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Posted by on Jan 28, 2007 in At TMV | 10 comments

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, 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! Funny Sad that the BBC has more serious coverage than American corporate media.

Liberty Street’s Kathy attended the “antiwar rally and march”.

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Copyright 2007 The Moderate Voice
  • Lynx

    A question for US residents. It’s my understanding that big name politicians aren’t as frequent and protests in the US as they might be in Europe. In Spain for instance, most big protests are usually organized by the opposing party, or a combination of opposing parties, and attended by their leading voices. Even when the original organizers are normal associations, political parties will try to make political capital out of it by sending a delegation with a banner and planting them at the front of the matter, instantly turning it “their” protest. It’s really quite annoying sometimes. It doesn’t look like the US has this custom. I’ve never heard of big name politicians protesting in the streets, but maybe that’s just due to lack of coverage of such events (large protests are headline news in Spain whenever they happen). Thoughts?

  • “Sad that the BBC has more serious coverage than American corporate media.”

    What do you expect? It’s corporate media, after all. Of course, those corps support the ‘business über alles’ policy of the republicans and chose their managers and editors accordingly. Those who accuse them of a left-wing bias are so far to the right that they think Giuliani is a liberal…

  • Most sane people won’t have anything to do with “United for Peace and Justice.” I was appalled to see that some local politicians for whom I have voted participated in this rally – I’ll think twice before I vote for them again.

  • G. Weightman

    Why can’t the crowd size in these demonstrations be estimated with more precision? How can estimates from 20,000 to 200,000 have any credibility?

    Isn’t it the MSM’s responsibility to report the basic Who, What, When etc? And what facts about a mass demonstration are more salient than the crowd size?

  • Alexandra

    I saw this covered on MSNBC–but only about half as much as the groundbreaking news that Hillary Clinton sang the National Anthem off key.

  • Rudi

    After the mess of Vietnam, and the protest movement, no mainstream politician will be see in a protest crowd. The anti-abortion/pro-life march recieved scant coverage, I wonder if Brownback and other social Conservatives attended the rally. During Vietnam, radicals, liberals and average students attended anti-war rallies. Today the fringe groups organize the rallies and the fringe is in the majority. The Cheney crowd has made protest a negative thing, yellow stickers on SUV’s going to the mall has replaced war bonds and Victory Gardens.

  • I live in DC, and didn’t notice the protest at all. I’ve noticed previous ones, so I see this as an indication that it was relatively small.

  • Laura

    These people are clueless. It is not Bush’s aggressive wars, it’s the aggressive wars of the jihadists making it necessary for us to fight.

  • Rudi

    Laura, they may be clueless, but our Constitution and history gives them the right to be clueless (IYHO) and speak. Maybe in your ChristianPersian Muslim theocracy they wouldn’t be allowed to speak without the approval of James DobsonAyatollah Seyyed Ali Khameni.

  • Kim Ritter

    Laura-maybe they are clueless. But it scares me much more when our CIC is as clueless as he seems to be and is in a position that put thousands of our troops lives in daily jeopardy. If we wanted to live in a society without dissent we should move towards a fascist form of government like Germany had in the 30’s.

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