Mob Psychology

An October 13 flag-waving rally sponsored by conservative KVI talk radio was disrupted when a contrarian protester showed up carrying an Osama bin Laden sign and a sign showing George Bush atop Adolf Hitler's body. Arabic writing over Bush's faced declared: "God is Great."

The protester, local gadfly and perennial political candidate Stan Lippmann, explains that he wanted to "shock the brainwashed crowd" by pretending to be a Pakistani protester.

Lippmann, 42, says he's saddened by the U.S. bombings of innocent people, and finding peace rallies ineffective, he wanted to take anti-war protests to the "next level." Wary cops sent him across the street, away from the rally, but Lippmann was soon surrounded by an angry crowd at Fourth and Pine, who accused him being a foreigner or a "Jew."

Lippmann was protected by eight police officers, but one man was able to get by the cops, twisting Lippmann's arm and trashing his sign before police subdued the man and took him to precinct headquarters.

Conservative KVI talk-radio jock John Carlson took the podium soon afterward, saying the U.S. mission in Afghanistan was about protecting American freedoms. NANCY DREW

Koukasen Un'yu Kaisha

Three members of the Elevated Transportation Company, the organization responsible for planning and building the voter-approved monorail, are headed to Japan this week to study working monorail systems. Sounds like an excuse for a taxpayer-funded vacation, huh? Don't worry, all three ETC members are paying their OWN way. The group, including Wright Runstad real-estate big shot Joel Horn and the author of the original monorail initiative, Peter Sherwin, are touring Tokyo, Kitakyushu, Tokuyama, and Hiroshima to meet with city officials and learn more about monorail technology.

In other monorail news, public meetings to help design the monorail system start this Thursday, 6:00 p.m., at Town Hall. Call 262-7891 for details. PAT KEARNEY

Sharin' in the Rain

When the rain started late Friday night, October 12, two dozen people crossed police tape in front of the King County Administration Building on Fourth Avenue so they could get under the covered plaza. The group--affiliated with homeless group SHARE--was protesting the county's late opening of an annual winter shelter. County security responded by calling Seattle police.

Most of the people retreated to the sidewalk when officers arrived; six who stayed in the plaza area were arrested an hour later and charged with criminal trespass.

The winter shelter officially opened on Monday, October 15--under the supervision of the Salvation Army. Rumors that the county will cut funding to the shelter in January could prompt further protests. AMY JENNIGES