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Make Latte Not War

It was wonderful to see so many people sardined into Garema Place, getting all passionate and shouty. Afterwards they piled into the cafes like any other Saturday afternoon, except for the homemade peace signs cluttered at their feet.

hmmm.
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About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m an author, copywriter and old school blogger. I love telling stories about life and helping my clients to tell theirs. Find out more about me and how we can work together.


53 thoughts on “Make Latte Not War

  1. I fear these protests might result in war being more likely. It’s ’cause Bush is just too stupid. He sees opposition as being opposition, which, in his simple mind, is something for him to go against. And, of course, he doesn’t really give a shit about international opinion, unless it suits him (or he thinks it suits him). He’s quite prepared to go it alone, and lead the United States as a rogue state, if he’s sufficiently driven back into his usual, isolationist-type unilateralist position.

    If France and Germany would do that sly ‘shoulder to shoulder’ thing that Blair does, things would be looking rather more positive, not ’cause war would be more likely, but simply because Simple George would be much more likely to listen to them then.

    Anyway, I hope that the protests will, instead, boost the efforts of those seeking to keep the United States on the international route. And, of course, I hope it’s not going to lead to war! 🙂

  2. Yesterday we saw protesters in the park next to my house. M’Lee pointed to them and said, “That really cheeses me off, when people fucking protest in Cape Girardeau, thinking they’ll actually make some sort of difference.” Because really. Who ever comes here? No one important, that’s fer damn sure. At least in Canberra people have a chance of being heard.

  3. Hello Shauny. I just got back from the London march. I’m glad that I went, and the atmosphere was great, but after several years of living in a quiet Cornish town I had forgotten how unpleasant it is too be in a huge crowd of people and unable to move in any direction until they moved first. Six hours without a pee and suffering mild panic attacks from the crush. I’m getting much too old for marches, I feel the onset of rigor mortis today. No latte for me – I forgot to do any shopping so it’s teabags and condensed milk. Hrmph…

  4. my favourite sign at the rally in London (which I felt so moved to be a part of) was (one side) Peace Is Sexy – (other side) War Is Crap.

    *g*

  5. Moving (and car crashing!) precluded me from going along, but I know a lot of people who did. Well done, everyone who was able to make it along.

    And of course, the best slogan I heard (by proxy) was “Tony Blair is really, really annoying.” ‘Cos the simplest things in life…

    …often get put in charge of countries.

  6. I’ll have you know that Canberra made it into our little paper here in Tacoma. (as in “protests from Canberra to…etc) hehe gave me a little chuckle.

    Sounds like your rally was bigger than ours…I can only home that means you had better musicians. :p

  7. “Fresh Croissant, not Fertile Crescent!” No? Forget it.

    Our newly Nato country just bought F-16 jets from the Americans. I think they (our government) are hoping for a chance to try out the new hardware and show their American buddies that Poland is one of the guys now. If the US were to ask for volunteers to fly over Baghdad, Poland would be jumping up and down yelling “pick me!” in the back of the room. Of course, until the new jets are actually delivered, we’d have to use the MiG fighters we got from Russia to use against Nato back when the Warsaw Pact (signed in our capital, of course) was still in effect, when America thought it was Russia that was supposedly the evil empire and Iraq was perhaps a bit smelly, maybe even a bit saucy, but surely not evil.

  8. I’ll just take someone elses story and pretend it’s my own…

    At one of the rallys, a woman was carrying a sign – “This bush makes love, not war.” – I wonder if she got any offers from people wanting to “send their inspectors in” to check out the situation.

  9. when i was a young ‘un i marched on parliament house. it was nothing planned, mind. a spontaneous march regarding east timor. we were all so very righteous, and clogged up the roads with our chanting and free speech and indignation and patchouli.

    when we got there, the cops had already set up barricades. we demanded john howard come out and talk to us. then someone reminded the leader of the rally that john howard was at apec.

    protests rock.

