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Houston Community News (vol 8 iss 31)

Vociferous Protest Against The State Violence In The Middle East

I woke up late and then tried unsuccessfully to get my camera to work and went to the protest that was called by old peace-nicks to take place in front on the Israeli consulate, which appears to be in an office building on Wesleyan just south of the Edwards movie theater near US 59 South.

I was pleasantly surprised to find a large crowd of folks (perhaps 125), who belonged to different diverse groups including Middle Eastern people. The most noticeable thing was that they were all predominantly young.

While it may sound fairly routine and boring to stand on a sidewalk and hold a sign so traffic can see the protest, it seemed much more vital and exciting due to the sheer energy of the young protestors, some of whom were holding Palestinian and Lebanese flags. There was a good mix of people: A contingent of teens and young ones in their 20s with fairly standard American fashion; Abercrombie & Fitch and spiked hair, while some of the women were wearing headscarves. These folks moved back and forth along the sidewalk, chanting and speaking, talking to friends and while motivated by the dire immediacy of the violence in the Middle East. It was a welcome relief from the typical peace protests, which are sometimes stagnant and boring.

The chants were mostly simple, the most common was a call and response of “Stop bombing Palestine, Stop bombing Lebanon” that would be repeated dozens of times over and over again. I also heard “Occupation is a crime from Iraq to Palestine” and “No Justice No Peace.” I ran into some folks, who had come down from Austin including a group called “Jews Against the Occupation.”

The response from cars was very interesting, you had the usual people pretending not to see us, some people gawking, and I’d say a small majority of peace signs, thumbs up and honks over middle fingers, head shaking and threats to injure our families.

A moment of some excitement was, when a car being driven by a woman inches from the curb who I saw appeared to be hassling the crowd, which situation somehow led to reports of the HPD having arrested someone as a punishment for making physical contact with the car. This lead to a lot of people chanting “let him go” and “Cops here, bombs there, US out of everywhere.” The cops quickly summoned police on horseback from some mystical stable and used metal barricades to block off the protest from the street. ACLU legal observers were present and I believe they talked to the person who got arrested.

There was an interesting moment towards the end where the sponsors and career activists gathered in a circle to give speeches and hushed the people chanting, many of those silenced decided to move south towards 59 and heckle the lone counter-protestor with an Israeli flag on the other side of the street.

The day was also extremely hot.

Top ten most-stolen cars in the Houston region

The following is a rundown of the “Top Ten” makes of vehicles stolen during the month of June, 2006. The models stolen most often are listed in parentheses:

1) Ford trucks: 143
2) Chevrolet trucks: 140
3) Dodge trucks: 118
4) Honda cars: 101 (Accord 51.49%) (Civic 48.51%)
5) Chevrolet cars: 54 (Caprice 16.67%) (Impala 20.37%)
6) Ford cars: 54 (Taurus 62.96%) (Mustang 16.67%)
7) Dodge cars: 53 (Intrepid 39.62%) (Neon 18.87%)
8) Toyota cars: 44 (Corolla 45.45%) (Camry 40.91%)
9) GMC cars: 33
10) Nissan cars: 32 (Maxima 37.50%) (Altima 34.38%)
For more information, contact Officer Betty Doss of the HPD Auto Theft Division at 713-308-3500.

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