The massive anti-GOP protest rally in Manhattan Sunday was best defined by the pyromania that the mainstream media buried or ignored: an alleged arsonist set fire to a float?a paper mach?ragon?within spitting distance of Madison Square Garden, while someone was inside the float, according to a law enforcement figure. (Two people were burned, including one police officer, though neither was seriously injured.)
Befitting the whole event, the most prominent posters around the conflagration at 34th St. and 7th Ave. were for the group United for Peace and Justice. The alleged arsonist doubtlessly was a supporter of UPJ?the entire 100,000+ demonstrators most likely were?yet this (alleged) pyromaniac must have a different definition of ?peace and justice? than the rest of us.
Exhibiting enormous restraint, the NYPD did not shut down the freak show. The demonstrators had but a brief interruption, and then they were on their merry way. (According to one NYPD officer on the scene, a veteran of numerous demonstrations and parades, ?There is no way anybody else could have continued after starting such a big fire.)
True to the demonstrators? nature, rather than pointing out the (alleged) arsonist, nine protesters were arrested for attempting to block police officers from arresting the person who could have potentially murdered all of them. Talk about brotherhood.
Most of the demonstrators who followed a good distance behind (at least 200 yards) had no clue what had happed ahead of them, yet when told by this columnist, none had negative words about their leftists-in-arms. Apparently, (alleged) arson is not a great sin when committed by an avowed leftist.
Demonstrators may have been reluctant to criticize their own, but many did not seem to know against what they were protesting.
Some were at months out of date, others decades. Perhaps the most popular sign was one that read, ?End the Occupation in Iraq.? We did. Two months ago. The second-most-popular sign was ?No Draft, No Way.? There?s been no draft for three decades now, and only Democrats are proposing one.
Typically clueless was Bryan Martin, 25, a New Yorker carrying a ?No Draft, No Way? placard. Following is a verbatim transcript of this columnists? conversation with Mr. Martin:
Q: ?What are you protesting??
A: ?I'm protesting a war we shouldn't be fighting.?
Q: ?Are you protesting the Democrats with that sign??
A: ?No, the Republicans.?
Q: ?Are you aware that the Democrats are the only ones proposing a reinstatement of the draft??
A: ?Wasn?t that tongue-in-cheek??
A: ?Oh. Well, they just gave me the sign at 14th Street (the demonstration's starting point). I don?t really know what it means.?
Some protesters actually had a sense of humor. One protester carried a sign with The Simpsons? Comic Book Guy with the following text: ?Worst President Ever.? (If you?re not a Simpsons Fan, trust me, it?s funny.)
Some wannabe humorists unfortunately followed in Whoopi Goldberg?s footsteps. One placard read, ?Another Gay Man Against Bush.? One girl?s t-shirt read, ?My Bush would make a better President.?
Others simply made no sense. Several demonstrators held up signs saying, ?I could sh*t a better President.? Whatever that means.
A quick sampling of the rest: many were incoherent?this highly organized event did not coach marchers on what they should be shouting, leading to mass cacophony?while one jovial group groaned, ?Boo, boo, boo.?
The most colorful language seems to have been saved for the handful of conservative protesters standing within a few feet of this columnist. One cheerful chap threw out at least 25 expletives, ranging from ?stupid dipsh*t? to ?motherfu&*er??all to someone who said nothing in response. For good measure, any number of like-minded folks tossed out insults such as ?imbecile? and ?terrorist.?
Some decided not to use words in front of the conservative protestors. Two shirtless gay guys started French-kissing in front of them. When prompted by someone in the crowd to rub their nipples together, they did. What fun.
Mixed in this leftist demonstration, of course, were many environmental activists. One such protestor was a blonde woman in her late-20?s, carrying a Whole Foods grocery bag and whose boyfriend was decked out in full hippie gear, with massive breast implants?stripper-sized, to be exact?that were almost certainly not biodegradable.
And at the end of the demonstration filled almost entirely with greenie activists, street sweepers were called to the scene to clean up the titanic trail of trash. Littered everywhere were anti-Bush and anti-war flyers, bottles of water, and other miscellaneous garbage.
As their gargantuan garbage path left in their wake might indicate, this was not a grateful group of activists. When diverted from the fire (allegedly) started by one of their own, following is an exchange that occurred with one demonstrator, as recounted by a uniformed NYPD officer:
Protester: ?You're infringing on our freedom of speech.?
NYPD Officer: ?No, we're giving you freedom from burning.?