Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Counter Propaganda Tactics

For weeks now we've been hearing about the President's plan to put more troops into Iraq. Anti-war activists have been seeing this as an opportunity to promote the immediate withdrawal argument.

So last Saturday, when it was clear the Prez was going to speak this week, the local antiwar coaltion, Iraq Peace Action Coalition (IPAC), met and discussed how to respond.

The antiwar movement contains groups with different goals and agendas. There are groups based among students, among the faith communities, pacifists, radicals, neighborhoods, veterans and others.

At this point in time, however, there is increasing activism among the families who have relatives serving in the war. There primary slogan is "Bring the troops home now and take care of them when they get back."

As it happens, the local chapter of Military Families Speak Out (MFSO) has their regular meeting on Wednesday nights. When it looked likely that the Prez would speak on Wednesday, they agreed to invite the press to their meeting and express their viewpoint.

In addition, two emergency demonstrations were planned, one tomorrow morning at Senator Coleman's office called by Friends for a Non-Violent World, and one on Friday afternoon called by IPAC. These demonstrations are a chance to get the word out, to allow activists to vent their frustration with the government's plans, and to put pressure on Congress.

So the last few days we put together a flyer for the demo and wrote several press releases. Tonight we found out that all four local network affiliates took us up on the offer to visit with MFSO. Most of them wanted footage before the speech, so MFSO members got together this morning and afternoon to meet with the press and present their viewpoint.

We just watched the 9 a.m. FOX news. The report was awesome, with the reporter emphasizing and supporting MFSO's mistrust of the President and his plan.

It's amazing what three years of ineffective war can do to the prestitutes. We'll see what happens at 10 o'clock. We heard from a member of MFSO that three local network affiliates were there to watch the speech with them.