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Hundreds of Thousands Take Stop the War Message to Congress
O n Saturday January 27, 2007, hundreds of thousands of peace protestors responded to President Bush’s call for a troop surge with a peace surge of their own that flooded the streets of Washington, DC and other cities around the U.S. These massive anti-war demonstrations took place less than a week after President George Bush urged Congressional support for an additional 21,500 troops for the war in Iraq. Veterans, labor and religious groups, and people from around the U.S. marched along a route that encircled the Capital building. While the usual controversy has ensued over attendance numbers, one thing is certain, the march route was altered to accommodate more participants than the police expected.
Crowds chanted, “No more war!” “This is what democracy looks like,” “Not one more dollar.” Other protestors, including many parents with their children, were perched upon government buildings along the march route, brandishing home-made signs calling for world peace and a quick end to military conflict. A group of Code Pink women carried a large pink slip above their heads chanting, “Here come the pink slips.”
Florida Peace activists Vicki Impoco, Sharan Miller, and Mindy Stone marched with a banner reading: “Melbourne, Florida, War Isn’t Working, Troops Out Now!”
Impoco, who is the co-organizer of Brevard Patriots for Peace, said she flew to Washington to try and put a stop to the president’s plans for escalation in Iraq. Impoco was particularly encouraged to see so many veterans at the event: “I think what moved me the most was when I saw a Marine in full dress just walking through the crowd,” she said. “I went up to him and shook his hand and thanked him for his courage and for being there.”
She was also surprised with the tone of the march. “That was my first demonstration in Washington and I was really overwhelmed by the number of people that were there and how peaceful it was and how everyone just bonded.”
A long-time activist with several DC marches under her belt, Sharon
Miller said there were more young people involved than in the past.
“I think the difference was the families and the college students,
especially the high school students. I think that was a huge difference
from past marches.”
Capturing the mood of the event and its participants, Rev. Graylin Hagler of Plymouth Congregational Church, Washington, DC said he wanted to remind the Congress, “When we voted in mid-term elections...it was not a multiple choice question; when we voted it was not a suggestion; when we voted it was a directive to bring our troops home now.”
A variety of groups and individuals were on hand, from 12-yearold Moriah Arnold of Harvard, Massachusetts to Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun .
Moreover, several U.S. Representatives were there with plans for peace. Speakers included: Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH), a candidate for the 2008 presidency; Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), chair of the House Judiciary Committee; Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA); Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA); and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA).
Woosley, joined by Waters and Lee, has introduced HR 508, “Bring Our Troops Home and Sovereignty of Iraq Restoration Act,” which she told marchers would “end the U.S. occupation in Iraq within six months, saving lives and limbs and money and American’s standing in the world.” Adding, “HR 508 is the only comprehensive legislation that puts us on the fast track to a fully funded military withdraw from Iraq.”
Rep. Waters, an African-American, offered fierce criticism of the Administration, including Condoleezza Rice. “My name is Maxine Waters and I’m not afraid of George W. Bush. My name is Maxine Waters and I’m not intimated by Dick Cheney. My name is Maxine Waters and I helped to get rid of Rumsfeld. My name is Maxine Waters and Condie Rice is nothing but another neocon and she doesn’t represent me.”
By the protest’s end, trashcans overflowed with signs and many activists headed home. Still a steady stream of sad-eyed volunteers placed tags on shoes.
Jeff Nall is a community activist and freelance writer.
Z Magazine Archive
HUMAN RIGHTS - The U.S. Human Rights Network will celebrate its 10th anniversary with the Advancing Human Rights 2013 Conference, December 6-8, in Atlanta, GA.
Contact: 250 Georgia Avenue SE, Suite 330, Atlanta, GA 30312; email@example.com; http:// www.ushrnetwork.org/.
AFRICAN/SOCIALIST - The Sixth Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party USA will be held December 7-11, in St. Petersburg, FL.
Contact: 1245 18th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33705; 727- 821-6620; info@aps puhuru.org; http://asiuhuru.org/.
SCHOOLS - The Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) will host a workshop on the DSC “Model Code on Education and Dignity: Presenting A Human Rights Framework for Schools” at the Mid-Hudson Region NY State Leadership Summit on School Justice Partnerships, December 11 in White Plains, NY.
