Protesters Challenge Senators Tom Udall and Al Franken on the U.S. Senate’s Support of the Israeli Attack on Gaza

Article and Photos By KAY MATTHEWS

Outside Senator Tom Udall’s new office in Santa Fe 40 people gathered to protest the Senate vote to support Israel’s continued military attacks on Gaza.

Organizer Sarah Knopp leads protesters in a chant: "Ethnic cleansing is a crime, Bibi should be doing time."
Organizer Sarah Knopp leads protesters in a chant: “Ethnic cleansing is a crime, Bibi should be doing time.”

Inside, the Democratic faithful waited to hear Udall and his guest Minnesota’s Senator Al Franken, co-sponsor of the unanimous resolution, talk about everything but Israel and Gaza. When activists tried to raise the issue they were booed and shouted down, and one of them, organizer Carmen Stone, was forcefully ejected from the room: “I was pretty roughed up by his security.”

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Before Udall and Franken arrived, organizer Jeff Hass of Santa Feans Against the Gaza Invasion, read a press release that said: “Now over 1600 Gazans are dead, over 6,000 are wounded, 450,000 are refugees with no safe place to flee, very little food, water, electricity, and disease is on the horizon. The response of our senators and indeed the entire Congress and administration is to provide more U.S. grenades, more U.S. tank weapons, and more U.S. missiles to Israel.” Franken is also the sponsor of a bill to rearm Israel. He has been slammed in his own state in the past few weeks, and according to “Fight Back!News,” protesters in Minneapolis shut down his office on July 30 and 15 were arrested for refusing to leave.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen the protesters in Santa Fe tried to interrupt Udall, and then Franken, Udall insisted that he is having a “dialogue” with people about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict who “come to his office,” and Franken resorted to the liberal comeback that he, too, used to be a protester during the Vietnam War. Then he told the story of how he helped shout down George Wallace during his presidential campaign but when a history professor chided him for it he “felt ashamed . . . I don’t like to shame people except if they’re right wing.”

In fact, by supporting Israel’s attacks on Gaza he is allied with, not shaming, an extreme right wing Israeli government that is on record opposing a two-state solution because ultimately it wants one state that is free of the Palestinian people. The press release also addressed this: “The current military attacks on Gaza are an amplification of the slow death that Israel is working on the people of Gaza. It is genocide by destroying the water filtration and sanitation system and depleting the aquifer under Gaza so that even before the attacks more and more Gazans lacked drinking water. It is cutting off electricity and basic food and medicine and not allowing construction materials in to fix the infrastructure destroyed in previous attacks.”

That these self-defined “liberal” senators find themselves in bed with this right wing government forever tarnishes their more progressive positions regarding immigration, climate change, campaign finance reform, etc. But questioning U.S political and military support of Israel is considered the kiss of death to a politician because of the AIPAC lobby, the Holocaust industry that exploits the memory of the Jewish persecution to promote the interests of Israel, and most importantly, the military industrial complex’s demands for profit.

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Carol Miller, an organizer with the Peaceful Skies Coalition who attended the demonstration, has documented the air tactic military training here in New Mexico that contributes to attacks in Israel and around the world. Israel tests its weapons at White Sands Missile Range, the largest military installation in the world. As reported in the Los Angeles Times: “Scientists for the first time used a ground-based laser to shoot down an armed, short-range rocket of the type used by guerrillas, the Army said. The U.S.-Israeli test, conducted at the White Sands Missile Range, involved a deuterium fluoride laser, whose light is invisible to the naked eye, the Army said. The system is supposed to spot a rocket in flight, fire a laser and destroy the rocket before it hits its target.” This, of course, is what is being used to shoot down the rockets fired by Hamas.

Conversely, Israel is testing its weaponry and homeland security tactics on Palestinians before exporting them to countries and police departments around the world, including the Albuquerque Police Department. In 2005 the then chief of police of Washington, DC, a city that has adopted Israeli-style policing to an extreme degree, told The Washington Post that Israel is “the Harvard of antiterrorism.”

La Jicarita has covered the militarization of New Mexico in other articles, particularly relating to Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Acknowledgment that nuclear bomb production at LANL has degraded our health, air, water, and culture and has never lifted northern New Mexico out of poverty is also seen as the kiss of political death. Tom Udall will never engage in that conversation, either.

