Nearly 1000 San Diegans Rally & March Against the Iraq War

by on March 15, 2008 · 11 comments

in Civil Rights, Health, Media, Organizing, Peace Movement, San Diego


Peace Rally, Teralta Park, March 15, 2008. Click the images to view a larger version

Fairmount & University, San Diego, March 15, 2008

CITY HEIGHTS, SAN DIEGO, CA: Nearly a thousand San Diegans participated in a march and rally against the Iraq war and occupation in the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego, today. Famed novelist and social critic Gore Vidal spoke at the rally in Teralta Park.

The protests began around 1:00 p.m. at the corner of University Avenue and Fairmount, a busy intersection in the mid-city, where dozens waved flags and displayed signs to passing motorists, many of whom honked in support.

March down University Avenue, March 15, 2008

Gradually over the next hour, the crowd swelled into the hundreds. By time the demonstrators took to the street for the march, they were 650 strong. I know. I stood on the corner and counted heads as they passed. With San Diego Police officers blocking intersections, the protesters moved down University Avenue for about a mile, crossed the bridge over I-805, and proceeded a block north to the park.

Veterans for Peace March in San Diego, March 15, 2008By the time the march reached Teralta Park, they were joined by folks already at the site and others who streamed in to hear the speakers. When Gore Vidal spoke, the crowd numbered between 800 and a 1000.

Organized by the San Diego Coalition for Peace and Justice, the demonstration stressed the economic costs of the war and occupation, to the detriment of our employment, health care, education and social service needs as a society. Many of the signs called for an end to the war, for peace, for jobs, health care, for “books not bombs,” and for impeachment of both Bush and Cheney.

Gore Vidal Speaks to San Diegans for Peace

Gore Vidal was carried to the stage from his wheelchair, and delivered his condemnation of the Bush administration in his trademark personal, and witty style. With a references to his old nemesis who recently died, Vidal had the crowd chuckling from the start – “I am not William F. Buckley.” Commenting that Bush should have gone long ago, Vidal mentioned that the president had attempted to grab onto the executive powers that Presidents Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt had. He explained that because he lives in Italy, he is constantly apologizing to Italians that Americans are not really as stupid as we look. He said that “as a life-long Democrat, I would be happy with either Clinton or Obama.” The crowd loved him, and gave Gore Vidal a standing ovation at the end of his all-too-brief talk.

Other speakers included Martin Eder – an event organizer, Dr. Jeoff Gordon – an Ocean Beach practitioner who spoke on the threats to the health care system due to the war, Maria Lopez – a local City Heights resident, Floyd Morrow – who has recently thrown his hat into the mayoral race, and representatives from various religious communities, Veterans for Peace, and Mission Bay High School students fighting the school bringing guns on campus via ROTC. (Apologies to those others who spoke that I didn’t mention.)

(Photos by Patty Jones.)

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Nina March 15, 2008 at 5:08 pm

Weird isnt it that it takes an independent blogger to get our March 15 Peace March online. I saw fox and univision cameramen at the protest however your blog gets this info up there first.

Where is this news on CBS,NBC,FOX tv or signon san diego where are the photos or articles? Where is the local San Diego newspaper article where is the local tv news story? This was an event across the world. They had protest marches in London, Los Angeles.

I am so sick of our media hiding the news.


Funny that you have photos and an article. I was there and it was my first protest rally. A little cold but really fun. I will be going to more.

Thanks for covering it and getting the news that matters out to the people!



Patty Jones March 15, 2008 at 5:25 pm

Thanks, Nina, for stopping in and leaving us a comment. Your questions about the media are things we ask ourselves everyday… I keep thinking that if the SD-UT covered things like this, brought the real news to us, their readership would certainly increase and they would make more money!

And Congrats to you for your first rally! Hope to meet you at the next!


Rich March 15, 2008 at 7:23 pm

You guys are fast! Went to check the for the current edition this afternoon and already there was coverage of today’s march and rally! Commentary by Frank and photos by Patty! Way to go!


Molly March 15, 2008 at 7:23 pm

Awesome, guys!


