Move Over AIPAC flashmob @ D.C. Union Station

on 24 Comments

I’m excited to hear news about the Move Over Aipac event in D.C. this weekend. Here’s a start!

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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24 Responses

  1. annie
    May 22, 2011, 4:14 pm

    i’m really looking forward to hearing more about this event if anyone has any news.

    • Keith
      May 22, 2011, 4:39 pm

      ANNIE- I have long felt that one good way to deal with the resource imbalance between AIPAC (or other elites) and the rest of us is with direct, unconventional communication, such as street theater, singing, puppets, etc. Notice how much more interesting the singing of Hava nagila with new lyrics was than the straight protest chants. During the “Battle in Seattle”, the police targeted the large puppets because of their impact. Flash activists coalescing briefly, then dispersing to avoid arrest could be effective if done creatively. That is a key. Getting artists involved. I think whoever did this (Code Pink?) is moving in the right direction. Every little bit helps. Every little spark of resistance.

      • GuiltyFeat
        May 22, 2011, 5:21 pm

        “Flash activists coalescing briefly, then dispersing to avoid arrest could be effective if done creatively.”

        I don’t understand. Why on earth would any of these people be arrested? I can understand that they would be worried protesting in Syria, Egypt or Gaza, but doesn’t your constitution guarantee freedom of speech?

        I think you invent this kind of fear to make what these guys did seem dangerous and challenging instead of silly and meaningless.

        In the history of these impact-free events, how many “flash activists” (winner of the unintentionally hilarious phrase of the week) have ever been arrested?

        So much doubletalk.

      • Keith
        May 22, 2011, 7:39 pm

        GUILTYFEAT- Perhaps you missed the part where uniformed security ejected the protesters? Had they failed to disperse, they most assuredly would have been subject to arrest. Additionally, any protest on private property, such as a shopping mall, needs to be mobile to avoid arrest and prosecution. Finally, have you seen videos of what the Canadian police did to protesters at the G-20? In the US, our constitution has been torn to shreds by the patriot act, etc. We are rapidly advancing towards a full blown police state, which will be evident when large crowds take to the street to protest neo-liberal structural adjustment in the USA. Check out the protests in Spain and the rest of Europe. Pretty soon the gloves are going to come off. But not for you, so don’t worry. It’s us progressive folk that will take the brunt.

      • kylebisme
        May 23, 2011, 1:01 am

        The 2009 G20 in Pittsburgh was just as bad, this video being one notable example.

      • Keith
        May 23, 2011, 11:34 am

        KYLEBISME- Thanks for the video. “By order of the Chief of Police, I declare this to be an unlawful assembly.” Constitution? What constitution? The militarization of the police, the criminalization of protest, mass incarceration, all proceed at a rapid pace. This is progress? No, this is neo-liberal globalization.

    • Kathleen
      May 25, 2011, 9:57 pm

      Was there. We did the circle two more times out front of Union Station. Responses inside Union station were either confused or really positive. The police barely blinked. Code Pink has a great relationship with the DC police and they try to obey all laws of gathering and protest

  2. notatall
    May 22, 2011, 6:07 pm

    Are the organizers of this event concerned that the security guards who dispersed the flashmob were black—yes, I know, they were only doing their job—while the participants appeared to be entirely white—notwithstanding that the greatest well of sympathy for the Palestinian people is to be found among the black population?

  3. DICKERSON3870
    May 22, 2011, 7:10 pm

    FROM CODE PINK, 05/18/11: Obama will address AIPAC…Tell him what you think of the Israel Lobby and what’s really needed for a lasting, just peace in the region!…Help us get to our goal of 5,000 petitions to deliver to the White House…
    SOURCE – link to

  4. pabelmont
    May 22, 2011, 7:45 pm

    Wonderful. We should see that song-and-dance on the “News at Seven”. (But won’t.)

  5. Sand
    May 22, 2011, 9:06 pm

    To to be honest, I was a little disappointed there was no live video feed of the Speakers at that event? e.g. John Mearsheimer etc. I would have loved to have been there, but the flights and hotel costs were just too high from the West Coast (I did check) :(

    Also, were there really 10,000 ethnic cleansing supporters at the AIPAC conference? If so, “ICK” — that’s something to be concerned about. How many attended last year?

    James Besser (The Jewish Week): “An interesting morning at the AIPAC policy conference. Then again, how could it not be with President Barack Obama addressing more than 10,000 participants only days after giving a major policy address on the Middle East?

    link to

    • annie
      May 22, 2011, 9:39 pm

      i watched a youtube this morning. will see if i can find it.

