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Activists rev up antiwar rhetoric

Activists rev up antiwar rhetoric


March 18, 2003
Sentinel staff writer

SANTA CRUZ -- You might think antiwar demonstrators have been relentless, but activists say you’ve seen nothing yet.
Expect area peace activists to go into overdrive, taking “emergency action” if the United States attacks Iraq.
Expect an oversized George W. Bush puppet waving in the wind.
Expect sit-ins, a union-sponsored work walk-out, “emergency training” for non-violent activists, and further attempts to disrupt local military recruitment.
Candles will drip and burn, and people will bang pots and pans in the street, the peace activists say. Homeowners will turn their lights off for solidarity. Edgier protesters hint of blocking a major highway, as college students did to Highway 17 a decade ago to voice anger over the Gulf War.
But it would be hard for any local activist to trump the efforts of Boulder Creek resident Wade Hudson, who is protesting an attack on Iraq in Baghdad.
Hudson arrived Thursday as part of a “peace team” and is releasing regular journal entries that can be read at
The group, a project of the organization “Voices in the Wilderness,” does not consider itself a ‘human shield” though it does intend to stay in the city even if an attack occurs, a spokesman for the group said.
On the home front, Web sites like and are crammed with protest information. The staff at the Santa Cruz-based Resource Center for Nonviolence has pledged to be open 24 hours a day for at least three days after a war begins to counsel worried Santa Cruzans and instruct them in peaceful “direct action.”
Joe Williams of the Santa Cruz Peace Coalition and the Iraq Action Network said peace groups will pool resources for this week’s actions. If war breaks out, expect to see a throng gathered at 5 p.m. that day at the Town Clock.
Those who wish to do a “silent vigil” will stay at the clock, but others will proceed to the county government center at 701 Ocean St., where they may camp out as a precursor to a morning march to the Capitola military recruiting offices, Williams said.
Williams said Monday he has also heard from an angrier variety of protester. “People are a bit more angry at the moment. Anarchist types in town show up to (peace) meetings saying, ‘This is all fine and good, but we’re angry, and if anything goes off we’ll block (Highway 17.)’”
Anger, and sorrow, were prevailing emotions at a Town Clock vigil Sunday, which activist Ruth Hunter described as strikingly “quiet and subdued. It was just as though everybody was anticipating the worst and hoping for the best. We worked so hard to have peace in this world and it doesn’t seem like it’s gonna happen .”
But she said this sorrow should not be equated with passive resignation.
She said that if war is declared, protesters will be out in the streets “to alert the public with any kind of noisemaker, pots, pans, bell ringers, whatever. We’ll be walking not just down Pacific Mall but through the neighborhoods.”
On Monday night, after President Bush’s speech, about 50 people gathered at the Town Clock to protest what Santa Cruz resident Brent Adams described as “Armageddon Eve.”
Adams, pounding a mournful-sounding drum crafted from a 55-gallon olive oil container, predicted more protests but “less colorful. There will be more anarchy. You will see more black clothes, more occupations of intersections, of government and corporate buildings.”
Eli Bernstein of Santa Cruz wore an American flag and a gag.
The gag represented his feeling “there are people all over the country who oppose this war, and we’re not being heard.”
Contact Dan White at dwhite (at)

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SC-IMC in the Sentinel

Thanks Dan White for mentinoing Santa Cruz Indymedia in your article. I appreciate the information that has been published in the Sentinel article (which is rare).

Dan, by chance will you be joinging the "throng" at the clock tower? How about some Direct Action?

Thanks again for mentioning Santa Cruz Indymedia.



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