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100 Thousand or more protest War in DC

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  • 100 Thousand or more protest War in DC

    Thousands in U.S. protest Iraq war, globalization

    More than 100,000 protesters flooded Washington on Saturday to stage dual demonstrations against the U.S.-led war in Iraq and economic globalization, before coming together to demand President George W. Bush bring troops home.

    "We need a people's movement to end this war," said Cindy Sheehan, an anti-war protester whose son was killed in fighting in Iraq. Camping out in Crawford, Texas, during much of August while Bush was vacationing there, Sheehan's rallies drew crowds there that sometimes numbered in the hundreds as she demanded a meeting with Bush.

    Bush, who met with Sheehan in 2004 after her son was killed, refused to meet with her again.

    "We'll be the checks and balances on this out-of-control criminal government," Sheehan, who has become the anti-war movement's best-known face, told the group gathered at the Ellipse, a park behind the White House.

    In Los Angeles, about 15,000 people protested peacefully, while thousands more marched in San Francisco and in London urging an end to military action in Iraq nearly 30 months after an invasion ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

    The crowds in Washington swelled through the day, and by late afternoon organizers of the anti-war demonstration said 300,000 people had assembled -- exceeding an anticipated 100,000. Washington police declined to comment on the size of the rally.

    Meanwhile, 1,000 to 3,000 people, as estimated by demonstration organizers, gathered a few blocks away to protest the autumn meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, saying policies that promote globalization and reduce trade barriers hurt the world's poor.


    Many of them joined the anti-war march that circled a wide swath of downtown Washington, including the White House. They walked slowly, and often silently, and carried a blocks-long string of pictures of the 1,900 U.S. soldiers who have died in Iraq.

    "We're here to bring a dose of reality to the American public," said Chad Hetman, a member of an anti-war veterans' group. "This war was based on lies."

    The protesters were graying baby boomers who had railed against the Vietnam War, parents pushing strollers with toddlers, college students and a few adults in wheelchairs.

    On Washington's National Mall, they set up a faux military cemetery of hundreds of small, white crosses in neat lines. In Los Angeles, 60 mock coffins draped in American flags were laid out in rows on a downtown street.

    "This is what we are losing every day," said Vickie Castro, of Riverside, California, standing in front of the coffins with a picture of her son, Cpl. Jonathan Castro, who was killed in action in Mosul, Iraq, in 2004.

    Demonstrations in Washington and London took aim at the Bush administration, calling its policies and actions "criminal."

    Some protesters carried signs calling Bush and Cheney "Liars." One sign said, "Bush is a Cat 5 Disaster," in a reference to the recent hurricanes that have hammered the U.S. Gulf Coast.

    Another said, "Make Levees, Not Humvees" -- referencing the New Orleans levees that Katrina breached and recalling the "Make Love, Not War" chant of 1960s Vietnam war protesters.


    The demonstrations also drew anarchists, communists and environmentalists. Others called for an end to the U.S. economic embargo on Cuba and expressed solidarity with leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and the Palestinians.

    Protesters tried to link their separate causes under the umbrella of a fight against global poverty.

    Some at the IMF/World Bank protest said they were fighting for the rights of the poor in Louisiana displaced by Hurricane Katrina, the poor in Iraq who are being hurt by war and those that protesters say are forced into poverty by IMF policies.

    A U.S. veterans' group criticized the protesters.

    "The political protesters of the '60s didn't end their war and neither will this new generation," Jim Mueller, head of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, said in a statement. "They will, however, achieve the same result -- they will devastate troop morale."

    A veteran of the Iraq war at the Washington march disagreed.

    "People join the military to defend their country, not lies," said Adam Reuter, a 22-year-old Georgia resident who was given a medical discharge from the Army four months ago.

    Washington police said they made two arrests by Saturday afternoon.[/b][/quote]

    Demonstrators protest Iraq war

    Tens of thousands of anti-war activists rallied near the White House on Saturday, hoping that their voices would catalyze opposition in the rest of the country and force a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

    "We are here ... to show our government, to show our media, to show America that we mean business, and we're not going home until every last one of our troops is home," anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan said to cheers.

    "Not one more should die," she said with the White House at her back. Supporters chanted, "Not one more, not one more."

    Much of the anger in the crowd seemed aimed at President Bush. "Bush Lied, Thousands Died," said one sign waved by a protester. "Making a killing," said another, which bore a picture of a smiling Bush. "Yo Bush boy, it's over," said another.

    Bush wasn't in Washington. He was monitoring hurricane relief efforts at the military's U.S. Northern Command headquarters in Colorado and then in Texas.

    Organizers of the rally, the third mass protest since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, hoped to stir more anti-war sentiment, win over Americans unsure about the war and increase pressure on Bush and Congress to bring U.S. troops home.

    "We are at a tipping point whereby the anti-war sentiment has now become the majority sentiment," said Brian Becker, a coordinator for Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, one of the groups that organized the rally.

