By Annie Basile <Castloc@aol.com>
March 23, 2003
Los Angeles: Thousands of people gathered yesterday, March
22nd on Hollywood and Vine to show their opposition to the war on Iraq.
We were put in a cage. Surrounded by police lines and boxed in, we had our
"freedom of speech". We were a diverse group with many emotions.
We were angry, sad, heartbroken, frustrated and determined. We were happy
to see the huge turnout. Then at the height of our enthusiasm we were told
that it was time to go home.
Our time limit was up, and if we stayed we would be arrested.
And the very brave stayed and did get arrested. I left, feeling that it
would not do anyone any good for me to go to jail. The feeling of frustration
was overwhelming. These are our streets. I wanted my voice heard,
not in a cage that was made for me by the L.A.P.D., but on the streets.
When I finally got home, tired and frustrated, I turned on the news to see
the "coverage" of the protest.
Instead I saw horrific pictures of children in hospital beds with bandaged
faces. These were children that were hurt by the bombing that George Bush
ordered. The report said that there were over 200 civilian casualties yesterday.
The reporters didn't spend much time on this piece. They didn't show any
emotion. You would think that they were reporting on the weather. And how
many more went unreported?
I cried. I started to release the emotions that were built
up inside of me for months. Where is Bush's permit? We get rounded up and
sent to jail for speaking, and he is allowed to kill little children?
Support the troops? The troops did this. Yes, of course they
were ordered to, but would you do it? I wouldn't. But we were ordered to
leave the protest yesterday, and almost all of us did.
I am ashamed of myself for leaving. How could we ask our troops
not to follow orders of authority when we ourselves buckle down to the pressure
of the L.A.P.D.? And then I got the following email. I cried some more.
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