I went to the ProtestWarrior counter-protest to the event at Dallas City Hall today. had also organized a counter-protest, so the numbers were pretty lopsided. As near as I could tell, it broke down like this:
- 10-15 Event Staff
- About 5 EWS supporters
- About 15 Police and Safety Patrol
- 20-30 Media
- 40-50 Protest Warriors and Ankarlo listeners
The police officer that I talked to agreed that it seemed to be about 100 people overall, and that is roughly what my numbers add up to. It was hard to tell who was PW and media at some points, but it was obvious that the numbers were lopsided.
The event was pretty trite. It was obviously well funded, but that is about it. The majority of the people around the EWO event were wearing event staff badges, so I’m assuming they were paid employees. There were a handful of other usual suspects, but no one was foaming at the mouth. (They might have just been short of critical mass.)
Some of our people were a little over the top, but no one got violent. The PW moved over to the podium when they had their hand picked fallen serviceman’s mother speak. When she was done, the PW demanded that the fallen serviceman’s mother on our side be allowed to speak. When they refused, a chant of “Let Her Speak” went up, but they were having none of that.
I was standing beside some of the event staff, and I could hear the guy talking to the guy on the podium. “They are trying to take over our event. They don’t have a permit. Don’t let them on the mic. This is our event. They need to go make their own event.” Gee. I thought it was the soldiers’ event, guys. Thanks for clarifying that for me.
Some of our people stood up and crowded the podium and blocked them from the cameras, and the police did the right thing and stepped in and moved our people back. (I think that it was counterproductive for people on our side to do that, and was glad that it was nipped in the bud.) From that point on, the police maintained a division, and they did so in a fair and professional manner. If you are them or know them, thank you for your service and professionalism.
It didn’t matter what he wanted, because as soon as our people gathered to speak, all the media came to us anyway. We said our part on the side, and they continued their program.
Overall, the thing that I remember most is what a production the whole thing was. There was a sizable amount of funding behind this. They transport all these boots, they have a lot of staff, they had a podium and mic and professional signs, and whole list of credits on the website. They spent a lot of money on this, while we spent almost nothing on it. I have to wonder: how much more good could have been done with this money if they had used it to buy all these shoes and send them to Iraqi children?