rn: Reports on DC rally


Jan Slakov

Date: Tue, 8 Jun 1999 09:00:23 -0400 (EDT)
From: jan m <•••@••.•••>
Subject: [FAIR-L]  Media Ignore Major Anti-War March in Washington

From: FAIR <•••@••.•••>
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 1999 20:32:41 -0400

                    Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting
               Media analysis, critiques and news reports

ACTION ALERT: Media Ignore Major Anti-War March

June 7, 1999

On June 5, 1999, thousands of anti-war activists protested the bombing
of Yugoslavia by rallying in Washington, D.C. and marching from the
Vietnam Veterans' Memorial to the Pentagon. A June 7 Nexis search of the
major American news outlets (including newspapers such as the New York
Times and the Washington Post, along with CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS and PBS's
NewsHour) revealed that none of them so much as mentioned the protest.

The protesters represented a wide swath of the political spectrum, but
they all condemned NATO's aggression and called for an immediate end to
the bombing. Many raised concerns that NATO may be preparing for a
long-term occupation of the Balkans. Sounds like not everyone bought the
mainstream media's declarations of a NATO victory. (See FAIR's June 4th
media advisory, "They Call This Victory? Bombing 'Success' Must Be
Weighed Against Human Cost, Missed Chances for Peace," at
http://www.fair.org/press-releases/victory.html .)

You can hear a report from one media outlet that was present-- Pacifica
Radio's "Democracy Now!"-- at
http://www.webactive.com/webactive/pacifica/demnow.html .

ACTION: Please contact national media outlets and ask why they did not
cover the June 5 march on the Pentagon, and why they have sidelined
anti-war activists since the start of the bombing.

New York Times
229 W. 43rd St., New York, NY 10036
Phone: 212-556-1234
Fax: 212-556-3690

Washington Post
1150 15th St., NW, Washington, DC 20071
Phone: 202-334-6000
Fax: 202-334-7502

One CNN Center, Box 105366, Atlanta, GA 30348-5366
Phone: 404-827-1500
Fax: 404-681-6363

47 W. 66 St., New York, NY 10023
Phone: 212-456-7777
Fax: 212-456-4297

30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112
Phone: 212-664-4444
Fax: 212-664-5705

524 W. 57 St., New York, NY 10019
Phone: 212-975-4321
Fax: 212-975-1893

The NewsHour
3620 South 27th St., Arlington, VA 22206
Phone: 703-998-2150


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From: "Carolyn Ballard" <•••@••.•••>