Perhaps the best the activists could hope to achieve was to cause the senators some embarrassment and remind them of the disconnect between their “progressive” claims and their complicity in the murder of civilians. As Edward Said, Palestinian American author and intellectual, pointed out in his series of lectures Representations of the Intellectual, once you become a “professional” (substitute “politician” for “intellectual”) you give up principles:

“Everything I have written in these lectures underlines the importance to the intellectual of passionate engagement, risk, exposure, commitment to principles, vulnerability in debating and being involved in worldly causes. For examples, the difference I drew earlier between a professional and an amateur intellectual rests precisely on this, that the professional claims detachment on the basis of a profession and pretends to objectivity, whereas the amateur is moved neither by rewards nor by the fulfillment of an immediate career plan but by a committed engagement with ideas and values in the public sphere.”

Folks in Albuquerque also protested in the street and in front of the new Udall office there.

Bob Anderson of Stop the War Machine and his daughter protest in front of Udall's office. Albuquerque city councilor Ray Garduño and his wife are in the background.
Bob Anderson of Stop the War Machine and his daughter Britney Pahls protest in front of Udall’s office in Albuquerque. City councilman Rey Garduño and his wife Isle Garduño are in the background. Photo by Daniel Anderson

Henry Siegman, who from 1978 to 1994 served as executive director of the American Jewish Congress, long described as one of the nation’s “big three” Jewish organizations along with the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League, recently appeared on Democracy Now. His voice, in this two part interview, is one of the most informative—and moral—I’ve heard on this devastating conflict.

Henry Siegman, Leading Voice of U.S. Jewry, on Gaza: “A Slaughter of Innocents”

  1. democracynow.org

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29 comments

  1. Swashbuckling, Kay! Receiving a lecture on shaming from Al Franken was the absolute nadir of my political participation. (Let’s hope.)

    I’m going to write about the event too, though I’ll take a different and I hope complementary or supplemental tact.

    Thank you for setting the bar so high.

  2. thanks Kay–good job!!  Henry Seligman is dynamite, isn’t he?  I’ll forward this to the divine Ms. L.  ox Jim

  3. From what I saw in the video, Carmen Stone wasn’t roughed up. In fact, her and her friend were incredibly rude, shouting obscenities at a security guard trying to escort them out of the event (which was on private property for the unions and non profits,) and being incredibly disrespectful to the old man in the neck brace (the red head kid with the beanie pushing him at one point.) This protest only served to perpetuate the negative view of protestors, crippling our ability to look like a source of positive social change. Protesting used to stand for something; it wasn’t a way to look cool for your friends.

    • Carmen was right to do what she did. I don’t know what protesting you’ve done, but I’ve been an activist for decades and I have no respect for those who kiss ass to authority, particularly when that authority is subborning genocide. Protesting is not cowardice, and protesting is not toadying to fascism and imperialism. What Carmen did looks “negative” only to those still enamored of the powers that be.

  4. To those reading this publication, make sure you are not looking at this event with your bias. I am a Democrat. I attended the event. I support Tom Udall and Al Franken. I also agree that the issue in Gaza needs to be dealt with.

    However, I do not think the protestors that were present yesterday did anything to promote or do good for their cause. They incited fear into innocent bystanders, who were simply attending to listen to the speakers. Carmen Stone blatantly began yelling and causing a scene within the hall, and was escorted out by security. Several witnesses and the camera show, that this use of “force” as she calls it, is standard. I would like to point out that her friend in the beanie pushed an older man in a neck brace who OWNS THE BUILDING and was asking them to leave private property. Carmen was disruptive, even after a representative from the protestor’s group was given the opportunity TO SPEAK ON STAGE WITH A MICROPHONE IN FRONT OF THE ENTIRE AUDIENCE.

    If they wanted to get their message across, they should have been more dynamic, and less aggressive. People will listen to you when you have a collected and logical argument, not when you are screaming, pushing, vandalizing and terrorizing elderly volunteers. The demonstration was a form of terrorization towards innocent bystanders, and I am abhorred by the “peaceful and complacent” attitude this article promotes it with. All protestors were supposed to be barred from entering the building because of the aggressive crowd in ABQ earlier that day. They asked why they weren’t allowed in, and Carmen Stone oh-so-actively answered that question.

