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Unscheduled speaker crashes DC anti-war protest
Mike Aivaz and Muriel Kane
Published: Monday September 17, 2007


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During Saturday's anti-war rally in Washington, DC, a counter-demonstrator made his way onto the stage at one point, saying, "I'm not scheduled to speak today, but I do want to bring a different point."

The crowd listened attentively as he began, "I stand before you with respect for your convictions," but the moment he announced, "I'm a conservative," the microphone was shut off amid a chorus of boos. The boos, however, quickly changed to chants of "Let him speak, let him speak," and after some discussion onstage, the microphone was turned back on.

"All I'm about is protecting our soldiers, alright?" said the counter-demonstrator. "Now, all of you believe war is bad, but unfortunately, sometimes that bad is the best American defense. There is an enemy at our doorstep that wants us dead, and they will do everything that they can in their power ..."

When the crowd heard those over-familiar arguments, the boos broke out again, more loudly, cutting off the speaker. Then Reverend Lennox Yearwood of the Hip-Hop Caucus -- who was injured in an altercation with Capitol police last week when he tried to get into the Petraeus hearing -- hobbled up on crutches. Yearwood put his arm over the shoulder of the counter-demonstrator, who put an arm around him in return.

"This is awesome," Yearwood stated. "This is what democracy looks like. ... We might not agree on philosophy, but I'll be damned if I kill this man. Because Iraqis don't agree with you, we drop bombs on Baghdad. This is what we're fighting for. We're fighting for democracy, that you're conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat, black or white. It's about Power to the People! ... Stop this war!"

The following video is from C-SPAN's DC World Can't Wait Protest Rally Washington D.C. SEPT 15 , broadcast on September 16, 2007