Saturday, January 27, 2007

Let the Feet in the Street Speak!

Last November's Vote Against Iraquagmire Requires Amplification.

100,000 (more or less) marched in Washington. Protest organizers said the crowd included people who came on 300 buses from 40 states. The protest was largely organized by the group United for Peace and Justice, a coalition of 1,400 local and national organizations. Michael McPhearson, executive director of Veterans for Peace, said more than 100 veterans from the Iraq war participated in the march, and several hundred veterans from previous wars attended as well. Representative Dennis J. Kucinich, Democrat of Ohio and a candidate for the presidency in 2008 and Representative Maxine Waters, Democrat of California, were among the speakers. The House Judiciary Committee chairman, Rep. John Conyers, threatened to use congressional spending power to try to stop the war:
George Bush has a habit of firing military leaders who tell him the Iraq war is failing. He can't fire you. He can't fire us.
Robert Watada, 67, of Honolulu, a retired executive with the State of Hawaii who said his son, First Lt. Ehren K. Watada, was to be court-martialed next month for refusing to deploy to Iraq, said:
So many thousands of our own have died and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and for what? And still we are having to push Congress to block the president.
Other speakers were Reverend Jesse Jackson, actors Sean Penn, Jane Fonda, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins.

In California, smaller rallies were held in San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles, featuring Cindy Sheehan and Ron Kovics.

The day's activities were largely organized by the group United for Peace and Justice, a coalition of 1,400 local and national organizations. Included in the coalition are the National Organization for Women, United Church of Christ, the American Friends Service Committee, True Majority, Military Families Speak Out, Iraq Veterans Against the War, the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, CodePink, MoveOn.org, and September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows.

5 Moderated Comments:

Blogger Wysiwyg said...

Hanoi Jane is back. But this time, she's not disrespecting the troops.

1/28/2007 09:20:00 AM  
Anonymous pekka said...

Sometimes my reckless optimism clouds my judgment, but I have a good feeling about the future "amplifications". This could perhaps be considered as a spark that will ignite bigger and wider protests. This sort of a street action haven't really been around since the 70's, and the idea of marching for peace might not be an natural reaction for average Joe. I am confident, though, that with a plenty of bad news (unfortunately) still to come and continuing fumbling by "Krusty the Clown", Joe will hit the pavement with a vigor. Flood gates just might have been opened?

1/28/2007 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Non-Partisàn said...

And in Palm Springs

1/28/2007 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

To those who think demonstrations are (a) a distraction or (b) an embarassment: open the L.A. Times editorial pages this morning. See any mention that the U.S.A. is at war? Anywhere in the world? Huh? Basically all pre-911 stuff. Folks are shopping.

1/29/2007 08:53:00 AM  
Anonymous O.G. said...

I objected to the anti-Israeli speechifying at the demonstration - big mistake. Organizers can't control who marches or demonstrates, but they should control who speaks or at least what they say.

Taking random shots at Israel loses the focus of the demonstration, and alienates pro-Israeli opponents to Bush.

The Israeli/Palestinian conflict is NOT relevant to the purpose of the rally, which was to push US policymakers to get the US out of Iraq.

If those want to protest Israel occupation of Palestine, they should go ahead and organize a protest protesting Israel, but they should not hijack an anti-Iraqi invasion protest and pretend you got 100,000 people to show up for it.

1/29/2007 08:21:00 PM  

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