Contact: http://www.dignityin schools.org/.
ANARCHIST/BOOKFAIR - The Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair will be held December 14, in Eureka, CA.
Contact: humboldtgrassroots @riseup.net; http://humbold tanarchist bookfair.wordpress. com/.
CLIMATE - The World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities is hosting a follow-up event to the 2012 Rio de Janeiro symposium. The gathering will be held in Qatar on January 28-30, 2014.
Contact: http://environment.tufts. edu/.
LABOR - The United Association for Labor Education (UALE) will host Organizing for Power: A New Labor Movement for the New Working Class in Los Angeles, March 26-29. Proposals are due December 15.
Contact: LAWCHA, 226 Carr Building (East Campus), Box 90719, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0719;lawcha @duke. edu; http://lawcha.org/.
MEDIA FELLOWSHIP - The Media Mobilizing Project is seeking applicants for the first annual Movement Media Fellowship Program. The Fellow will work with MMP to produce the spring season of Media Mobilizing Project TV. MMPTV is a news and talk show that tells the stories of local communities organizing to win human rights and build a movement to end poverty.
Contact: 4233 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; 215-821- 9632; milena@media mobilizing.org; http://www.media mobilizing.org/.
RACE - The 7th Facing Race: A National Conference will be held in Dallas, TX November 13-15, 2014. Organizers, educators, artists, funders and everyone interested in racial equity is invited to exchange best practices and learn about innovative models and successful organizing initiatives. Proposals must be submitted by January 24, 2014.
Contact: Race Forward, 32 Broadway, Suite 1801, New York, NY 10004; 212-513-7925; media @raceforward.org; http://race forward.org/.
VETERANS - They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars - The Untold Story, by Ann Jones, is about the journey of veterans from the moment of being wounded in rural Afghanistan to their return home.
Contact: Haymarket Books, PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618; 773-583-7884; http://www.haymarketbooks.org/.
LIBYA - Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution, by Francis A. Boyle, is a history and critique of American foreign policy from Reagan to Obama.
Contact: Clarity Press, Inc., Ste. 469, 3277 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta, GE 30305; 404-647-6501; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www. claritypress.com/.
CHILDREN - Fannie and Freddie by Becky Z. Dernbach is about two bumbling villains who gamble away the savings of the people of Homeville.
Contact: fannieandfreddiebook @gmail.com; http://fannieand freddie.org/.
PROTEST/COMIC - Fight the Power!: A Visual History of Protest Among English Speaking Peoples, by Sean Michael Wilson and Benjamin Dickson is a graphic narrative that explains how people have fought against oppression.
Contact: Seven Stories Press, 140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013; 212-226-8760; info@ sevenstories.com; http://www. sevenstories.com.
CHILDREN - Brave Girl by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet is the true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history.
Contact: http://www.harpercollins childrens.com/Kids/.
FESTIVAL - The 2014 Queer Women of Color Film Festival will be held June 13-15 in San Francisco. The festival is currently accepting submissions until December 31.
Contact: QWOCMAP, 59 Cook Street, San Francisco, CA 94118-3310; 415-752-0868; email@example.com; http://www.qwocmap.org/.
IRAQ/REFUGEES - Ten years after the U.S.-led war in Iraq, thousands of displaced Iraqi refugees are still facing a crisis in the United States. The Lost Dream follows Nazar and Salam who had to flee Iraq in order to avoid threats by Al- Qaeda-affiliated groups and Iraqi insurgents that consider them “traitors” for supporting U.S. forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Contact: Typecast Films, 888- 591-3456; info@type castfilms. com; http://type castfilms.com/.
HUMAN RIGHTS - Lyrical Revolt! III will be held December 4 in Syracuse, NY. The event will feature hip-hop musician Anhel whose album Young, Gifted, and Brown was just released. The event is sponsored by ANSWER Syracuse, Liberation News, and SyracuseHip Hop.com. Performers and artists are encouraged to send submissions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.answercoalition.org/syracuse/.
FOLK - Musician Painless Parker has released his album Music for miscreants, malcontents and misanthropes featuring “Fuck Yeah, the Working Class.”
Contact: email@example.com; http://painlessparkermusic.com/.
COMEDY - Political comedian Lee Camp’s new album Pepper Spray the Tears Away has been released.