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Richmond IndyMedia Live! Every Tuesday, 12:30 - 1PM on 97.3 WRIR LP-FM, and streaming online from wrir.org!

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War criminal visits Richmond

People entering the Landmark Theater Saturday night to hear retired Gen. Tommy Franks speak were confronted by a group of angry protesters on the sidewalk in front of the theater.
Chanting “Support our troops, bring them home,? the group of about 40 people were calling Franks out on his leading role in the disastrous invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Franks was in charge of U.S. Central Command, the nerve center that plots out military operations. Hoisting a banner reading, “End the occupations,? the protest was not well-received by attendees of the Franks event, sponsored by the Richmond Forum. With tickets costing $50 to $100, Landmark guests were proud sycophants of the Bush administration.

Many a thumbs-down peppered with a few middle- finger salutes were given to the protesters. “Get a job!? “You lost!? “End the occupations of what?? were shouted at the group. In retort, one protester shouted, “Lose what? I didn’t lose my conscience!? One person who was entering the Landmark shouted, “Why don’t you shout in Arabic? It’s what they do over there!?

A small cluster of 8 counter demonstrators greeted the Landmark patrons. Waving U.S.flags and holding signs of “Straight Girls Heart Men in Uniform,? the group applauded entrants. As she was about to go into the theater, one woman shouted “Stop this! My son is over there!? at the protests and proceeded to slap two of the protesters.

One of the victims, Bean Weatherford said, “I didn’t feel assaulted. She yelled in my face, ‘My son is in Iraq’ and I said “Bring him home,’? he said. “I yelled, ‘Wake up!’ because people don’t want to accept that this war isn’t liberating but bringing chaos to the Iraq people.?

One woman approached the protest once the talk began and tore her program in half and said she couldn’t sit through the speech. Subversives managed to get some anti-war material into forum attendees’ hands. As people were walking up on Laurel to the Landmark, they were offered brochures with warm pictures of Franks on the front but the inside detailed Franks’ lies and deeds. Here is an excerpt from the brochure:

Powerful words- Franks being frank

“'Freedom is Never Free.' Our Nation is safer today because we have hardened our defenses and taken the fight to the terrorists.? – General Tommy Franks at the Republican National Convention.

JIM LEHRER: Have we found enough that makes you able to conclude that, hey, this really was where this –[Afghanistan] really was the main base of al-Qaida, this is where Osama bin Laden and his people were calling the shots as much as they were?
GEN. TOMMY FRANKS: My honest answer is no. What we have found is a number of places where we believe terrorist control activities have taken place inside Afghanistan.
But to be able to pick one and say, this is the one, no, Jim, we haven't found that.4
Franks comments on the Iraqi War coalition at the RNC:
“President Bush has built the largest coalition in the history of the world nations united together against terrorism.?

As the war continues to worsen, the coalition that is invading Iraq is in fact shrinking. Five nations: Spain, the Dominican Republic, the Phillipines, Honduras and Nicaragua have already pulled out this year. New Zealand, Thailand, Hungary, Poland and Norway are expected to leave in 2005. Popular pressure forced Spain and the Phillipines to pull their troops out of Iraq.
 
 


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