Let the Feet in the Street Speak!
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.