4:29 PM

Shining a Light on AEC Protestors

Posted by Skye |

On Saturday May 2nd, the Northeast was treated with a spectacle of false patriotism and misdirected hatred, when a scraggly group of protesters mobilized a 'march' on Franklin Mills AEC (Army Experience Center) in an attempt to shut it down and serve a bogus criminal complaint. The protest, organized by Elaine Bower and documented on her website shutdowntheaec.net, clearly reveals this protest was an astoturfing event. Participants traveled from DC, NYC and West Chester, Pa to represent our thoughts on the military. Now there is nothing wrong with New Yorkers or DC denizens coming to Northeast Philly, considering that they are pretty much professional protesters, but while they were here it is disingenuous for them to represent the will of the local neighborhood.

Prior to the march on the Mall, the protesters gathered at St. Luke's United Church of Christ which opened its doors for the assembled protesters. As the protesters milled around listening to speeches, their malicious and misleading words did not go unchallenged. A hearty trio of counter protesters showed up with signs reading 'Shame on St. Luke's - Our Soldiers Are NOT Criminals". The secretary of St. Luke's UCC responded by repeatedly cursing at one of the counter protesters. I'd repeat the curse word, but this is a family oriented newspaper and she was not practicing 'what Jesus would do'.

Who would travel from out of state or from the suburbs to spend an hour annoying shoppers at Franklin Mills Mall? A brief look at the sponsors listed on the website reveals that there is nothing peaceful or truthful about their cause. Sponsors included World Can't Wait (AKA Revolutionary Communist Party), Chester County Peace Movement (CCPM),Veterans For Peace and their student chapter Iraq Veterans Against The War (IVAW),Code Pink, Brandywine Peace, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and others. What was striking, for a “coalition” of 31 groups, Elaine Bower managed to organize a protest with virtually no participants! The event sponsors promised 700 people, but delivered only 200 or 29% of their stated goal.

Who are these people and why are they harassing teens at the AEC? Let me take this time to share some crucial details regarding the sponsors and participants of this protest. I encourage the readership to Google every point I make to learn first hand about these organizations and individuals. Let's begin the lesson with Chester County Peace Movement (CCPM). A group that has garnered the nickname Chester County Prison Movement due to the arrests and aggravated assault charges leveled against its members. Combine this with a director who characterizes veterans and those who support them as "jack booted thugs" and "Blackwater type mercenaries sent to break them (CCPM)". A few minutes reading messages similar to this on their listserve, one quickly gets a picture that more closely resembles paranoia than peace.

Bill Perry heads Delaware Valley Veterans for America and a member of Jane Fonda's Winter Soldier tribunal. He also is a mentor and strong supporter of Representative Patrick Murphy. At the 1971 Jane Fonda Winter Soldier tribunal he admitted to abandoning his duty of walking point when warned of an ambush. He hid while his fellow soldiers walked right into that ambush. During his testimony he described the ambush with this chilling statement:"the platoon got pretty well shot up". I can only imagine the stories swapped between him and Rep Murphy over dinner!

IVAW member Jesse Hamilton spoke about the evils of the video game experience. He belongs to an organization that had a history of propping up individuals with less than truthful biographies, such as Jesse MacBeth. In addition to misrepresentation the actions of American Soldiers, the organization openly advocates for GI Resistance and encourages members to 'Befriend a Recruiter' which they state will clog the military's ability to enlist new recruits and help end the war. A veteran by the name of Thompson Bradley addressed the protesters. A self described Marxist who recently admitted to contacting Cathy Wilkersonwhile she was on the FBI's most wanted list and inexplicably forgot to mention that to the FBI. A Veteran For Peace member by the name of John Grant was present, he is famous for saluting Hugo Chavez during a taping of his show Alo Presidente. See for yourself, Google the search term: VFP Salute To Chavez.

The take home message is that these organizations and individuals do not represent the good people of Northeast Philadelphia. They hide a disingenuous agenda behind the label of 'peace' and manipulate the good will most citizens harbor for our troops to further a malicious, non peaceful agenda. The protesters loitered outside the AEC for less than one hour, and ten minutes after they were gone, the AEC was open for business.

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