Guest-authored by Judy B & Claire B; photos courtesy of Ben Droz and Joseph Huff-Hannon.
Funk that, get off it! This war is for profit!
On Friday, March 19th, the Iraq War’s 7th birthday, we gathered with over 350 students and activists from around the country at Farragut Square, decked out as cheating politicians and Lady Gaga look-alikes. We started a massive street dance party to protest the Obama administration’s continuation of the wars in the Middle East and Central Asia and the unchecked environmental damage caused by war profiteers. “Congress and the Obama administration are cheating on young people with the corporate criminals and war-makers who are wrecking our future. We’re caught in a Bad Romance,” explained Howard University student activist Brian Menifee.
No System but the Sound System!
Two bumping speakers and a mobile sound system blasting dance music brought the funk for this sunny day street party against the empire. We started the party in the middle of Farragut Square with throngs of energetic, flag-waving young students and activists. Reporters from news networks like NBC, CNN, and ABC showed up with cameras and microphones, asking to speak with organizers and involved students. Then we took to K street carrying homemade banners and signs that read “Drop Coal, not Bombs!” and “Refuse, Rethink, Rebuild.”
Who's Streets? Our Streets!
At our first stop, we delivered a heartfelt breakup message to the American Enterprise Institute. Funking our way to a second stop, the Armed Forces Recruiting Center, an anonymous paint-filled projectile soared through the air and smashed against the AFRC window, plastering it with yellow paint (and yielding one arrest). The energy was still high, folks still kicking up their dancing shoes, except at this point the police attempted to keep us on the sidewalks and out of the streets by flanking our crowd on either side.
We stopped by the Chamber of Commerce and delivered another break-up letter in chanting sing-song. From there we kept shaking out booties across town until we reached the Department of Treasury on 15th and G Street. After stopping in front of the building and making a few respectful comments, we feigned a walk-away and starting retreating. While the throngs of cops were distracted by the turn-around, two brave funketeers scaled the first floor of the Treasury and raised a banner that read “End the Wars, Fund our Future”. The cops did a double-take and waited a few minutes before racing up to arrest these two protestors, the crowd angrily chanting “Let them go! Let them go!” (though the police didn’t comply).
A group of students linked arms and sat down together, refusing to move from the steps of the Treasury. The rest of the crowd sat down with them and held the space in observance of those arrested. At this point, obscene numbers of cops had showed up to oppress our right to assemble and protest nonviolently. They actually arrested a couple of folks who stepped off the curb into the street. The funketeers entertained the throngs of “justice enforcers” by orchestrating a funky soul train on the sidewalk.
From there we made our way back to the Peace of the Action Camp, where Food Not Bombs delivered yummy grub and we gave each other hugs and backrubs. A total of 8 people were arrested today, so we convened to figure out how to support them. Most of them are being released tonight.
This is what Democracy looks like!
At the end of the day, Funk the War brought student groups together from the DC area and around the US. The protest was a funk-filled action to re-establish radical infrastructure in DC and re-energize young activists.
Even though the action today felt like its own epic story, it’s really just the beginning of a collaborative radical resistance to empire.
Funk the War, light the bed on fire, and break free from this bad romance!
Washington DC, March 19, 7th Anniversary of the Iraq War
3:00PM @ Farragut Sq. (17th & K St. NW)
second meet-up at 4PM, TBA
be our matrix friend on teh faceb00ks
Going to the Street Party: What to Wear?!
Costuming ideas; weather & safety; how to prepare.
When you're going to a fancy party, you've got to ask yourself, "What to wear?"...
2/27. Health & Safety at Street Actions
3/15. onwards. Camp OUT NOW! DC convergence on the Washington Monument Lawn (15th St NW & Constitution)
3/15. 5pm Legal Briefing @ Camp OUT NOW!
3/16. 2pm Non-violence Training @ Camp OUT NOW!
3/16. 5:30pm Legal Observing & Know Your Rights @ Camp OUT NOW!
3/17. 2pm FtW Mobile Tactics Training @ Camp OUT NOW!
3/17. 5:30pm Mining, Militarism, and Community Resistance from Appalachia to Central America (panel discussion) @ Camp OUT NOW!
3/18. Funk the War Pre-Party Shakedown Concert & Dance Party featuring the Cornel West theory w/ DJ Underdog and Head-Roc
3/19. Funk the War, 3pm @ Farragut Square (17th & K St. NW)
3/27. DC-Area Radical Student & Youth Federation Gathering
Stop Cheating Us Out of Our Future: No Love Call-out
No love for corporate criminals. End the war and commit to our future.
Obama owes his election to the young people who fell in love when he promised to end the affair between government and big business. 2 years later, he’s cheating on us with the same war profiteers and climate criminals who've been doing the nasty with Congress and the Presidents before him...
Call to Action: Break Free from this Bad Romance
Student power against Obama's recession empire
Obama's got us singing like Lady Gaga, “I want your love and all your lover's revenge.” Thousands of anti-war youth fell in love with Obama and dropped everything to build his campaign. He seduced us with promises of hope and change from Bush's abuses, all the while refusing to give up his lust for the War on Terror...
What's about this "Bad Romance"?
