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Posted: I've never taken part in any protests myself and sometimes I question the intent of such actions.However,I was reading a newspaper the other day and a quote in one of the articles finally summed up in my mind why it is a necessity.
This was quoted from an ex-U.S. Marine and veteran of the Vietnam War.
- I spent 13 years in the Marine Corps.I fought my butt off there.Silver star.Purple hearts.Presidential citations.Marine Corps meritorious citations.I was platoon commander for the last two tours.I was there for four tours over in Vietnam. I doubt I will be speaking up against this war.I'm not an activist.I'm very quiet.I paid a helluva price in Vietnam.I'm on 100 percent disability.PTSD.Physical injuries from gunshots to the arm,to the stomach,shrapnel to the head,to the leg. But I fought so people could protest and demonstrate in the world and have their own opinion. I didn't like the protesters at all when I was in Vietnam.I was gung ho.It affected me because of what they were calling us.Not all of them.But we didn't know that ... I was following what I believed was supposed to be the right thing. BUT THE ONLY WAY WE CAME OUT OF VIETNAM WAS BECAUSE OF THE PROTESTERS.THEY WERE THE ONES THAT ENDED THE WAR.THEY DESERVE MY MEDALS AS MUCH AS I GOT'EM.IT WOULDN'T HAVE ENDED IF THEY HADN'T PROTESTED.I WOULDN'T HAVE MADE IT HOME. -Don Judson, 60 , of Woodbury
I capitalized the last paragraph to emphasize the part that I felt was the most significant.Even though we weren't able to stop the war from happening the only way to assure that it will be over quickly is to stand and be heard.
[ 24. March 2003, 18:10: Message edited by: poiaholic22 ]
Actually, while protests were certainly in the right place and did their part.
The real bit that got the government's attention and forced the end of Vietnam came at the hands of Daniel Ellsberg and his release of the Pentagon's war study. The government had been sucessfully ignoring protests for nearly a decade, when Ellsberg released this it became in their best interests to pull out, be quiet, and never send so much as a meter-maid to Vietnam again.
at the moment protesting seems to be easier in theory than in action. Last Saturday coach loads of people travelled to RAF Fairford (where all the American B52 bombers are leaving from), before they even got to the base, all coaches were kidnapped by police riot vans, surrounded, everybody was searched, and they were escorted back to London. At this time they were just people on coaches, no crimes had been commited. In this great democracy of ours we are loosing the right to have our say by using actions. This is why its even more important now, that if people can get out to make their opposition heard that they attempt to. Because the police brutality and force weve faced over the past few weeks has been sickening
Haven't seen many kidnappings.... have you. Given some of the statements made by protestors in the past- not saying these were necessarily a dangerous bunch- I see no harm in enssuring that they stay away from military facilitieswhere their distruptive presence could lead to life threatening accidents.