    Public gatherings such as protests are civil rights. It crosses the line when protestors begins following innocent volunteers and politically-inclined attendees to their cars, inciting fear. The protestors were not acting as advocates of social change. If one protestor from the organization can explain to me how inciting fear in volunteers by stalking them, letting the air out of their tires and egging their car can solve the situation in Gaza, please enlighten me.

    • Dorothy. I find it abhorrent that you are taking advantage of this space to be deceptive and spread vicious rumors. No one was followed or harassed. Only the people inside who held opposing views to those who support Israeli war crimes were harassed and made to feel unwelcome. Being invited to speak in front of an audience was a blatant attempt at suppression of those holding a differing viewpoint – the senators had not even arrived. Everyone who did speak on the stage did so in a respectful manner. It was the Udall/Franken supporters in the audience who did not adhere to the request for respect.

      Your statement “People will listen to you when you have a collected and logical argument” is nothing less than a joke. The Udall/Franken supporters were rude, interrupted the people with the microphone, were mean and nasty. After one young man was finished talking with the microphone, which he did in a soft-spoken manner, he was asked to leave. Why was he asked to leave when it was the Udall/Franken supporters who did not honor the request for respect?

      One man was denied entrance into the event because he stated that he was one of the protestors. He was not trying to bring in a sign or a banner. The attempts to suppress opposing viewpoints was blatant and hardly democratic. When I was forced out of the building it was done so roughly and aggressively – and for what? For speaking loudly and holding a piece of paper.

      There was absolutely no vandalism, no stalking, and no terrorizing of elderly people. No one let air out of anyone’s tires, no cars were egged and I challenge you to produce the photos that would prove your allegations. You should be ashamed of yourself. And this line in particular reveals your apathy and lack of compassion or concern for innocent men, women AND CHILDREN being slaughtered in Gaza thanks to the unwavering support of your senators Udall and Franken – ” I also agree that the issue in Gaza needs to be dealt with.” – Really? That is the extent of your concern. I repeat Dorothy K. – SHAME ON YOU!

  5. I think you should be careful about using the word “terrorizing” in the context of an article that addresses the bombing and killing of civilians in Gaza. What I witnessed in Santa Fe was a two hour, peaceful demonstration outside Senator Udall’s office and an attempt by some activists to make senators Udall and Franken defend their votes in support of Israel in the Senate, where there has been no public hearing, no dialogue, no calling to account. Did you witness volunteers being “stalked”, air being let out of tires, and egging a car by activists who were involved in the protest?

  6. Dorothy K. states that “Several witnesses and the camera show, that this use of “force” as she calls it, is standard.”

    That Dorothy K. can state that “this use of force is standard,”, to me highlights what I find most troubling by yesterdays event (I was inside. As Steve Terrell from the SFNM had reported that there would be a protest, I came primarily to hear how the Udall Campaign, and those “Democrats” in attendance would respond. How important were allegations of war crimes to Democrats, and how did they feel about the unanimous vote on a US Senate Resolution to support Israel. And what was the position of Sen. Udall on supplying Israel with the means to carry out the attacks on Palestinians, and involving funding these tools of war in NM?

    Tom’s own father, the late Stewart Udall, is a hero of man, and truly represent’s what I had hoped would be values his son would adopt. In Stewart Udall’s book, “The Myths of August”, he wrote:

    “In short, during the sad history of the atomic age and the Cold War, our political institutions have not failed us; our leaders have betrayed those institutions, and thus the American people.” And indeed, the Atomic Energy Commission had mounted an extensive public-relations campaign that Stewart Udall called “the most long-lived program of public deception in U.S. history.”

    “Lies about national security affairs have become so routine, so inevitable, that Americans no longer seem interested in the truth. As practiced by Presidents and their minions for over two decades, foreign policy seems to have produced endless trouble: scandals from Watergate to Iraqgate, fodder for political trashing, smoke screens for domestic failures, enervating hypocrisy, billions of wasted dollars, lies, and dead Americans.” source, 1992 Stewart Udall, Myths of August, preface p xii

    In NY Times 8 June 1993 interview he was quoted as saying:

    “There is nothing comparable in our history to the deceit and the lying that took place as a matter of official Government policy in order to protect this industry[ nuclear weapons],” said Mr. Udall. “Nothing was going to stop them and they were willing to kill our own people.”…The atomic weapons race and the secrecy surrounding it crushed American democracy,” Mr. Udall said in a interview. “It induced us to conduct Government according to lies. It distorted justice. It undermined American morality. Until the cold war, our country stood for something.”