> From: iacenter <•••@••.•••>
> Subject: 10,000 March on the Pentagon on June 5
> Date: Tuesday, June 08, 1999 11:59 PM
> International Action Center
> 39 West 14 St., #206  New York, NY  10011
> (212) 633-6646  fax: (212) 633-2889
> www.iacenter.org   email: •••@••.•••
For immediate release                           
Contact: Deirdre Sinnott/Sarah Sloan
> Attention: News editor                                        (212) 633-6646
> June 8, 1999
> 10,000 March on the Pentagon on June 5 to 
> Protest the U.S./NATO War Against Yugoslavia
> In the largest national demonstration to date 10,000 anti-war
> protestors marched on June 5th from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in
> D.C. to the Pentagon.  The Washington, D.C. demonstration coincided
> with similar protests in San Francisco, London, Prague, Aviano Air
> Base, Italy, Amsterdam, Mexico, Brussels, and Melbourne, Australia.  
> The call for the June 5th anti-war protest was issued by the New
> York-based International Action Center (IAC).  The chairperson of the
> IAC, former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, demanded that, "the
> bombing of Yugoslavia be ended immediately and that NATO should be
> abolished permanently.
> "We must abolish NATO.  It is a relentless killing machine made up of
> the former colonial powers who enslaved Africa, Asia, and Latin
> America," Clark stated.  He charged that Clinton and other U.S.
> officials are guilty of "crimes against peace for their role in the
> break-up of the Yugoslav Socialist Federation.
> The demonstrators included delegations of students, labor unionists,
> anti-war organizations, religious institutions, and members of the
> Serb-American community.  
> "We have assembled here at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to demand
> that the war against the people of Yugoslavia be ended, but also
> because we will constructing a Yugoslav Veterans Memorial unless the
> Pentagon war machine is stopped," said Sara Flounders, co-director of
> the International Action Center.  
> A number of Vietnam combat veterans also addressed the rally that was
> held adjacent to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  John Jones, a Vietnam
> combat veteran and long-time anti-war organizer, said young soldiers
> should resist orders to occupy Kosovo.  "We need a ground war right
> here against poverty, racism, and the Pentagon," Jones declared.
> John Kim of New York Vets for Peace and the National Association of
> Korean Americans asked: "Remember Panama?  Somalia?  Iraq?  The
> U.S.-led war against Yugoslavia reminds me of the war crimes committed
> against Korea half a century ago."
> Signs held aloft in the march carried slogans like "Pentagon: Racist,
> sexist, anti-gay," "Stop bombing Yugoslavia," and "150 schools, 18
> hospitals bombed by NATO."
> A giant drawing of President Bill Clinton charged, "Verdict: mass
> murder."  Another sign showed the cartoon character Snoopy kicking a
> giant skull emblazoned with the word "NATO."
> Many signs, T-shirts and buttons showed support for Black political
> prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal, who has taken a strong stand against the
> war.  Youths took up this popular chant: "Jail Clinton, jail Gore,
> free Mumia, end the war!"
> Banners identified protesters from across the U.S.: "Cleveland
> Coalition to Stop the Bombing"; "Mid-Hudson, N.Y., National People's
> Campaign"; "Arizona Coalition for Peace in the Balkans"; "Alabama Stop
> the War."  Buses and car caravans came from New York, Boston, Detroit,
> Minneapolis, Baltimore, Philadelphia and dozens of other cities.
> Kadouri Al-Kaysi, an Iraqi American and member of the Committee in
> Support of the Iraqi People, helped to captain one IAC bus from New
> York.  He told WW: "The bombing of Yugoslavia and Iraq is the same
> thing.  They want to install a puppet government in Belgrade.  Clinton
> says they are bombing to save Muslim people in Kosovo.  Well, what
> about the 1.5 million Muslim and Arab people in Iraq who have been
> killed by sanctions?" he asked.
> The Peace Agreement is Not About Peace:
> The demonstration at the Pentagon took place two days after the
> announcement that the Yugoslav government, led by Slobodan Milosevic,
> had consented to the occupation of Kosovo.  Even with the tentative
> agreement, NATO missiles and bombs continued to rain down on
> Yugoslavia during the protest.  
> "How should we asses the June 3rd agreement?" asked Brian Becker,
> co-director of the International Action Center and the chairperson of
> the rally at the Pentagon.  "This is not a settlement between two
> equal parties.  No, this was nineteen NATO countries with a total
> population of 600 million carrying out 33,000 bombing attacks on
> Yugoslavia for more than seventy days.  This so-called peace
> settlement is not about peace, but about the outright occupation by
> U.S./NATO troops of a sovereign country," Becker said.  "U.S.
> imperialism has no right to dictate to the Yugoslav people who their
> leaders will be.  We must reject this completely."
> Many of the speakers asserted that the U.S./NATO war against
> Yugoslavia was being used by the Pentagon and members of Congress to
> widely expand the Pentagon defense budget over the next few years.
> They pointed out that the Clinton administration had asked for a $112
> billion increase in defense spending over the next six years and that
> the Republicans had added an additional $37 billion on top of that.
> While military spending will increase there will be a dramatic
> slashing of spending for programs designed to meet people's needs.  An
> expected cut of 20%-30% in spending on domestic programs, including
> veterans benefits, education, housing, health care, and food stamps,
> will take place during the same period.  
> Other speakers at the June 5th march included the Rev Lucius Walker,
> IFCO/Pastors for Peace; Rev Kyul Chung, Korean Congress for
> Reunification; Gordon Clark, Peace Action; Pam Africa, International
> Concerned Friends and Family of Mumia Abu-Jamal; Rev John Dear,
> Fellowship of Reconciliation; Leslie Feinberg, author; Clayton Ramey,
> Muslim Peace Fellowship; Monica Moorehead, Workers World Party; Nadja
> Tesich; Barry Lituchy, Coalition Against Western Intervention in
> Yugoslavia; Ricardo Jordan, Committee of Rescue & Development of
> Vieques, Puerto Rico; Teresa Gutierrez, International Peace for Cuba
> Appeal; representatives of Saint Sava Church in New York City; and
> others.
> --30--

Date: Mon, 7 Jun 99 23:22:15 -0400
From: Fred/Debbie Anderson <•••@••.•••>
>Hi Debbie,
>In one of your recent messages you wrote:
>Yesterday I was in DC at the anti-war rally. 

