|FROM SOVIET UNION SQUARE: COMMUNISTS FOR KERRY
by Jeanette Baik
Posted October 4, 2004
The New York Sun describes Communists for Kerry, "the pro-Bush political theater group." Modeled after Protest Warrior, CFK members march with protestors, outfitted in Communist garb and brandishing signs reading: "End tax cuts! Stop the menace known as 'success'!" and "Communists Only Killed 100 Million People. Let's Give It Another Chance!"
Starting in May with only 6 members, they are now 500 strong and are setting up a chapter in Australia. Jeanette Baik interviewed CFK founder and YR Bryan McCarthy:
Q: As you say on your Web site, www.communistsforkerry.com, most of your core members were not born here and have taught other members that America is pretty special. What things do you like about America that you didn't have in the Old Country?
A: I'm from Ireland myself. Jason, Charles, and Rob are all born here. What differs about America is that when I used to come up with ideas like this in Ireland, it would usually result in "a smack upside the head." However, here in the USA, there's a whole free market of ideas. I simply mentioned to the guys one evening that there needed to be a right wing response to Billionaires for Bush. I blurted out "Communists for Kerry" and people thought it sounded funny. Before I knew it, Charles had registered it as a 527, Jason grew a stupid beard, and Oleg was chained to his computer.
Q: What was it like the first time you crashed a peace march?
A: When we first crashed the peace march, they thought we were real Commies and wanted us to march in solidarity with them. They even applauded when Jason (as Che Guevara) screamed "End the Two Americas! Create one Socialist state!" After a few blocks, they figured us out. Then they ran to the cops and the media telling them we were Republicans and that we should be taken away in chains--real tolerant.
In Union Square about a month ago, we got "Get your commie crap out of here. You're making John Kerry look bad. People will end up voting for Bush instead." Duh!
Q: How does the media portray you?
A: The Washington Post fell for our gag. They thought we were real Commies. [Aug. 30, 2004: "And Kerry might prefer to eschew the four-member 'Communists for Kerry' contingent, whose placards advocated a 'France First!' foreign policy."] Meanwhile Steve Miller at the Washington Times was running a story on us and Protest Warrior. New York Magazine also did a photo shoot and interview with us. However that did not make it into print. Seemingly they only run stories about Billionaires for Bush.
Q: I see that Australians are starting a chapter of Communists for Kerry for their liberal candidate, Mark Latham. What is it about your group and Protest Warrior that makes you so popular today? As well as being really funny, I think you've hit a nerve.
A: People have a stereotype of conservatives as old, white, gray-haired guys that spend all day on the golf course. The left and groups like A.N.S.W.E.R. or United for Peace & Justice have now become the Walmart and Home Depot of protesting. We are simply using their own tactics against them and also attracting a lot of young people who would otherwise be drawn to the left because of its rebellious image. Now they have an alternative that is really rebellious.
Q: Who is the next dictator you want to impersonate?
A: Hillary Clinton