    Unlike his father, Sen. Tom Udall issued a statement saying: [continuing the deceit and lying rather than follow his father]:

    “Sen. Udall’s position is that as an independent nation, Israel has the right to defend itself from Hamas’ indiscriminate missile attack. Ultimately, he believes that a negotiated two-state solution is the only realistic path to lasting peace in the region and that the United States has an important role to play in bringing about that peace.”

    The New America Foundation [when Steve Coll was Exec. Director] has conducted MANY studies and conferences on Terrorism. A key finding was that : “Force does not subdue, it enrages.”- Richard Vogue 2004 also in
    http://newamerica.net/files/AmericanRespectTerrorismReport.pdf

    In 2005 University of Chicago political scientist Robert Pape published a much-commented-upon study of suicide bombing, “Dying to Win,” in which he used a mass of data about previous suicide bombing campaigns to argue that they principally occurred:

    “to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from territory that the terrorists consider to be their homeland.”

    While I am disappointed that the Udall campaign did not have a better response to the grievances presented, I am even more disappointed that the Democrats in attendance (are they representative of the Party, or only representative of a hawkish element?) see force and “private property” as an acceptable option in resolving differences of injustice. I was also disappointed at the many references to Nationalism, that being an “American” somehow trumped being a HUMAN.

    “There is nothing more foolish than to think that war can be stopped by war. You don’t prevent anything but peace.”
    — Harry S. Truman
    “During times of war, hatred becomes quite respectable even though it has to masquerade often under the guise of patriotism.”
    -– Howard Thurman
    “”Peace is not the absence of war; it is a virtue; a state of mind; a disposition for benevolence; confidence; and justice.”
    — Spinoza
    “We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, the soul of America dies with it.”
    —Edward R. Murrow
    “National security does not mean militarism or any approach to it. Security cannot be measured by the size of munitions stockpiles or the number of men under arms or the monopoly of an invincible weapon. That was the German and Japanese idea of power, which in the test of war, was proven false….. arms become obsolete and worthless; vast armies decay while sapping the strength of the nations supporting them”
    — Dwight D. Eisenhower “The Long Pull for Peace”, April 1948

    • Dude, I seriously didn’t see any force that wasn’t warranted. Sorry, I won’t even address it as force. If that’s what you consider force, you have some seriously messed up views on what it means. “Oh, he grabbed my shoulder and guided me back to the sidewalk then let me go.” Are you serious? And then that kid all “stop assaulting her! f*ck you, shut the f*ck up.” All I heard was someone being a jerk to a security guard just because he thought it made him look like a hardass. They’re people too man. Ppl were calmly, but firmly escorted off private property. I don’t care about your personal views on private property, it’s the law. I mean, how can it be any clearer on that. It’s literally a law that is intrinsic to the Constitution. And don’t act like you came there to discuss anything. One second I’m sitting there, trying to listen, next second some lady is screaming in my ear about Gaza. Look, I don’t support Israel, but I have to say, how in the hell is this helping anyone? People were scared of the protestors. Normal, regular democrats were scared of you people, because of how you conducted yourselves. How were they supposed to respond to a lady just screaming statistics and things at the top of her lungs? How is that presenting a discussion. It all reeks of a publicity stunt, and I really think that maybe you guys play for the other side, supporting those that would subjugate us by polarizing views on protestors and actual peaceful dissenters. I wonder who’s payroll all the violent and loud ones were on….just sayin’
      Additional note, it doesn’t take a whole lot of courage to disrupt a rally full of seniors and Democrats. Seriously?

  7. Given the predominance of gray hair at the rally I must admit that I had a few moments of amusement imagining which of these handsome seniors had stalked, egged and vandalized, as Ms. K. alleges.

    Sometimes there is an obligation to disrupt, not from the podium, but from the floor… I am honored to count Carmen as a friend, a friend who had the courage to disrupt.

