A group of anti-war activists led by San Diego Veterans for Peace spent Thursday afternoon (August 18) hanging banners above I-15 at Carrol Canyon Road protesting the Miramar Air Show, scheduled to take place next month.
Veterans for Peace organizer Dave Patterson emphasized his group's view that events like the air show mask more nefarious purposes behind their fun-and-games pretense.
"We want people to understand that the Miramar Air Show isn't about patriotism or fun and games, it's about selling people the idea of war," Patterson said. "The more we use our weapons, the more defense suppliers sell. And the more that war as an idea is promoted, the more people join up. So we want people to think about what's really going on there."
He admits, however, that though he opposes the show, it retains an appeal for many.
"I attended events like this when I was a kid and had great fun. It's all exciting, but so was the 'shock and awe' bombing campaign over
Baghdad," Patterson continued. "These planes don't drop food, they drop bombs."
"They've got the Blue Angels flying _ those stunts are very dangerous. More than ten percent of the people who've flown them have been killed in accidents at air shows."
Kate Beckwith, another activist, was appalled by both the risk to servicemembers and the cost of putting on the annual display, one of
"Why would you put your best pilots in a position like that? What good does it do?" asked Beckwith.
"I've heard the jets in the show cost $35,000 an hour just to fly. To use that kind of money to glorify war is absurd, especially when we're spending something like 60 cents out of every tax dollar on defense in some way, more than the rest of the world combined."