- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 4, 2004

Aug. 26, four days before Republican National Convention was to descend on New York City, protesters and fringe groups were already proving their sense of logic and rationale had been … stripped naked.

Dozens of protesters were arrested by New York’s Finest for going in the nude with slogans branded on their skin such as “Stop Aids” or “Drop the Debt,” making one wonder if they realized that no matter how high our national debt, average Americans can always afford to clothe themselves.

Meanwhile, at New York’s Plaza Hotel, a beacon of elegance in our city, protesters unfurled a huge banner with arrows: “truth” pointed one way and “Bush” the other.

Anybody can assume these activists were pushing their own radical agenda and not supporting any candidate in a mainstream political party, as in the March 20 protests.

This assumption was wrong, however. When the socialist group Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) organized the March 20 protests a year after the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, America’s political parties were looked upon by the protesters as a two-headed monster in which both candidates favored the evil spoils of American capitalism and were only too eager to spill more American blood for Middle East oil, as both President Bush and Sen. John F. Kerry were accused of doing.

Last week, Mr. Kerry had changed his mind enough times that every protester at the anti-RNC march bore a John Kerry campaign pin. Why, as Ralph Nader asked Michael Moore on an HBO debate last month, would antiwar protesters pledge their support to a candidate who had voted for and endorsed American military intervention in Iraq?

“We just want this [expletives deleted] out of the White House,” I was told by a distributor of anti-Bush merchandise on the eve of the demonstrations. The left is so willing to defeat George W. Bush it will back any candidate against him. Any person who doubts this ought to visit the lovely Website www.johnkerryisadouchebagbutimvotingforhimanyway.com.

In fact, Hollywood billionaire George Soros pledged much of his personal fortune to ensure President Bush is not re-elected in November. So what if Mr. Kerry endorsed, as he continues to do, a war the demonstrators came out here to oppose? As long as his name is not George W. Bush, this candidate gets their vote, and the entire protest became a John Kerry campaign rally, albeit lacking the senator’s presence.

The three key themes of the anti-Vietnam War protests of the late 1960s had been peace, love and rebelling against the establishment. None of these themes were used at the protests against the Republican Convention.

Last Sunday, anarchists set their giant float aflame, causing many protesters to evacuate the perimeter of Madison Square Garden (me included). Earlier, activists surrounded and physically attacked the nonviolent conservative counterprotest group, www.protestwarrior .com.

Furthermore, the protests themselves were organized by a left-wing umbrella group called United For Peace and Justice that is so well-funded by activists and celebrities alike it is reported to have ties with Theresa Heinz Kerry. Rather than fight the establishment, today’s New Left is the establishment.

The protesters really wanted us to know they no longer cared much for nonviolent disobedience. The lone renegade group, the Protest Warriors, led by Kfir Alfia and Alan Lipton of Austin, Texas, found themselves needing plenty of police protection when protesters became rioters, ripping apart PW signs and shoving members in all directions. I was shoved and called an “a …” by a protester who hadn’t even asked my political opinions before laying his hands on me. Even the group’s expensive megaphone was reportedly smashed.

The actions of the angry anarchists and left-wing extremists only prove “peace and love protests” from the days of yore have become hate-fests, but you would never know it by watching TV, as local news anchors tell us these protests were relatively “peaceful.” If this is what protesters call “peace,” I can fully understand why New York policemen are asking the city for more pay.


Mr. Tannenbaum is a high school senior in Brooklyn, NY. He is the Editor-in-Chief of The Current, his student newspaper.

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