This article was originally published by TomDispatch.
It was June 20th and we antiwar vets had traveled all the way to Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the midst of a pandemic to protest President Trump’s latest folly, an election 2020 rally where he was to parade his goods and pretend all was well with this country.
We never planned to go inside the cavernous arena where that rally was to be held. I was part of our impromptu reconnaissance team that called an audible at the last moment. We suddenly decided to infiltrate not just the perimeter of that Tulsa rally, but the BOK Center itself. That meant I got a long, close look at the MAGA crowd there in what turned out to be a more than half-empty arena.
Our boots-on-the-ground coalition of two national antiwar veteran organizations — About Face and Veterans for Peace, or VFP — had thrown together a rather risky direct action event in coordination with the local activists who invited us.
We planned to climb the three main flagpoles around that center and replace an Old Glory, an Oklahoma state flag and a Tulsa one with Black Lives-themed banners. Only on arrival, we found ourselves stymied by an eleventh-hour change in the security picture: new gates and unexpected police deployments. Hopping metal barriers and penetrating a sizable line of cops and National Guardsmen seemed to ensure a fruitless trip to jail, so into the under-attended indoor rally we went, to — successfully it turned out — find a backdoor route to those flagpoles.
Read the whole article here: Inside the sudden, rising wave of military and veteran dissent | Waging Nonviolence