Jon Quate March 15, 2008 at 8:02 pm

Being to distant to make it, I applaud everyones effort! It looks like a successful event. I wish there were 100,000, then the media would have to take notice, as would the do nothing congress.


Dickie March 16, 2008 at 9:55 am

Great to hear the San Diego is standing up!! This is great coverage and puts the media to shame. Did you know about the action in Richmond (CA) at the Chevron refinery yesterday? It did get front-page local coverage in the SF Chronicle. Several hundred people went into Chevron’s property . . . 24 arrested . . . no violence. Also take the time to check out Redding which is having a peace march today . . . we often attract bikers-with-flags up there for some interesting interactions. There will be coverage in the Redding Record-Searchlight (or “wretched flashlight” as we sometimes call it) if nowhere else. It would be great if the Rag mentioned it.
This is the only blog I read . . . . great work FG and Patty . . . it is so inspiring to see that OB Rag logo everyday!!! Could become my screen-saver . . .
love to all who struggle,


Dickie March 16, 2008 at 9:56 am

What the heck does moderation mean???? I am just not blog-savvy . . .


Frank Gormlie March 16, 2008 at 11:05 am

Dickie – thanks for all your great comments.
We will cover your area’s antiwar events, especially if you send us news about them.
Moderation is simply the term for someone who comments to wait for their comment to be approved by the website managers. As in “Your comment awaits moderation.” Actually, we wait to see if you are really a moderate, politically, thus we await your moderation test. If you are moderate enough, we post your comment. ……… Just kiddin.


Anonymous in Potrero March 16, 2008 at 11:11 am

You could not possibly count every head. You would’ve had a headache.

Channel 10’s coverage: 15 seconds… deep in the telecast… minimum
Channel 8’s: third tease after weather, Chula fire… first after 10
minute re-start… two hundred headcount… no mention of Gore
Channel 51’s: upstaged by Bilbray’s immigration bill push for total
deportations and DHS merge with IRS…

Channel 6: Fell asleep by 9:30 so who knows… who cares

Signon… “Hundreds”… mentioned and quoted Gore on F. Buckley
hooray!… 500 count in the copy… no mention of veterans against the war
leading march. Copy mentions that nobody cares about war anymore, even
though there is more evidence about lies and cost of war.

Rag’s: “nearly” thousand… maybe 650 heads… straight out of The
Black… maybe 800-1000… maybe beyond the trees… nice pictures and real
quotes from Gore… need to run spellchecker… even with my limited
ESL I could pick up several typos … nemesis …

call me when you get “nearly” millions…

There is no report anywhere, as it never happened, of the IVAW
testimonies… lucky I have FSTV… otherwise who knows…if american people
don’t care after listening to this testimony… than

dude nobody cares

Maybe you should have crashed ol’ St. Patty’s potty party, there was
probably more pissed people there…


Frank Gormlie March 16, 2008 at 11:19 am

Anon in Pot.
Gracias for your remarks. Local coverage of our demo and the protests held across the country and world shows that they are not covering antiwar protests at all. 40,000 rallied in London and the UT says nada.
As for our numbers, not from The Black, the head shop in OB. I stood on a corner and literally counted everyone who marched by. I have this ability learned from countless demos over the decades and having the police estimate severely undercount the numbers, so I do the numbers myself. Granted, once the marchers got to the park, as there were people already there, and others streamed into the park to hear the speakers, like Vidal, the estimate got stretched. I ended up saying that there were 800 to 1000 with “full confidence” in the 650, “medium confidence” in another 150, but only lukewarm confidence in the final figure of “1000”.
Sorry, about the lack of spellcheck. In our rush to get the news out, we failed to hit the freakin button. Now corrected. But better to be corrected by a friend than by a nemisis … uh … nemesis. Your English is better than mine, dude.


Richard Nadeau March 16, 2008 at 6:32 pm

Nice to see that the San Diego peacenicks are still at it. I am with them in spirit. Great pictures. Fantastic that the anti-war demo was in the City Heights area. Peace .


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