Some of the groups blamed for St Pete BayWalk's decline (St Pete for Peace a true oxymoron) insist they have little to do with the violence at the entertainment complex.
Chris Ernesto, 45, an organizer for "St. Pete for Peace" , (click here and here for his arrest info), a group that sponsors weekly protests (Pro -Palestinian Gaza Rally scheduled for 1/03/09 at 7:30 pm, odd time for a "peace protest"), said the media have inaccurately linked BayWalk's decline with "peaceful" antiwar demonstrations. He declined to comment further...... All information on Chris Ernesto and his group "St Pete for Peace" was obtained from Public Records and/or statements made by same.
St Pete for Peace" rally, Support the People of Gaza! Saturday, Jan. 3, 7:30pm(*note earlier time*)2nd Ave. and 2nd St., N, St. Petersburg (map). As an occupying force, Israel is attempting to justify killing more than 400 Palestinians--a quarter of which are civilian--because of homemade rocket attacks "that killed two Israelis in the past 12 months" (lie). Palestinians are legally allowed to resist an occupying force. The initial Israeli attack occurred while thousands of Palestinian children were walking home from school (lie).
The Israeli Air Force is targeting Hamas terrorists in Gaza, not children, see my prior post, Militant Hamas leader Nizar Rayan killed in Gaza air strike, Rayan had advocated renewing suicide bombings inside Israel.
"People don't like going through the intimidation of walking through a picket line or a demonstration of St Pete for Peace," "It makes people uncomfortable. "If the adults would come back to BayWalk, the kids would go away," said Mike Shapiro of Shapiro's art gallery. "If there are a lot of adults here, kids don't want to be here." On a recent evening, it seemed both teens and adults had opted to stay away. The complex's half-empty restaurants and vacant storefronts set a serene scene.
July 3rd 2006..Chris Ernesto, 45, As an organizer of the group St. Pete for Peace, Ernesto helps lead frequent marches in protest of the Iraq war. Last year, the group displayed an American flag with the words "Torturers" on one side and "War Mongers" on the other side at the Fourth of July celebration at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg. "I'm personally ashamed of the flag at this juncture in American history," he says. "It stands for oppression. Lack of freedom. Lack of democracy. People speak of freedom but are told we can't write on the flag."
ST. PETERSBURG August 10, 2005..Peace group wants barriers out; "St. Pete for Peace" maintains the barricades outside BayWalk infringe on free speech rights. Marshaling forces in response to the arrest of six protesters, the antiwar group St. Pete for Peace on Tuesday demanded the removal of barricades at BayWalk and may sue the city or the entertainment hub's owner on free speech grounds.
Ernesto said he hadn't heard of the incident (he is at every protest), but added, "We don't want any Americans killed or any Iraqis killed."
"We may not get the numbers that we want," says Chris Ernesto, 45, "but if rhetoric against Iran escalates, people will know where to come."