Anti-War F15 Protest in Orange: A Silent Anniversary Ten Years Later

Fri, Feb 15, 2013


{Marching against pre-emptive war in Orange / photo cred: LA Indymedia}

With U.S. troops already in Afghanistan, the Bush administration began furiously beating the drums of war against Iraq ten years ago. As part of a globally coordinated effort, ‘preemptive’ F15 protests took place on February 15, 2003 in cities all over the world and even in conservative ass Orange County! Demonstrators numbered in the thousands in our humble land that day, assembling at Hart Park before marching the streets of Orange rounding its famous circle with protests chants and signs.

All the marches commenced before hostilities and were the most collectively massive in the history of the world leading the New York Times to label the global anti-war movement as a “second superpower” countering U.S. hegemony. Leading political critic Noam Chomsky chimed that the mobilizations marked an advancement of civilization. “Shock and Awe” bombardments in its Baghdad birthplace dragged it back the very next month.

I remember that overcast February day quite well. Vehemently opposed to the impending invasion of Iraq, my brother and I took to the streets with other mostly like-minded people. A sign held by someone declared that we the demonstrators and those who stayed home but sympathized were the ‘true silent majority.’ A conservative biddy snickered back ‘silent majority my ass!’ With all the hype over supposed weapons of mass destruction held by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, a cholo emerged from the liquor store clutching booze in a brown paper bag as we marched. He asked demonstrators, “What about Saddam? He’s going to gas us, he’s going to poison us!” My hermano fired back, “That forty is going to poison you, loco!”

And so here we are, ten years later after that incredible moment in time. Troops are still in Afghanistan and Iraq has been bled dry. The anti-war movement lays in tatters though the faithful keep up the effort even if the energy behind it has largely dissipated. The Pacifier-in-Chief Barack Obama is formidable in keeping the embers of discontent at bay.

But history must not be erased nor anniversaries go silent. In that effort, here’s an archived F15 Orange County posting with photos by an activist named Sister J on LA Indymedia. Relive the experience, especially if you were there with me in Orange or in any part of the world that day:

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