12:12 p.m. ET
Not So Peaceful Peace Rally
Hundreds of people gathered at both ends of Meridian Hill Park in Northwest Washington for a peace rally sponsored by the D.C Antiwar Network.
But there were interlopers: Thirteen members of ProtestWarror, supporting the Bush administration and its policies in Iraq. When the Bush supporters arrived, about 20 black-clad, self-described anarchists emerged from the crowd, shouting profanity and epithets and demanding that they leave the peace rally.
When the Bush supporters refused to leave, the anarchists tore the signs out of the Bush supporters' hands and stomped on them. When ProtestWarrior leader Gil Kobrin objected, several male anarchists knocked him to the ground, kicking him in the back and punching him. Other anarchists punched and shoved Kobrin's 12 colleagues.
After D.C. Antiwar Network members broke up the fight, the Bush supporters heeded their order to leave the park. Kobrin then called D.C. police, who are now guarding them at the entrance of the park as they hold up their pro-war signs. "We're going to hang tight," Kobrin said. "We're expressing our freedom of speech just as they are expressing theirs." --Robert MacMillan
If I were still stationed in DC, I'd have been with the Protest Warriors, perhaps at this incident . . .
UPDATE: Gil Kobrin has a group blog, We Won't Get Fooled Again. Their post on the attack is here.
UPDATE 2: Gil posts on the ProtestWarrior thread dedicated to this event (edited for profanity):
I haven't read all the posts, but I'll shoot off a quick reply.
First off - I'm ok. We're ok. My back is killing me (they kicked me in the spine and kidneys), but I'll live.
We were not shouting or chanting when the anarchists attack; we weren't even talking with anyone at the time. We were simply holding signs.
As for all you liberal *******s who are calling us Protest******s etc, let me make one thing clear: I gave the order not to punch back. I will not endanger the lives of ProtestWarriors by starting a riot, against anarchists armed with steel pipes and knives. You have a problem with that, than you have a problem with me.
UPDATE AGAIN: The Washington Post has a story on it here titled "Protesting the Protestors". It raises some interesting questions regarding ProtestWarrior, and I may address them in the near future.
Sites picking up the story:
Heroes from the Past ;)
The Sundries Shack
This Untamed Fire Of Freedom
The Global Awakening
Pass The Ammo
The Lumber Of The World
Blogs for Bush
The Center For Advanced Studies In Right Wing Conspiracies
The SHEEP'S CRIB
Top Dead Center
View Of The Republic
News O Rama
More Eclipse Ramblings
In The Right
Trials and Tribulations
Semper Cogitans; Numquam Laborans