  10. Simon, I reckon we’re pretty much there already.

    With all this talk of war, and national security, and too much Steve Leiberman, I wasn’t AWARE there was an election coming up?

    Is there Johnny?

  11. I was under the impression that ol’ Steve and his never-changing hairdo were American, anyway. He’s like Colin Powell for the 7am set.

  12. Talking of stupidity, I’ve heard that the al-Qaedaesque terrorists in parts of northern Iraq, which America and Britain have both claimed means that ol’ Saddie-boy is providing them with a ‘permissive environment’ in which to operate (supposedly like how the Taliban hosted al-Qaeda), are actually operating in the demilitarized zones, the ‘safe havens’, which the US and UK both played a part in setting up!

    Sorry, that was a horribly long sentence :oP

    Anyway, I thought this thing about America and Iraq (which I was pointed to by Mark of InfiniteBabble) might be topical. I particularly like number 46, at it sounds rather like the old British idea of using microwaves for death rays.

  13. Just wanted to reassure any lurkers that, indeed, there are some readers here who do think Saddam needs to go, and that “multilateralism” is not synonymous with “France and Germany say it’s ok.”

  14. my rather pathetic reason for not being at the march is i couldn’t get out from work …
    having a peace march in melbourne 4.45 pm friday could have been better planned for outer-suburbs workers, and those that simply have mongrel bosses.

    but, heard on triple j the following placards:

    coward is a hunt;

    the only bush i trust is my own.

  15. My favourite placard from the Melbourne March for Peace was “War is SO last century”.

    I didn’t hang around for all the speeches, though. Ambling for Peace can give a man a thirst, so I slipped off to Sip Beer for Peace.

    Give beer a chance, I say.

  16. I had to work all weekend so missed the whole thing except for the occasional bulletin on the radio news. I did hear that there was a huge antiwar protest in Hollywood. I don’t live in that part of town so have no firsthand knowledge.

  17. But ASG, one of the things that’s really getting a lot of people’s backs up is that the current American regime is being so hypocritical. They criticise the ‘axis of evil’ of ‘rogue states’ for defying, flouting and ignoring international law, and accuse them of lying and other kinds of deceit, yet are prepared to ignore international law themselves. If the United States’ obligations under international law are deemed by Bush’s administration to be not in America’s interests, then they’ll disregard those obligations (the Kyoto Protocol, I think, is an example of this). And they’re quite prepared to lie and lie in order to try to make their threatened invasion of Iraq appear legal under international law, by harping on about links between al-Qaeda and Saddie-boy’s regime when it’s surely now plain to everyone (everyone who’s not a sucker for Whitehouse propaganda) not only that there are no such links, but also that the Whitehouse must surely know by now that there are no such links. (The claims of such links are even more absurd than claiming that there are links between the IRA and the Ulster Unionists, and more ridiculous than the claim that President Roosevelt must’ve been a communist on the basis that the United States and the Soviet Union fought on the same side in World War II.)

  18. Should have seen us jammed into Hyde Park!

    Fave plackards:

    STOP MAD COWBOY DISEASE.

    SOMEWHERE IN TEXAS, A VILLAGE IS MISSING ITS IDIOT.

    FIGHT PLAGUE, NOT IRAQ.

  19. I was squashed in the middle of the crowd in Melbourne – me and at least 150,000 others. (Surely it was more than that?)
    My fave slogan was written on the back of a guy’s shirt;

    ‘HoWARd – Don’t Swallow, Bush Won’t Call You Tomorrow.’

    Mwah ha ha ha ha.

  20. Simon: I hope you mean “the Bush Administration” when you say “they.” It seems that most people in the U.S. that I talk to (including myself) are firmly opposed to war. Which leaves us feeling as if we are being swept along against our will into doing something horrible, no matter how much we protest, demonstrate, and write letters.

