Skip to comments.Rocky's call to protest Bush makes vets see red
Posted on 08/20/2005 7:36:26 AM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity
Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson called for "the biggest demonstration this state has ever seen" to protest President Bush's appearance Monday before a national veterans convention.
"This administration has been disastrous to the country," Anderson said Friday. "If people could organize and speak out in an effective manner from the reddest state in the country, that would garner a lot of attention."
In an e-mail Wednesday to about 10 activist leaders, the maverick mayor of Utah's capital called for a diverse demonstration to greet Bush when he speaks to the Veterans of Foreign Wars at the Salt Palace Convention Center. The mayor plans to join the protesters.
"There should be a collaboration of health-care-provision advocates, seniors, the [gay, lesbian and bisexual and transsexual] community, anti-Patriot Act advocates and other civil libertarians, anti-war folks, pro-Social Security advocates, environmental advocates, anti-nuclear-testing advocates, and anti-nuclear-waste-shipment-and-storage advocates," the mayor wrote in the e-mail.
The mayor's message drew a howl of outrage from Mike Parkin, senior vice commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Atomic Post 4355 in Salt Lake City.
"Excuse my French, but - that son of a bitch!" he said. "It makes the mayor look very, very unpatriotic. It makes him look despicable."
Parkin said such demonstrations, particularly against the Iraq war, give comfort to America's enemies and will be particularly offensive to the 13,000 to 14,000 veterans gathering at the convention.
"I voted for the son of a bitch and I'll never vote for him again," said the Vietnam War veteran.
Anderson disagrees with that measure of patriotism.
"Patriotism," the mayor said, "demands that people speak out when we see our government officials acting in such anti-democratic and deceitful ways to the people of our country."
He also said: "I don't understand people simply blindly going along with the sort of deceit and utter cruelty of this administration. It's not just we have the right to speak out, but we have the obligation to speak out when we see misconduct on the part of the government. The most patriotic thing we can do is stand up against the misuse of governmental power."
Craig Axford, co-chairman of the Utah Democratic Progressive Caucus, said Anderson's encouragement of demonstrations is appropriate.
"I don't think there's anything untoward or radical about that," said Axford, an organizer of a peace rally planned for Pioneer Park, three blocks from the convention center. "For people who appreciate the mayor and appreciate his politics, obviously it will boost our event."
But Joe Cannon, chairman of the Utah Republican Party, said Anderson's encouragement of protests against the president was improper, though typical of the mayor.
"What do you expect? It's Rocky. Clearly it's intended to smack the president. As the mayor of the host city, it's at best untoward."
Cannon thinks the e-mail will only help the Utah Republican Party.
"It's not the worst thing that can happen to remind the people of Utah the kind of things Democrats nationally stand for."
Salt Lake City Councilman Dave Buhler, a Republican, also said the mayor's action was in poor taste.
"I'm disappointed he would do this and use his office to promote his political views, which do not involve the city directly."
Other city officials can do little, Buhler said, except "apologize for him again, as we are getting pretty good at doing."
Anderson, who is scheduled to make welcoming remarks to the conventioneers, says veterans will understand. "The veterans of foreign wars are heroes in my view. To stand up against government misconduct is in no way expressing a lack of support for those who defend our country."
Even though Utah gave Bush his largest margin of victory of any state in the 2000 and 2004 elections, Anderson, a Democrat, wrote in this e-mail: "Don't let him come to Utah and not see huge opposition, even in the reddest state! This would send such an important message."
"A tepid response will just send a message of apathy and resignation. Let the Bush administration - and the world - hear from Salt Lake City!"
Meanwhile, peace activists already were gearing up for the president's visit. Erin Davis, a veteran who opposes the war in Iraq, predicted at least 1,000 anti-war activists would begin gathering in Pioneer Park early Monday. The demonstration will be joined by a national group of military families who oppose the war.
Anderson plans to participate at Pioneer Park demonstration against the war and is scheduled to speak.
Axford described the rally at Pioneer Park, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., as a "pro-peace rally." It isn't being held near the Salt Palace, where the president will speak, because organizers didn't want to make the convention attendees feel unwelcome, the mayor said.
"We didn't want to invite any kind of confrontation. We wanted to focus on our positive message."
That message, Axford says, is: "We'd just like [the president] to explain and justify this war in light of the fact so much of what we were told we were fighting for clearly we weren't fighting for."
Reporter Heather May contributed to this story.
Rocky will be right at home in Pioneer Park with the heroin and crack junkies. He'll have to step around the used drug needles and watch out for whatever sticks to the bottom of his shoes, though.
What's happened to Utah? Are we losing the Mormons to blue state liberaldom?
This makes me ill. Thanks for the heads-up. All I can do is pray it doesn't happen.
I don't think he will be mayor for long acting like this
I don't think so. Rocky has successfully rallied the inner-city crackheads to vote early and vote often for him. He has a small core of supporters making a lot of noise for him and the SLC Tribune loves to write glowing articles about him. He knows he's in a small minority of DemonRats and his days are numbered, so he's just out to piss off conservatives every chance he gets.
My question is why is he mayor in the first place?
About what one would expect from a RAT.
When did that happen?
Yeah, when did that happen?
yup , "hey Rocky , keep yappin'!" the once great democRAT party self-immolates [don't stand too close , you'll get singed]
"Rocky will be right at home in Pioneer Park with the heroin and crack junkies. He'll have to step around the used drug needles and watch out for whatever sticks to the bottom of his shoes, though."
What's happened to Salt Lake? Sounds like it's gone downhill. Did all the LDS voters stay home on election day and allow Anderson to win by default?
Methinks the brim of the asshat is down around his neck....
Guess he wants to lose his job...
Sometimes I wonder if the hispanic population is bigger than the LDS population in the Salt Lake Valley....
Maybe he pulled a fast one on the voters? Did they know he was a MEGA LIBERAL when they voted for him? or is this some new stance he is taking?
"I love you too, Adrienne."
After their support for the dead red I canceled my membership, of course they didn't believe me and tried to get me to renew wrote a nasty letter to the head of the organization calling him everything including a demo rat.
VFW another gimme girl group.
Search Peoria Journal Star archives for the durbin incident.
He's going to give a welcoming speech and then head out to dis the President?
I hope Cindy can drag herself away from her moms hospital bed to join Rocky. But I bet Rocky doesn't. Sounds like he plans on enjoying all the media attention for himself.
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