      • annie
        May 22, 2011, 9:45 pm
      • Sand
        May 22, 2011, 10:01 pm

        Thanks — I saw that link when I googled the event — but unfortunately it’s only sound-bites :( I’m hoping the organizers put some money aside to make the presentations or even the transcripts available online?

      • Kathleen
        May 25, 2011, 10:01 pm

        nice thanks

  6. Bill in Maryland
    May 22, 2011, 11:42 pm

    Thanks Annie. I saw Phil there, so I hope he will devote a post to his impressions. The flashmob event at Union Station took place Friday, the day before the actual start of the Summit on Saturday. On Saturday, Walt and Mearsheimer were welcomed like rock stars and got a standing ovation after their keynote talks. One of them (I can’t remember which one), referenced Phil and this blog in a comment that suggested he was a regular reader of Mondoweiss. After a combined lunch/ author salon that included Chas Freeman, Laila El-Haddad, Rich Forer, and Pamela Olson, there was a session on the need for a new foreign policy with Noura Erakat, Nadia Hijab, and Phyllis Bennis. These three women were very strong advocates for a new and fair US foreign policy in I/P, and I am very sure would blow away Alan Dershowitz, Dennis Ross, and Dore Gold in a tag team match to win hearts and minds of an impartial jury. After this there were various workshops. In the workshop on BDS, Dalit Baum made the point that Europe is way, way ahead of the US in the BDS movement. Anna Baltzer, in a later workshop, shared very useful points about speaking and convincing others regarding the realities of I/P and was obviously experienced in dealing with hostile audience responses on this topic.
    Today there was a march and rally and it looked to me like several hundred people on the anti-AIPAC side showed up. The crowd was psyched, there was music, dancing, great props like a pretend US Boat to Gaza filled with people who “floated” around in front of the convention center and an eight foot-tall Separation Wall on which people were invited to write graffiti and messages- Tighe Barry of Code Pink did a great job in getting these props, puppets, and signs organized. Patch Adams the “clown doctor” was there and marched along with the crowd. Many AIPAC attendees came face to face with the anti-AIPACers as they exited and entered the Convention Center. I only saw one arrest, as the DC Police for the most part kept their cool. Overall the coalition led by Code Pink deserved a lot of credit for a job very well done in my opinion.

    • annie
      May 23, 2011, 12:16 pm

      fantastic bill, thanks so much. great photos too. i loved the free palestine sign in the reflection of the police van window.

    • Kathleen
      May 25, 2011, 10:03 pm

      Noura Erakat knocked my socks off. So sharp, articulate, fact based. Wow

  7. Bill in Maryland
    May 23, 2011, 7:13 am

    FYI, here are some photos of the Moveover AIPAC rally someone posted on Flickr.

  8. rachelgolem
    May 23, 2011, 10:00 am

    This is brilliant. Whenever Americans or Europeans put their children on a train or airplane, they always worry about Zionists.

  9. hophmi
    May 23, 2011, 10:36 am

    Hava Nagila, Hava Nagila, Hava Nagila v’nismicha
    Hava Nagila, Hava Nagila, Hava Nagila v’nismicha

    We condone violence,
    In all compliance,
    Not in defiance,
    Of our masters in Hamas.

    Palestine’s on the line,
    We’re busy drinking wine,
    They call us all Codepink,
    ‘Cause we really stink.

    Is-ma-el Ha-ni-yeh,
    Here’s a guy who’s really rotten,
    Just last week he praised bin Laden,
    Codepink says he’s a peaceseeker,
    Could these folks be any weaker,
    Rockets fly, children die,
    Codepink and Hamas are both in love.

    • Sumud
      May 24, 2011, 7:05 am


      Rockets fly, children die

      I presume you meant the 300+ Palestinian children Israel slaughtered during the Gaza Massacre two years ago. Let’s see, in 11 years rockets from Gaza have killed 22 Israelis.

      That’s two. Per year.

      I wonder how many of them were children hophmi, do you know?

      And for this, after successful cease fire of 5 months – which Israel broken on Novmeber 4th 2008, when the world was occupied with Obama’s election – Israel though it was acceptable to kill 1400 Palestinians. On top of the 1500 or so they’d already killed between 2005 and 2008.

      Codepink and Hamas are both in love.

      Based on what? …anything, or are you just makin’s stuff up again hophmi?

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