On Sat., March 19, from 5 to 6 PM, anti-war groups will hold a protest rally at the Times Square recruiting station on Military Island, Broadway at 44th St., to demand that all troops be brought home from Iraq and Afghanistan immediately. The event, coordinated by the local chapter of Veterans for Peace and by Grandmothers Against the War, will be held on the day 8 years from the invasion of Iraq by the U.S. on March 19, 2004.
“Thousands of American military and hundreds of thousands of innocent civilian deaths later, it is past time to end these senseless and tragic wars and occupations, bring our exhausted soldiers home and deploy the billions of dollars wasted on these unconscionable interventions to our urgent domestic needs,” said Bill Gilson, Vice President of Chapter 34 of Veterans for Peace NYC.
Cong. Charles Rangel will be a featured speaker, as will State Sen. Bill Perkins. After comments by other political and peace movement leaders and songs provided by the Raging Grannies, promptly at 6 PM patriotic volunteers will commit non-violent civil disobedience.
November 4th, 2008. In the area around the Army recruiting station, ABC has several large video screens and their news center. A large crowd of what was probably 99% Obama supporters spontaneously gathered to watch the election results together. I included three clips from Obama’s victory speech, dubbed over the video.
Times Square is the traditional place for New Yorkers to gather for the observance and marking of big events. I knew there would be the large video displays of the election results, that it would be bright enough there for my camera to shoot video. Around 9:30 when I could see that the results would tip soon, I took the F train to Times Square.
For the most part the crowd could not hear what was being said on the screens. I was able to hear the speeches with my trusty battery powered portable transistor radio, way out-of-sync with the various video feeds displayed around me. I’m surprised no one in that large crowd thought to bring a boombox. It was interesting being there, but there was little cohesion to the crowd. Video was flashing 360 degrees. Animated Budweiser ads displayed over the NBC feed all night. The ABC camera crane swooped over our heads, generating random screams and waves at the camera at intervals. I’m glad I was there to witness history, and get this video, but it would have been good to hear the speeches along with a crowd actually listening to the words. ABC had a sound system that boomed out over the street, but it must have been highly directional. It was only a muffled background cadence when I was a half-block away.