    Then again, we keep seeing and hearing polls that Bush’s approval rating is still high. So that must mean that there ARE Americans who are pro-war. I cannot imagine why. Sigh…

  21. Well, as an America who is pro-getting-rid-of-Saddam (“pro-war” implies something other than thinking of it as the least bad of many bad alternatives), there are several reasons why I and people who agree with me hold the view we do. One is that it’s our job to clean up our own mistake, which was arming Saddam in the first place. Another is that Saddam is a genocidal dictator who has professional rapists along with murderers on his payroll. Still another is that dissident Iraqis want us to get rid of him. Still another is that a man like him can’t be permitted to retain germ warfare — not that I am afraid he will use it against us, but that he will continue to use it against his own people and others in the Middle East. For the life of me I don’t understand some of the pro-Saddam-staying-in-power folks. I mean, *why* are U.S. and British lives more inherently valuable than the Iraqi ones Saddam rules over?

    Simon, I read some of your blog entries on the subject, and I think they are very thoughtful, but I don’t think your point about international law is well taken. Security Council Resolution 1441 *arguably* (not unquestionably) gives the U.S. the right under international law to invade Iraq right now (unless “serious consequences” are taken to mean something other than military action, which would mean U.N. guarantees of peace and security are a joke). Resolution 1441 also states in no uncertain terms that Iraq is in material breach of the conditions of the U.N.-imposed ceasefire of 1991, and if that’s the case then the justification for the current campaign is precisely the same as it was in 1991, since it is that war which never stopped.

    As a side note on Kyoto, the U.S. is a signatory but has not ratified the Protocol; hence the Protocol is not binding on the U.S. (see 1969 Vienna Convention on Treaties: “Where the signature is subject to ratification, acceptance or approval, the signature does not establish the consent to be bound.” Since the U.S. Senate must ratify all treaties, Kyoto is not a U.S. obligation under international law… under international *politics*, of course, is a different matter).

    ASG

  22. Bush’s approval rating still high? A few days ago, the NY Times reported that it had slimmed down to around 54%. (See http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/14/politics/14POLL.html) Now granted, we Yanks don’t have the sort of reliable, no-nonsense vitriol that you Aussies do towards Howard (which had me laughing my ass off the other day). Our polls are hardly the paragon of statistical virtue. Our media shamelessly dwells off certain topics. There are a lot of DUMB DUMB DUMMIES represented in our elections, which involve abysmally low turnouts. (See http://www.fairvote.org/turnout/) And some of us are pretty pissed that the UN Security Council resolutions can’t be applied across the board. (Israel and Turkey have more than Iraq. See http://www.harpers.org/harpers-index/listing.php3?sub_date=2002-12-01&src=1)

    But one thing we are is afraid, very afraid. And that, more than any reasonable reason, is why you saw us in droves at the rallies. Even though we knew that Bush wouldn’t listen. Even though we knew our voice had been cut out from government a long time ago. We all knew that we had to do something.

    The economy’s in the shitter (not as severe as Germany’s, but we go crazy about these things) and nothing’s being done. There’s no money in our budget to support a war in Iraq without severe fiscal impact, which means that the money has to come from somewhere. Social programs? Medicare? A good third of us don’t even have health care coverage.

    Factor in such things as the Second Amendment, which gives us GUNS GUNS GUNS, and a sensational media that makes every news story, even the modest human interest ones that involves cats stuck in trees, seem as melodramatic and horrific as a Cecil B. DeMille trailer, and what you have is a population prepared to snap at any opportunity.

    And that’s what it’s all about in a nutshell.

  23. I definitely agree that Bush has badly abused the U.S. economy with his budget. If I’d voted for him in 2000 (which I didn’t) I sure wouldn’t do so again in 2004 (which I wasn’t going to anyway). But that has nothing to do with the justification for getting rid of Saddam. As someone put it, it would be nice if the Nelson Mandela International Peace Brigade could step up and do the job, so all the protesters who actually do care about the freedom of people in other countries but can’t bring themselves to care quite enough if it’s the Americans doing the liberating, could sigh with relief and get on board, but that option’s not on the menu right now.