    How easy was it for Al Franken to sign on to SR 498? Did he think, “Well my vote has been bought and paid for on this ($35K from the Israeli lobby) and anyway every nation has a right to defend itself, even if that nation happens to be a brutal occupying power… so i guess i’m good.” Did he give a moments consideration that this vote was complicit with the targeted killing of children and their mothers and fathers, the targeted bombing of schools, hospitals, refugee areas, all in response to what Foreign Affairs Magazine calls “Gaza’s bottle rockets” from what the Economist magazine is now calling “an open air prison.”

    Sometimes there is an obligation to disrupt, not politely, not with the hope of any dialogue but with the intent to call attention to an egregious wrong.

  8. I feel that no one is addressing the real issues pertaining to the protestors — the protestors with questions and opinions that if Mr. Udall or if Mr. Frankin really believed in Democracy wouldn’t have been barred from the event in the first place.
    DorothyK’s claim she “wants the issue of Gaza to be dealt with” is stupefyingly blind, because as any adult should realize people can’t “listen to reasonable arguments” if the people making those arguments are told to you are not welcome.
    And that Ms K is LITERALLY what happened.
    I too am a registered democratic voter. I am also someone who believes Israel’s attack on Gaza is a war crime. I didn’t know the two had become mutually exclusive. I rsvp’d to attend the meeting with my representatives, but right at the door as I was conversing with the ‘Democrats” the moment I mentioned I would also be joining the protest I was told to get out.
    ‘This is private property. We’re going to have to ask you to leave.” (Exact quote)
    And what’s sadder still – isn’t there a picture of Joe Hill on the front of this building? But more importantly it’s private property, bought and paid for, just like our politicians, I suppose.
    I wasn’t carrying signs. Just my thoughts and my opinions. I have been to innumerable events at the Statehouse. I protested outside, and when I wanted to enter I simply put down my signs and walked inside. No one has EVER suggested that I couldn’t enter. Scary.
    And, no, no one said (as would have been appropriate) “Well, sir, all opinions are welcome. We just don’t want any interruptions or shouting.” You yourself just admitted the decision was made to EXCLUDE. Let’s be clear. Because of my beliefs I was told I was not welcome. HOW is this less heinous that denying entrance on the basis of race or religion. This is what the Democractic Party has come to.
    At the Statehouse you get asked to leave IF you interrupt. At this event the disrespect for citizens and voters is so great they just make a decision PEOPLE WITH IDEAS WE CAN’T DEAL WITH CAN’T ENTER
    Get real. The pretext that, “well, the protestors in Albuquerque got disruptive” is a red herring. That’s no justification (assuming it’s even true) for denying basic democratic principles. A decision was made at this event to limit the dialogue, and excluded the questions Udall, and Frankin, and Dorothy K doesn’t want to hear. If that’s the new Democratic Party, it’s no party of mine. It’s abhorrent to Democracy.
    Insofar as you were disturbed by the protestors, good — even great. The minute democratic institutions become institutions of FEAR which seek to create a false pretense of Democracy through methods of exclusion, those organizations BRING CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE UPON THEMSELVES. Democracy in this case was outside the building, and inside were (at best) elected representatives who had forgotten what democracy is supposed to be about.
    And tMs K that is the answer to your question: How can protest help the situation in Gaza? I hope that you now stand enlightened.
    By the way, if you want to fully complete your enlightenment you need to answer the following questions, just to make sure you have been cured of your backward logic.
    How does NOT TALKING ABOUT GAZA resolve the situation in Gaza? In fact isn’t that the most cynical means of allowing the war crimes to continue? WHAT GIVES any representative the right to deny entrance on the basis of personal beliefs? Consider that at civil rights gatherings we don’t deny entrance even if you say you’re a member of the KKK, at best we keep an eye on you, and make sure you aren’t armed. How does that promote dialogue? If I had happened to say hm, actually I believe in Citizens-United!! (I really don’t) but my question is would I then have been told to leave??? Or if I had said I was pro-life! Pro-life activists have shot people down! But no I would NOT have been told to leave. I would have been encouraged to dialogue. Then isn’t it true that the meeting was PURPOSEFULLY DESIGNED to avoid the Gaza issue?
    Of course, it was.
    Yours, Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

