then there was today’s protest, by far the most youthful.
The Vets were at the large rally but the main peace groups were not at the Vets’ thing. MoveOn had their 250 gray-hairs rally which the main peace coalition did not attend. And the youth held their offense this afternoon. Some of the youth at today’s event were at the large rally, but again, the main peace group folks did not show up for today’s die-in. (Apparently, Patty & I were the only ones who attended all four – well, we are journalist bloggers.)
Someday, perhaps the day when the number of American deaths reaches 4,000, we will all come together – again.