Adam Charles Kokesh (born February 1, 1982) is an American activist and talk radio host. Kokesh was a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps Reserve and is a veteran of the Iraq War. He is an outspoken opponent of the U.S. military intervention in Iraq and has received media attention related to anti-war protest activities. He is the son of Charles Kokesh, a Santa Fe venture capitalist, founder of a firm called Technology Funding and owner of the Santa Fe Horse Park.
After returning from Iraq, Kokesh resumed his studies and completed his bachelor's degree in psychology at Claremont McKenna College. In February 2007, Kokesh became an active participant in the Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW). On March 19, 2007, to mark the 4th anniversary of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Kokesh and 12 other Iraq Veterans Against the War members participated in an occupation-like mock patrol of Washington D.C. Kokesh first came to national attention after he was interviewed on CNN and his photograph appeared in newspapers throughout the country, including the front page of the Los Angeles Times at a protest during Alberto Gonzales's testimony to Congress regarding the dismissal of U.S. attorneys. Kokesh, wearing his Marine Corps Boonie hat, held up a large sign counting the number of times Gonzalez said "I don't remember" or "I don't recall" (Kokesh claimed Gonzalez used such phrases 74 times).
Kokesh arrest at Senate Hart office building, April 26, 2007
In April 2007 Kokesh and a number of other activists were arrested for protesting the Iraq war in the Senate Hart Office Building. Kokesh had performed a ceremony for lost service members using an American flag.
In June 2007 Kokesh, along with IVAW members Liam Madden and Nate Lewis, were arrested for crossing onto the property of Fort Benning during an anti-war protest. A spokesperson for the IVAW said the three had accidentally stepped onto the base while talking to a guard. The trespass charges were dismissed.
Kokesh enrolled in graduate studies in political management at George Washington University. In October 2007, Kokesh, along with six other students, created controversy by putting up satirical political posters across the university campus. The posters featured a picture of a stereotypical Arab man and the headline "Hate Muslims? So do we!!!," with illustrative captions explaining that the typical Muslim is equipped with a venom-spouting mouth, laser-shooting eyes, and hidden AK-47:s, among other parodical features. The poster was signed "Students for Conservativo-Fascism Awareness," and encouraged students to visit the right-wing website terrorismawareness.org. Kokesh and the six other students publicly admitted to responsibility amidst accusations that the poster was Islamophobic, maintaining that their intent was to spread awareness of what they considered to be the overtly racist intentions of the above-mentioned website's "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week" organized by a conservative student organization and featuring David Horowitz.
On September 2, 2008, Kokesh spoke at Representative Ron Paul's Rally for the Republic in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he stated, "While it is our responsibility now to resist tyranny civily, while we still can, there may come a time when we will say to the powers that be, be it with your blood or ours we have come to water the tree of liberty ' who will stand with me?"
On September 4, 2008, Kokesh interrupted Senator John McCain's acceptance speech of the GOP nomination for President at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Holding a sign reading "McCain Votes Against Vets" on one side and "You can't win an occupation" on the other, Kokesh yelled, "Ask him why he votes against vets!" A member of the audience grabbed the sign and tore it in two. Kokesh was released shortly after being detained by local police.
Adam Charles Kokesh (born February 1, 1982) is an American activist and talk radio host. Kokesh was a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps Reserve and is a veteran of the Iraq War. He is an outspoken opponent of the U.S. military intervention in Iraq and has received media attention related to anti-war protest activities. | Photo: adamkokesh.com |
On May 28, 2011, Kokesh and other activists participated in a flash mob-silent dance at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. in protest of a recent ruling against dancing at federal monuments; the activists were arrested through the use of physical force by U.S. Park Police officers after actively resisting arrest and ignoring officers' commands. A much larger protest the following Saturday, June 4, 2011, organized by Kokesh and Code Pink, involved about 200 protesters and 75 dancers. About 10 minutes after the dancing began, police began clearing the monument. No arrests were made. When asked by a journalist if he had a permit to protest, Kokesh reportedly produced a copy of the Constitution and said, "Actually I got a permit. It's the same one I swore an oath to when I enlisted in the Marine Corps. And it says something about 'freedom of assembly.' Which means you don't need permission from anybody to come together and speak your mind."
Kokesh is Jewish, but has publicly criticized Jewish organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League. In a 2009 interview he expressed discomfort when told about positive comments about him on the Stormfront website.
2010 congressional campaign
In 2010, Adam Kokesh attempted to unseat Democratic representative Ben Ray Luj?n in New Mexico's heavily Democratic 3rd congressional district running as a libertarian-oriented Republican. Kokesh received mostly out-of-state money, support from Ron Paul, and an endorsement from the Republican Liberty Caucus, the organization that represents the libertarian wing of the Republican Party. Kokesh's opponent in the New Mexico GOP primary was Tom Mullins to whom he lost.
"Adam vs The Man"
Since July 2010 Kokesh hosted a talk radio program called "Adam vs. The Man." The program airs weekdays from the studios of 1550 KIVA in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In April 2011 his show was picked up by Russia Today television network ("RT"). Accuracy in Media criticized Kokesh's appearing on RT, a non-profit organization which largely is funded by the Russian government. The conservative group wrote that RT uses Americans like Kokesh to make propaganda points. The show was canceled in August 2011.
Kokesh has continued his "Adam vs. The Man" video reports independently on YouTube, noting he was "fired from my only radio and TV gigs." On the channel he has filed some critical reports of the "Occupy DC" version of the Occupy Wall Street movement.