  9. I don’t recall the event being a public forum. Maybe I missed that sign. From what I understand, the concept was “people who can’t allow the speaker to complete his speech before screaming like babies need to stay out.” Go crash a Republican event, instead of destroying the people who might actually listen to you if they weren’t so scared that you were going to burn the building down with all the innocent people inside. I don’t care if that was hyperbole. None of you seem to care to address the fact that you were allowed the stage, to speak. Would you get that courtesy at a Republican event? What if my idea was incredibly pro Israel? I doubt you would let me in at your events with open arms if I was a strong supporter of the Israeli government and agenda, and I was vocal about it. I’ve been on Facebook, back when I was invited to the event, and what I saw was sick. Some guy actually suggested that the woman yelling should’ve brought some Hell’s Angel’s in to help subdue the owners of the property and the security guards. I mean, are you serious? Justify that to me, please. Please justify why your members would encourage a violent group of thugs to be a part of your dissent. I am mortified. Sorry I’m just so tired of people who pretend like they are trying to help the movement, destroying it. Just a bunch of people who are simply puppets of our corrupt government attempting to cause a rift between those with ideas and the common man. You oppressionist thugs don’t care about anything other than your personal reputations as progressives.

    • Luciano,
      We do not approve posts that willfully misrepresent arguments, use name calling, or launch ad hominem attacks. I’ve approved this post, but it edges awfully close to those limits.

      We offer the comment section as a courtesy to readers who want to engage in a discussion. It’s not a platform to attack individuals.
      David Correia

      • Thank you for hosting this discussion, Lajicarita . . . but in all fairness, Carmen Stone and others have also been guilty of name calling and ad hominen attacks. Again, in all fairness, I saw the videotape of what happened inside . . . and, as one of the demonstrators, I saw how Carmen was treated when led outside off the property. The security guard in no way roughed her up, but as gently as possible guided her off the property. I thought he showed considerable patience while being repeatedly screamed at and cursed with the F word. Also, in all fairness, I didn’t see any of the demonstrators (most of us white-haired liberal democrats) commit any vandalism.

        I joined the demonstration because of my horror at the bombing of Gaza and murder of the innocent . . . and I’m appalled that Senators Udall and Franken supported (or at least did not oppose) the Senate resolution supporting Israel’s invasion. But in my mind, the disruptive tactics of some did nothing to support our cause.

        First, you should never alienate those persons most likely to be swayed by your arguments; I myself would be alienated by someone screeching at me so loud that I couldn’t even understand their words—and I can see why the audience applauded when Carmen was led off the stage.

        Loud and angry protests might make us feel better, but they do nothing to advance a cause—they bring only anger in return . . . and the cause can be lost in the shouting. I am old enough to have participated in the silent Civil Rights marches of Martin Luther King—marches of great power and dignity. And then there’s Gandhi and Nelson Mandela as role models.

        Okay, so what should have happened last Saturday? The outdoor demonstrators were peaceable, waved their signs, and were answered by thumbs-up honks at about one a minute (with only two middle fingers the whole time). I joined the occasional loud chanting, but I’m not sure it was right to try to drown out the speakers inside the building (again, fostering only alienation). Instead, we could have peaceably passed out leaflets to those entering and then leaving the building, without fighting with anyone of an opposing view. I understand that a representative of the group was afforded the opportunity to present our position— and that was done, as I understand it, with impassioned and logical persuasion and without cursing.

      • I felt considerably alienated by being told I COULDN’T enter the building. And this happened BEFORE Carmen or anyone else did any screaming. How many others were told this before the organizers apparently had a change of heart and mind? And no one has apologized to me…. if we are going to begin advocating peaceful clam and rational dialogue, where’s the apology for THAT decision? To me, and to anyone else who was told the same…

  10. Toady’s Democrats competing with Republicans to see who has the least honor. Disgraceful in siding with racist butchers intent on ethnic cleansing, annihilating the Palestinians.

    • Judith – While you may have witnessed me being forced off the premises you certainly did not feel the forcefulness used. You did not feel how tightly the people inside grabbed and held me. You did not feel how tightly the security person gripped me and the aggression in his eyes and face. So your “observation” that his manner was “as gently as possible,” is not accurate.

      And you have wrongly accused me. I did not call anyone names nor did I make any ad hominen attacks. Unless you are offended that I charged Franken and Udall with having the blood of Gaza’s children on their hands. So, please Judith, make your points without making false accusations.