  24. I agree that we need to be a little careful in using the “Rogue State” rhetoric – and talk of breaches of international law – but we should be especially careful to avoid using that language to condemn “they” the American people, as opposed to “he” the unelected President, falsely encamped on the moral high ground.

  25. Much as it pains me to say it, Bush is not “unelected”. He was elected fair and square under this country’s admittedly idiosyncratic election laws. Every single media recount in Florida concluded Bush won that state. To the extent that Bush haters bother to argue for their contention that Bush is unelected, it boils down to (a) Gore won the popular vote and (b) the Supreme Court ended the recounts when their outcome was not yet clear. To (a), tough beans, the rules say the Electoral College winner gets to be president, and the fact that another candidate would have won using different rules isn’t, well, relevant. To (b), every media recount confirmed that Bush won Florida, so even if the Court was going out on a limb when it made its decision — and a savvy one, given that letting the process drag on any longer opened up huge opportunities for chicanery by both sides — that limb has now been shown to be pretty sturdy.

    I realize that the above is unlikely to change anyone’s mind, particularly those who find their caricature of Bush as unelected dictator “just fine, thanks”. But, again, it may be worth saying just to remind that some people — even a poverty-stricken unemployed barely-health-insured American twentysomething — don’t share that view.

  26. And presumably your own webspace might be a better place for soapboxing, no matter how much it might be intended for the curing of people’s political astigmatism?

  27. Oops, seems my they was a bit ambiguous 😛 Yep, Miss Mea-Mea, I meant ‘they’ as in ‘the current tenants of the White House, et al’, but not the whole (or even necessarily the majority) of the population of the United States 🙂

    And thanks, ASG, for the clarification about the Kyoto Protocol. I wasn’t entirely sure what the situation with it was, but the way Bush had spoken of it (at least as shown here on telly a few years ago), he’d given me the impression that it was binding but that he was going to defy it anyway. Perhaps I should’ve looked into it a bit further :->

    And Miss Shauny, as for something to write about, and with your blog entry suggesting that you’re opposed to the looming war, what do you think about this whole Iraq situation? Or specific aspects thereof? 🙂

  28. She may be very much for going in and ringing Saddam’s neck with her bare hands. But isn’t this a relaxed place where you don’t expect or want endless ideological arguments between guests? And if so, and if you want to maintain that friendly atmosphere and enjoy the writing, you shouldn’t talk politics or religion. There are many other places for such things, and generally they’re much less pleasant.

  29. Thanks for that link to the article…it’s so nice to see an anti-war sentiment printed…plus I love the anti-american view.

  30. Yes, I know the US electoral process is “idiosyncratic”.

    I was using “unelected” in the Doonsebury sense of having lost the popular vote.

    However, let’s face it, the Florida recount process was disgracefully politicised at a State level and the Supreme Court split on strictly Republican-Democrat lines.

    Still, I do acknowledge Bush was elected by a proper process and I deserved to be pulled up on that.

    If, however, a US led force invades Iraq without a second UNSCR, despite the possible “triggers for action” in UNSCR 1441 – I think all hope of multi-lateral cooperation and an international system that enjoys the confidence of a majority of nations is right down the toilet for the next few decades.

  31. What Eeksy Peeksy said. Bugroff and have a pissing contest about politics on MeFi or something. No one wants to read the 3-page tirades on how big you think your … brain … is.

  32. shrug, if you don’t want to read posts expressing a pro-U.S. view, no one is forcing you to. That said, I agree politics is probably pretty distasteful to this blog’s inner child, and I’ve had my say anyway. I am looking forward to seeing Shauny’s adventures in Scotland.

  33. you guys got the right thing goin. glad to see someone finally doesnt think all americans live under a cowboy hat. by the way have you seen this sign:
    buns not guns

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