It’s enough to bring on flashbacks to the early 1970s – Jane Fonda and Daniel Ellsberg joined in with others in Washington, D.C. to protest the attack that killed Iranian General Qassem Suleimani. The anti-war rally was held across from the White House in Lafayette Square.
If you are of a certain age, you know there is a lot of history with the two elderly anti-war protesters. In 1972, Fonda traveled to Hanoi to protest the Vietnam war. She was photographed atop an anti-aircraft gun, earning her the nickname of Hanoi Jane. Ellsberg became known in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret Pentagon study on the U.S. decision-making in relation to the Vietnam war.
Code Pink organized Saturday’s protest and the group is really fired up about the comeback of anti-war protests. Along with the ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), Code Pink boasted that protests were taking place across the country, including in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Memphis, Salt Lake City, and Tucson. The top Pinko, Medea Benjamin, hasn’t been this hopeful since the days of the anti-Iraq war protests during the George W. Bush administration. Has anyone heard from Cindy Sheehan lately? Maybe she can make a comeback, too. Getting well-known public figures like Fonda and Ellsberg to attend their rallies is a crowd-pleaser. Benjamin is excited that Code Pink may be relevant again, after years of only causing disruption during Congressional hearings. They have been “in the desert” for a while but now there is a Republican back in the White House, you know. Anti-war protests are back, baby.
According to organizers at Code Pink, a group that came to prominence protesting the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, protests against the Suleimani assassination, the decision to send about 3,000 more US troops to the Middle East and the failure to uphold the nuclear accords were scheduled on Saturday in more than 70 cities.
“If you take into account that in two days we’ve got 70 protests and thousands of people involved across the country, that’s more significant than anything else the anti-war movement has been able to do in the last decade,” Code Pink organiser Medea Benjamin told the Guardian.
Benjamin said she believed that as the US anti-war movement stirs, more well-known people will follow.
“We’ve been in the desert for the last 10 years and now we’re anxious to build up a robust anti-war organisation again,” she said.
After an uprising for PEACE in over 80 cities across the USA we must continue to build this movement for Global a Peace NOW!
— CODEPINK (@codepink) January 5, 2020
Jane Fonda shed a bit of honesty into her motivation for the renewal in her interest in civil disobedience. It’s all about the bad Orange Man. She re-located to Washington for several months to organize and participate in weekly protests against climate change so she was already in town for this protest. “It’s bad to the barricades.”
Fonda has been protesting weekly at the US Capitol about inaction over the climate crisis. The Iran rally is a return to her anti-war roots.
“I’m in my 80s, and I was literally thinking that I could perhaps learn new skills or do something I’d never done before,” Fonda told the Guardian last month. “And when Trump was elected I realised I can’t, you know, it’s back to the barricades.”
Fonda likes to conflate the anti-war protests with climate change protests. They “must be one movement”. The protest organizers, though, just focused on the demise of Suleimani.
“The targeted assassination and murder of a central leader of Iran is designed to initiate a new war,” the ANSWER Coalition wrote in a statement on its website, declaring Saturday a national day of action. “Unless the people of the United States rise up and stop it, this war will engulf the whole region and could quickly turn into a global conflict of unpredictable scope and potentially the gravest consequences.”
After the rally, many of the protesters marched to the Trump International Hotel. Apparently, it made sense to chant anti-war slogans outside a commercial building, or something.
Following the rally at the White House, most of the protesters marched the short distance down Pennsylvania Avenue NW to the Trump International Hotel, chanting “No justice, no peace. U.S. out of the Middle East!” and “Trump says more war, we say no more!”
Medea Benjamin advertised a webinar she will hold Sunday night on Facebook. She’s ready to indoctrinate the masses.
The US's looming war on #Iran is maddening, frightening & leaves many of us with questions about how we got here & what we can do.
— CODEPINK (@codepink) January 5, 2020