The Creation of a Big (New) Peace Movement?
The Washington Post reports that thousands of individuals protested Bush’s Iraq policies / the Iraq war yesterday in Washington D.C.
They came from across the country and across the activist spectrum, with a wide array of grievances. Many seemed to be under 30, but there were others who said they had been at the famed war protests of the 1960s and ’70s.
They came to Washington at what they said was a moment of opportunity to push the new Congress to take action against the war, even as the Bush administration is accelerating plans to send an additional 21,500 troops to Iraq. This week, the Senate will begin debating a resolution of disapproval of the president’s Iraq policy, setting up a dramatic confrontation with the White House.
Yesterday’s crowd was large and vociferous, but its size was unclear because there was no official crowd estimate. It was filled with longtime opponents of the conflict and of the administration.
Some were students, others were ‘old hippies’, again others were the wives of soldiers currently serving in Iraq. Celebrities were present as well: Jesse Jackson – of course, Jane Fonda, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins.
Mrs. Futrell for instance, the wife of an American lieutenant serving in Baghdad. She said:
“My husband deployed last June to Iraq. He is an Army infantry officer currently patrolling the streets of Baghdad. And I just have to say I’m sick of attending the funerals of my friends. I have seen the weeping majors. I have seen the weeping colonels. I am sick of the death.”
Robbins said, among other things:
“Richard Nixon talked to the walls. But George Bush is talking to God. But it is not a God I recognize. This God seems to be giving Bush a pass on some commandments”.
The day’s events were organized chiefly by United for Peace and Justice, which describes itself as a coalition of 1,400 local and national organizations. Among them 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, Farms Not Arms, CODEPINK, MoveOn.org and September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows.
The question many people ask themselves, and others, is whether this will signal the start of a true peace movement regarding the Iraq War.
Also read DownWithTyranny! on this. DWT notices that there were just about no politicians present. Where was Obama? Where was Hillary? Where was Biden? DWT wonders, and concludes:
aybe when those demanding an end to Bush’s aggressive wars reaches beyond the mere 70% and into the 80s Obama will join. And when you get to 90% even Hillary will show up. Biden? Uh… never.
DWT also writes:
Right wing blowhards in the media and on their blogs are trying to claim the march was a failure, of course, but the Washington Post, which writes there were less than half a million people, reported that “during the march that followed the rallies, it stretched the entire length of the route from the Mall to the east front of the Capitol and back to the Mall.” Naturally CNN has a hot new cookie recipe to cover so they are passing on the march– besides a sexual assault by a priest… in Las Vegas… a CNN wet dream!
FunnySad that the BBC has more serious coverage than American corporate media.
Liberty Street’s Kathy attended the “antiwar rally and march”.