>Can you tell us (and left bio) [a "left biocentrist" list] about the demo.
I know of someone in Nova Scotia who was planning on going to it. We have not
>heard anything about it in the media!


Dear Helga and Left Bios,
Glad to oblige!  Oddly enough, when I checked Sunday's Washington Post I 
couldn't find any coverage of the demo, either.  The situation is very 
similar to the Millions for Mumia rally in Philly and California on 24 
April.  No information in the media, despite the fact between 20 and 30 
thousand people were there.
But to DC and the anti-war rally.  The weather was dreadfully hot and 
humid, putting many of us in a less-than-festive mood.  My husband got 
into a fight with two elderly Serb women, who were insisting that they 
would die for Kosovo.  And thus was the tone of the crowd.  The speakers 
were of an anti-war mind.  Much of the audience was of a stop the bombing 
and let the Serbs go about their business mind.  There were many, many 
people with buttons reading "Proud to be Serb."  Many Yugoslav flags.  
There were many priests and a bishop of the Serbian Orthodox Church 
carrying icons.  No Kosovar refugees, no Bosnian Muslim refugees, no 
ethnic Albanians were visibly present.  This was definitely not any kind 
of united front against the war.  
This was also a primarily White group, despite the appeals of Mumia 
Abu-Jamal, Pam Africa, and Monica Moorehead (the last two spoke there, 
also) for Mumia supporters to be there.  Aside from the huge number of 
Serbs and Serb-Americans, there were many 60s leftovers like myself and 
my husband, and also large numbers of young anti-war activists.  Many 
were anarchists.  Just wonderful, beautiful young people.  They are the 
hope of all of us.
Then we started to move, across the Memorial Bridge and on to the 
Pentagon.  It was a long, long trip.  It didn't seem so long 30 years 
ago.  I marched close to an elderly gentleman dressed in a suit who 
played his clarinet along the march.  Sixties protest songs that we older 
people sang along with.  
We came into the Pentagon parking lot and marched up to the wall of the 
building, from which CIA types watched us, took pictures of us.  I'm a 
pretty brazen broad and I waved to them.  Then I turned my camera on 
them. :-)  
As before the march, there was a long line of speakers.  The head of 
Pastors for Peace spoke, a gentleman from the Korean-American community, 
Ramsey Clark (a personal hero of mine),  my buddy Mitchell Cohen from the 
NYS Greens, as well as Pam AFrica and Monica Moorehead.  The themes were 
similar.  The USA is a colonial power using NATO as an occupying force.  
NATO is immoral and a travesty and must be stopped, as must the US.  The 
cheers came mainly from the non-Serb, anti-war types.  The Serbs and 
Serb-Americans seemed confused, not happy with the message.  We know that 
the problems in the Balkans are long standing and will not be solved any 
time soon.
I checked crowd estimates with several people, and we all feel that 
between 10 and 15 thousand people were there.   An amazing crowd 
considering how little time was available to put the event together.
Lots of guerilla theater consisting of air raid noises to try to give us 
a feeling of what it is like to be in an area about to be bombed.
I kept thinking "I'm too old to be doing this.  I'm too old.  I started 
marching against the war machine when I was 16.  Why do I still have to 
do this?"  And I'm so glad I was there.  The spirit was certainly 
fragmented, but there were many of us with the same mind to stop the 
immoral war that Clinton has started.  And I got a first-hand feeling of 
some of the hates and angers that are driving the war effort.  
I apologize for the rambling of this report.  But I think it gives a 
better feeling of the event than a more objective approach.  Let's face 
it.  Objectivity is not in my makeup.  If anyone has any questions, I'll 
be glad to answer them.  
The most important thing I got out of being there was a reaquantance with 
the saying, "There is no way to peace; peace is the way."


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