      “I understand that a representative of the group was afforded the opportunity to present our position— and that was done, as I understand it, with impassioned and logical persuasion and without cursing.” Here is what you do not understand. While the “representative” may have lived up to your standards of politeness, he was still met with jeers, rudeness, nasty remarks and disrespect from a majority of the audience. I guess that discounts your theory that people can be swayed if you’re nice.

      I disagree with the tactic you propose. In my opinion it is an old and tired strategy. That does not mean it would not be effective and should not be carried out. And you should by all means distribute all the leaflets you care to.

      It is your prerogative to express your horror politely. I will express mine as I wish.

  11. Later today: I noticed that the videotape showing Carmen Stone inside Udall’s office and then escorted outside by a security guard has been blackened out. Deleted, I suppose, because it shows that, contrary to her statement, Carmen was not “pretty roughed up by his [Udall’s] security.” I don’t believe in censorship . . . and I think your followers should be allowed to see the deleted video so they can decide the truth for themselves!

    • Judith,
      When dealing with computers, it’s always smart to assume a glitch before some nefarious conspiracy.

      The video has not been blackened out. Videos that run in WordPress (the platform that hosts La Jicarita) are YouTube videos. Sometimes, we’ve noticed, the connection b/w WordPress and YouTube interrupts video playback. When a video in La Jicarita doesn’t play, just click on the title in the top left corner of the video. The link will take you directly to the YouTube url where the video is posted. I did just that now and watched the video in its entirety.
      David Correia

      • Oh, I’m very glad to hear that there wasn’t any censorship. The video, which I could see earlier, now appears blackened on my screen—so I hope no one else is experiencing the same computer problem.

  12. Carmen, I admire your passion and dedication —but it’s Saul Alinsky’s tactics that are dated. (I’ve been there, done that forty years ago.) Anger only begets anger—and promises no solution. I recently heard three young women from Creativity for Peace speak on the program they just attended. One young woman was from Israel, one from the West Bank, and one from Palestine (each with heart-breaking experiences), and they have found the peaceable tools to work together for peace.

    I wasn’t in the room, so I’ll have to take your word for what occurred with the official representative (Jeff Haas?) But, again, with my own eyes outdoors and according to the censored video, I did not perceive any roughing up. I’m sorry if it did happen to you.

    I’m pretty sure we’ll continue to disagree on tactics (and I expect I represent other older demonstrators), so we’ll just have to go our own ways in order to secure peace and justice in this world.

    • Judith, It is my hope that we do not always have to go our own ways. There are many tactics from which to choose and perhaps many more waiting to be created.

      I would welcome the opportunity to meet and explore the possibilities.

      In the end we are both coming from a place of love and pain for the suffering we are witnessing. Thank you.

    • Thank you, Carmen, for your thoughtful and loving reply.

      El Otro Lee—Do you really think that Mahatma Ghandhi, Nelson Mandela, Dr. Martin Luther King were following the rules of “etiquette”? Besides “progressives” wanting to achieve peace by being peaceful, it’s a matter of what works, what’s effective in bringing about change. Please watch the Youtube video of the silent protest march in NYC —blocks and blocks of demonstrators silently marching to the sound of a single drumbeat, most carrying signs, some carrying effigies shrouded in white. The organizers had asked that any criticisms by onlookers be met with silence—no shouting matches, just calmly marching onward.

  13. Civilians have paid a horrific price in the ongoing violence in Gaza. Our
    support of Israel in this conflict is unwise. I hope that Senators Udall
    and Heinrich and Representative Grisham will support and work for a
    lasting ceasefire that includes lifting the Israeli blockade of Gaza. The
    U.S. has particular responsibility to help end the killing since U.S.
    weapons are fueling this conflict. The International Committee of the Red
    Cross has called the blockade collective punishment against a civilian
    population. U.S. policymakers must call for lifting the blockade to ensure
    a durable ceasefire.

    While it’s imperative to address the immediate crisis, I also hope the
    U.S. will support long-term stability by shifting from a militarized
    approach in the Middle East to one rooted in inclusive, diplomatic
    solutions. The success of the ongoing nuclear talks with Iran and the
    agreement to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons demonstrates that the world
    can be made a safer place through diplomacy, not more bombing.

    Sincerely,

    Jennifer Boyance

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