So I went to the anti-war protest at UCLA today [March 5th, 2003]; this was my first demonstration and I didn't know quite what to expect. I made up a few pro-war signs and handed them out to some like-minded students to hold up with me. I was surprised somewhat, because it wasn't at all hard to find people willing to hold up the pro-war signs (as I thought it might be). I had:
1. "Saddam is Mean"
2. "Give War A Chance!"
3. "Peace Through Victory!"
4. "Anti-War = Pro-Murder, Pro-Torture, Pro-Rape"
We also made "Beat it Hippies", which got a pretty good reaction.
I'm the devastatingly handsome fellow in the brown jacket who is having his civil rights viciously infringed. Not shown: me totally flipping out and chopping the heads off of like 150 anti-war pansies.
I had the opportunity to run up on the stage and hold sign #4 up behind the speaker for about a minute before people started boo-ing and security pulled me off stage. They tried to take my sign too, but I wouldn't let them. Then about half an hour later three other guys and I got back up on the stage (near the back) and wouldn't let their security take us down. They called the police over but I guess the cops decided we weren't doing anything illegal and so they didn't do anything. It was pretty amusing. At that point I got bored and left.
I think sign #4 got the strongest reaction from people, as you can imagine. Several anti-war people got angry, but when I explained to them how the sign was accurate they shut up and walked off. Around a dozen groups and individuals thanked me for being out there, including a lady in a wheelchair who really liked the sign and some construction workers who seemed to hold most of the students in general contempt.
Most of the people there seemed to really dislike Bush for some reason. Some girl tried to convince me that, although Saddam does murder, torture, and rape people, Bush does too. I couldn't quite pin her down on her sources, but she seemed very convinced. I can't substantiate these claims, but if they're true I think that the media should stop covering for Bush.
Overall it was an interesting experience. In practical terms it was a waste of time, but entertaining nevertheless. I was interviewed by reporters from a few newspapers after I was dragged off the stage the first time, and several photographers took my picture, so if anyone sees me let me know. There were some TV and radio journalists there as well, but I didn't have a chance to talk to any of them. Good stuff.