Annotated argument for funking it now
...The recession is killing young people's prospects and military recruiters are circling like vultures. In the US, youth unemployment is at a record high 50%, with twice as many black youth as white youth unemployed. No options means a racist poverty draft. That's how recruiters are surpassing their quotas for the first time since the Viet Nam War. The only other time they came close to today's numbers was during the recession of the early 1980s...
bringing the ruckus against climate chaos and corporate resource wars
from stolen Native American land to Iraq and Afghanistan
. You, your fly crew, and your dancing shoes
. mad rowdy young people and our allies
. DC Students for a Democratic Society & DC Rising Tide
in alliance with the Peaceable Assembly Campaign
funkadelic youth & student-powered mobile street party
bringing down the corporate lobbying machine
Friday January 29th, noontime
Last month, Fossil Hawks celebrated two great victories: the US-led failure of the Copenhagen climate summit and Obama's escalation of the War on Terror in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Thanks to their aggressive lobbying, the world's worst CO2 emitters, companies like Shell and Exxon, are free from new international pollution regulations and fixing to reap huge profits from Obama's expanding resource wars in the strategic oil and natural gas-rich war zones of the Middle East and Central Asia.
The importance of challenging the violence and treachery of corporate power is becoming increasingly clear to the Climate and Anti-War Movements. If we want to turn the tide of climate chaos and corporate resource imperialism, then 2010 must be a year of unprecedented cooperation between our movements in creative resistance against the Fossil Hawks.
With the US military's ranking as the world's #1 gas guzzler (oil consumer & user), buying from the top polluting transnationals, the problem runs deep. The annual CO2 output of the Iraq War is greater than 139 (60%) of the world's countries. It gets worse, but much of the toxic output from the War on Terror is hard to put a number on. We know that US bombs release heavy doses of other greenhouse gases, and pollutants like depleted uranium (DU) are in regular use. There is a long history of US military-industrial eco-devastation: trench warfare gases in WWI, nukes in WWII, agent orange in Vietnam, DU in Gulf War I, and it'll keep coming 'til we bring them down.
>> Fossil Hawks, WTF?
Fossil Hawks are the war-making corporate climate criminals and the politicians who serve them. They are the mining companies, energy companies, weapons manufacturers, military logistics companies, and mercenaries who profit from resource wars and lobby to sabotage US and UN environmental regulation. Many are at the top of the 122 companies responsible for 80% of global CO2 output. They are diversified corporations and lobbies invested in war and environmental exploitation.
* Exxon is expanding natural gas operations using Halliburton's "fracking" process, poisoning North American aquifers while selling jet fuel to US forces bombing Afghanistan until it's "stable" enough for pipelines moving Caspian natural gas.
* Shell simultaneously profits from Iraqi oilfields and from the fuel US tanks burn to protect them while clear-cutting for tar sands in Alberta and lobbying for "Clean Coal" technology in DC.
* Caterpillar sells the same monstrous gas-guzzling D-9 bulldozers to Massey Coal for mountaintop removal mining in West Virginia that US tax dollars buy for Israeli Military demolition of Palestinian homes.
Flyer handed out on the day of - 4.25"x11"
Funk the War Press sweep: we scour the interbutts so you don't have to. But if you did, leave a link in the comments!
Protesters Mark 8 Years of War in Afghanistan - Washington Post (When we got within a 10 block radius of the Washington Post building, they pulled down the security gate in front of their doors, and put riot police in front of the shutters. Feeling a little bit of chickenhawk guilt there, WaPo? You suckaz weren't even on our list.)
Jake Mayday RVA's Flickr
Washington Post for some reason has our picture in this article
Seeing Aspects' Flickr
Demotix people's news
PHOTOS: FUNK THE WAR - Brightest Young Things!
Protest Marks Afghan War Anniversary - Fox News
Recruiter painted, Blackwater lobbyist STORMED!
DC-SDS Funk the War 8: Afghanistan 8th Anniversary Tour - Alex Lotorto!
Funk the War storms Blackwater lobbyists after recruiter gets paint job - DC Indymedia
Recruiter painted up, Blackwater lobbyist STORMED - DC Direct Action News
D.C. Students For Democratic Society Protest 8-year Afghan Conflict - WAMU
Hi-fives to whoever did this:
Military Recruiting Office Vandalized - Fox 5 News
White House, Pentagon Struggle Refine AfPak Strategy News Channel 8
D.C. Chapter Alert: 14th and L St. Recruiting Center Targeted By SDS, Wed. Oct. 7, 2009 (Complete failure, not a single one of them showed up. Also, someone got to that recruiting station before we did, so double FAIL.)
Small Protest Against U.S. Involvement in Afghanistan Moving Through Downtown - Our perennial yuppie haters!
Video: Quiet US demo speaks volumes - Al Jazeera (This is how the press works: They come to your action with a preconceived story (or perhaps the story half-written at the office). Then when they are presented with another story (100 local kids come out for the first student-run protest specifically against the war in Afghanistan, a war that is being fed to the population as the "good war" of the "peace candidate"), they look around for evidence that they can continue writing that preconceived story. When they interview five excited kids who want to talk about the reason they are protesting, and then they net one kid who they dupe into talking about the reason there aren't other people there (HOW THE FUCK SHOULD HE KNOW? HE SHOWED UP!), they throw out the other footage, and soldier on with their pre-written story. A news story is only as positive as the writer and the worst interview.)
As you can see on your left, the Upcoming Events calendar for DC SDS now includes events from the Black August Planning Organization.
DC SDS summer school ran out of summer before we were able to hold classes on Black Liberation struggle!
Thankfully, for years an organization has been organizing popular education events about this topic, often bringing exciting speakers and teaching us all a lot about the struggle for the liberation of black people in the United States, about the prison-industrial concepts, and reminding us that we have comrades behind bars that we cannot in good conscience forget.
Take some time to check out these events as they come up in August. We know you won't be disappointed...
May 1st, 9PM. @ the corner of Morton & Georgia Ave. NW
Half-sheet Flyer in English and Spanish