Rage Against The War Machine – Speaking at Local Sister Protest for big D.C. event (Sun. Feb. 19, Noon-3pm)

As you may have heard, the national Libertarian Party is co-sponsoring a big antiwar rally this Sunday, Feb. 19, in Washington D.C. with the left-wing Peoples Party (https://rageagainstwar.com/).

There are a few “sister" rallies of this event taking place around the country, including one here in San Francisco that same day, at which I will be briefly speaking, along with Eric Garris of Antiwar.com. (There are a bunch of other speakers, but we’re the only two libertarians I’m aware of). I just created a Meetup page for that event here:

We’ll be meeting at the Embarcadero (in front of the Ferry Building) at noon, where Eric and I are scheduled to speak, then marching to Battery and Sansome where I gather there’s going to be a sort of mock “war village” created outside the offices of Lockheed Martin corporation, and then people will be transported to a “tea party” outside Nancy Pelosi’s home in Pacific Heights. I thought it was gutsy and admirable of the primary organizer, Cynthia Papermaster of Code Pink, to plan that part of the event, and to do it without obtaining any permits or anything. While I don’t expect people will be arrested (unless you specifically do something likely to provoke such a response), do bear in mind if you attend that there’s no “safety net”, so to speak!

I was initially thinking I’d spend more time/energy in promoting this rally, or even seek to have us put some funding toward it, but as things played out it seems to be more left-dominated than the national event. Cynthia is basically doing it her way, and the LP isn’t really being included as a full partner at the local level. I also have some concerns about the overall message – while I don’t want the U.S. government involved in Ukraine, I personally support the Ukrainian resistance against Putin’s unjust war of aggression, and I’m concerned that it may come off as too pro-Putin/anti-Ukraine. The 10 national demands agreed upon by the LP and Peoples Party have been modified to include a couple more left-leaning priorities on declaring a “climate emergency” and support for “community needs” over war. However I decided it would still be worthwhile to take the opportunity to inject some libertarian ideas into the mix and perhaps build some bridges with folks on the left.

One of the demands I do support is “Restore Civil Liberties”, so I decided to focus my remarks on the civil liberty of self-determination, or allowing people to secede, as a means of avoiding war. Here’s a draft of what I plan to say, though I may need to cut out the three paragraphs going more into the Non-Aggression Principle in the interests of time:

If anyone is able to attend and record a video of myself and Eric speaking, I’d really appreciate it. While I’m sure there will be other folks taking video, it would be good to ensure we have our own.

Besides brief speeches (my understanding is everyone will be limited to 5 minutes each), there will supposedly be music, theater, art, someone filming a documentary, hopefully media, etc. Here are some ideas for possible stuff to bring if you attend:

• protest sign(s)
• cameras/cellphones
• sun hat/sunglasses
• good walking shoes
• water / snacks
• sunblock
• chalk
• noisemakers
• outreach material

Please reply to this email or call me at the number below if you have questions/feedback/etc.

Love & Liberty,

((( starchild )))
LPSF Chair
(415) 573-7997

Rage Against The War Machine speech.odt (49.7 KB)