fremont, friday 30 march201
in america, military recruiting stations have been infiltrating public schools for a very long time. a parent cannot be assured that their high school and even middle school children will not be approached by recruiters, and all available information points to the truth that the most likely persons to enlist will be those with restricted choices based on economic status and lack of good education.
even in primary schools, students are being exposed to constant police presence, which seems to dull them to the existence of the developing police state. after decades of deteriorating quality in public education, more and more youth are likely to turn to military options because they come out of high school unprepared for gainful employment.
in these past ten years, since this american invasion and occupation of afghanistan, somewhere between twenty and forty thousand afghan civilians have been killed. spurred by a recent slew of murders in one night by what locals have claimed was a team of american soldiers, a peaceful gathering of people, including afghans for peace, iraq veterans against the war (ivaw), and occupy fremont gathered to protest the murder of these innocent civilians, and the war itself. the rally started off without a hitch on friday, until fremont police decided to change the tone of the gathering.
people had marched from the fremont bart station to the armed forces career recruiting station, which demonstrators shut down by rallying at the door. people spoke about the recent waves of violent and criminal attacks such as the drone attacks, night raids, “kill teams” murdering for sport and collecting body parts as trophies, urinating on dead afghan bodies while filming it, the burning of qurans and now this latest massacre of civilians in afghanistan at the hands of american soldiers. they all agreed about the uselessness of war, and about the need to shut down recruiting stations all over the country.
viet nam veteran francis grinnon of veterans for peace reminded us that this discussion about war crimes and the horrific reality of war has been happening since our involvement in viet nam, but that there has been no change regarding military murders, never ending war, and recruitment of our youth since then. once the people moved back out into the streets to march and engage with the public, protestors were mostly met with encouragement and patience from drivers and other pedestrians.
then along came the fremont police motorcycle contingent. for no apparent reason, these guys showed up and began drastic intimidation tactics, including use of extremely loud sirens and motorcycles as weapons. they came up from behind the peaceful crowd, sirens blaring.
when those in the back of the crowd were under threat of being literally run over by police motorcycles, a group of photographers and videographers joined the back line to witness and record actions by police. a small contingent lagged behind, which blocked the motorcycle cops and a couple of fpd cruisers from pushing into the crowd.
as these officers became more and more agitated by the makeshift blockade, which was preventing them from intimidating and scattering the crowd, the officers on bikes became more threatening. video shows, as witnesses will declare, that these officers were using their motorcycles as weapons against peaceful demonstrators. one person had his foot pinned under the front wheel of one of the motorcycles, and several were bumped by them.
the sound of up close sirens blaring causes obvious hearing problems: tinnitis; but use of these sirens can also cause other physical and emotional damage to people, including nervous system and brain injury, increased heart rates, which could lead to heart attack, and increased blood pressure, which leads to heart attack and stroke. add to this the subsequent appearance of officers on foot wielding batons and one carrying some sort of rifle, the fear factor, along with actual danger to peaceful protestors, is increased exponentially.
on a day in which there is plenty of crime to solve, it seems like yet another police agency, falling in line with the antics of opd, seems to believe that intimidation of peaceful protestors is of a higher priority than solving actual crime.
the peaceful crowd of anti-war demonstrators won the day on friday, refusing to rise to the bait. the people continued to march peacefully, retreating toward the bart station from whence we’d come, but keeping ownership of the street. there were no instances of violence by demonstrators, and no arrests.
video borrowed from indybay
Afghans and Vets Lead Anti-war Protest in Fremont
A video news report (8:10). In response to recent revelations publicized by mainstream media regarding the war in Afghanistan, protesters rallied in Fremont, CA, on March 30, 2012. Fremont is home to a substantial Afghan and Muslim American population. The rally closed an Armed Forces Recruitment Center. The protest was called by Afghans for Peace, autonomous Afghans, and S. F. Iraq Veterans Against the War.
Photos & video: Jonathan Nack Editing: Jonathan Nack
Narration: Jonathan Nack
Produced in Oakland, CA 2012
COPY COMMONS: Free use of this video, including publication of it, is permitted; except by for profit publications, or any use for profit, without the express consent of Jonathan Nack, is prohibited.
For more information:
Afghans for Peace: http://afghansforpeace.org/
Iraq Veterans Against the War: http://www.ivaw.org/
Anti-War Protest Shuts Down Military Recruitment Center in Fremont, CA http://politicalfailblog.com/anti-war-protest-shuts-down-military-recruitment-center-in-fremont-ca/
Other video of protest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kobbahcc8AI
check back for more video of this event