Protesters to CNN: Don’t Be a Pentagon Stenographer!

by Marcy Winograd, published on the LA Progressive, March 20, 2023

CNN locked its front door during Saturday’s, March 18th, anti-war protest in front of the network’s towering Hollywood building, where hundreds of ethnically diverse demonstrators, young, old and in between, called on CNN to stop parroting Pentagon propaganda about an “unprovoked” war in Ukraine and to feature guests who will challenge US foreign policy, not agitate for more weapons to Ukraine to risk WWIII.

Ysabel Gonzalez and Wei Yu, Codepink organizers

The protest “Fund People’s Needs, Not the War Machine,” was organized by the ANSWER Coalition, CODEPINK, the Party for Socialism and Liberation and The People’s Forum, but endorsed by dozens of other organizations, including the Peace in Ukraine Coalition representing over 100 national organizations. A CODEPINK “War is Not Green” banner and the ANSWER Coalition’s “NO to NATO” signs drew the attention of weekend drivers on Sunset, many of whom slowed down to honk in support.

The protest decried the manufacture of consent for endless war, as US funding for Ukraine exceeds $110-billion, an estimated half for weapons and military training. The CNN protest was held on the 20th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, which resulted in the deaths of an estimated one-million Iraqis and thousands of US soldiers.

Protesters demands addressed Ukraine and other social justice issues:

  • “Peace in Ukraine-negotiation, not escalation!
  • Abolish NATO!
  • No War with China!
  • End US Aid to Israel!
  • Fight racism and bigotry at home!
  • US hands off Haiti! End Africom! Free All Political Prisoners!”

Wei Yu, coordinator of CODEPINK’s “China Is Not Our Enemy” campaign spoke of the danger of US militarism at home and abroad and called out President Biden for vilifying China.

Saturday’s CNN protest was part of day-long national anti-war events, featuring other protests–the main one in DC, where thousands of protesters marched on the capitol, then held a teach-in on the war. Elsewhere, anti-war protesters gathered in in San Francisco, Seattle, Milwaukee, Chicago, Phoenix, Albuquerque and other cities.

DC, March 18th: Thousands of anti-war protesters march on the White House.

LA protesters, including this writer, attempted to deliver a letter to CNN requesting the network “feature guests and publish opinion articles in support of a ceasefire and negotiated peace to end the war in Ukraine,” but the news network’s guard just shook his head no –the door would not be opened. The letter was then taped to CNN’s glass door. “To date, your coverage has been dangerously hawkish, agitating for more weapons shipments and opposing peace negotiations with Russia, the most nuclear armed nation in the world, second to the United States,” read the letter.

Locally, virtually all corporate media outlets ignored the CNN protest, with the exception of KTLA television, which featured an interview with an organizer of the demonstration on its late night newscast.

The KTLA story, however, could not be found the next day on the Internet.

Not a trace.

Marcy Winograd is a blogger, activist, and public school teacher in Los Angeles.

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