Demonstrators gathered in front of the Regal Stadium 13 movie theater near Times Square as the film “Red Dawn” opened Nov. 21 in theaters across the country. They carried the flag of the People’s Korea. They also carried placards reading “Who are the real villains? The Pentagon killed 3 million Koreans” and “The 99% rule in People’s Korea! The U.S. is a Wall Street dictatorship.”
“Red Dawn” is a remake of a 1984 film in which Cuba, Nicaragua and the Soviet Union all invade the United States. The new version portrays an equally incredible and ludicrous scenario in which the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea invades the United States.
The first take on this new version showed China leading the invasion. The filmmakers decided that by changing the plot and digitally altering Chinese symbols to Korean, it would boost sales.
The protesters reached out to film-goers during a speak-out. Occupy Wall Street activist Yoni Miller said the film aimed to strengthen U.S. militarism. “Next they will be making a movie about Afghanistan invading the United States!”
Justin Wooten, of the Students for a Democratic Society Club at Montclair State University in New Jersey, spoke about the repression of civil liberties in south Korea and how U.S. military bases threaten the people there.
Sara Flounders, co-director of the International Action Center, said the anti-war movement must oppose every form of war propaganda and fight to cut the military budget.
Railroad worker Steve Millies spoke of how a similar propaganda campaign had been used to demonize Col. Moammar Gadhafi before the brutal U.S./NATO intervention that killed thousands of Libyans. He urged those walking into the theater to boycott the film and pointed out that war propaganda films like “Red Dawn” were declared war crimes at the Nuremberg Tribunal that tried Nazi leaders after World War II.
In fact, a woman walked out of the screening and joined the protest, saying: “The movie was so full of violence. It was just sick. I couldn’t stand it.”
A member of the Korean Friendship Association who had recently visited People’s Korea said, “I have just been in North Korea and everything you heard in the media is a lie. The people are happy, and the people are friendly.”
Alex Majumder, a longtime Cuba solidarity activist, spoke of how the war threats against Korea came from the same source that is currently bombing Gaza. He also highlighted how threats against Korea are part of the anti-communist war drive of U.S. imperialism.
Workers World Party youth organizer Caleb Maupin said, “Not a single person in north Korea is homeless. Yet in the United States there are 20 empty houses for every homeless person. Our enemy isn’t in Korea.It’s in Wall Street and Washington, D.C.”
As the protest ended, some demonstrators walked into the lobby of the movie theater holding high their placards and the flag of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. They performed an Occupy-Wall-Street-style “mic check” exposing the film as war propaganda. Then, chanting “Peace with Korea! Peace with Korea!” they walked out. n