    Supporters of the Iraq war planned to push back with a rally on Sunday.

    One organizer of the anti-war protest claimed that 250,000 attended the rally and marched around the White House. The area near the rally stage was often sparsely populated, but the streets around the Ellipse and White House were filled with thousands of people.

    Washington Police Chief Charles Ramsey said Saturday that the rally "probably" reached its goal of 100,000 protesters.

    An anti-war march at last year's Republican National Convention in New York City drew between 250,000 and 400,000. Another anti-war march in Washington in 2003 drew 30,000 to 500,000. (U.S. Capitol Police said it was between 30,000 and 50,000. Organizers, who also planned Saturday's rally, said it was 500,000.)

    Protesters, many of them mothers and grandmothers, came by bus, car, plane and train on an overcast day to participate in a three-day program that will include a prayer service Sunday and culminate in lobbying members of Congress on Monday.

    "I am trying to end the war," said Judy Miller, 65, of St. Paul, Minn., who rode to Washington on buses with her daughter and about 150 people from her church. "I was here protesting before the war. It didn't do much good then - maybe it will do some good now."

    Marge Gugerty of Aurora, Ill., a mother of two military sons, said she turned against the war because it wasn't part of the war on terrorism. "They both joined up after 9-11 in a long line of family military service, to preserve and protect," she said of her sons. "That's not what the war in Iraq is."

    Margaret Lawrence, 73, came from San Diego with her husband, a Korean War veteran. "We love our kids more than Bush does and we want them home," she said.

    There were young people as well.

    "This war was started on lies," said Cristin Munro-Leighton, 26, a graduate student from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill who blames Bush for the war. "There's been no accountability and he's committed impeachable crimes."

    While those on the Ellipse near the White House were energized, their audience was the countless Americans across the country who might tune in on television or read about the protests. The event was planned before it was known that Hurricane Rita would hit the United States and dominate news coverage through the weekend.

    The protest at times veered into other causes, such as ending U.S. involvement in the Middle East, keeping U.S. troops out of the Philippines and opposing Saudi persecution of gays.

    One speaker, Curtis Muhammad, director of Community Labor Union of New Orleans, equated the war with the treatment of poor blacks in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit there. "If you're against the war, you must be against the war against blacks," he said.

    The Iraq war protesters were aiming at a middle ground of American opinion, made up of people who supported the war at the outset but who now feel that the United States is stuck there with no way out.

    "The public is exasperated over this war. They don't know what to do. They're frustrated. They don't like being there but don't see a way out," said Larry Gerston, a political scientist at San Jose State University in California.

    "There is no one march, no one protest, that either expresses or turns public opinion or opens the eyes of public officials. That occurs over a long period of time. If this happens once, that's about all it will be. But if you see more occurring on a regular basis with greater numbers, then you're seeing public expression taking a new shape."

    Public opinion is divided over the war, as it has been for several months.

    "Despite a long summer with continued casualties, and a widely covered anti-war protest outside the president's vacation ranch, public attitudes on the war in Iraq are remarkable for their overall stability," concluded Andy Kohut, director of the nonpartisan Research Center, after a recent poll.

    That survey, done Sept. 8-11, found a steady 49 percent saying the war was the right decision and 44 percent saying it was a mistake. It also found that 51 percent of Americans support keeping troops in Iraq while 45 percent want to bring them home "as soon as possible."

    Bush already has the lowest approval ratings of his presidency, thanks to division over the war, as well as anxiety about soaring gasoline prices and anger at the slow federal response to Hurricane Katrina.

    A group that supports Bush and the war planned a counterdemonstration on Sunday. It plans to highlight Gold Star Families, who have lost sons or daughters in war but continue to support the Iraq war.

    "We are sick and tired of what Cindy Sheehan is doing," said Shirley Hemenway of Kansas City, Mo., whose son was killed in the Pentagon when it was struck by a terrorist-hijacked jetliner on Sept. 11. "She is being used, she has a history of this, and it concerns us."[/b][/quote]

    Antiwar Rallies in Washington and Other Cities

    Vast numbers of protesters from around the country poured onto the lawns behind the White House on Saturday to demonstrate their opposition to the war in Iraq, pointedly directing their anger at President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

    A sea of anti-administration signs and banners flashed back at a long succession of speakers, who sharply rebuked the administration for continuing a war that has cost the lives of nearly 2,000 Americans and many more Iraqis. Many of the speakers also charged Mr. Bush with squandering resources that could have been used to aid people affected by the two hurricanes that slammed into the Gulf Coast.

    As protesters moved from the rally to a march around the White House, they packed city streets, and in some areas, came face to face with groups of pro-administration demonstrators, who held up signs expressing support for the war.

    Organizers of the rally and march had a permit for 100,000 people, but the National Park Service no longer provides official estimates for large gatherings in Washington.

    Rallies held on Saturday in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and other cities drew considerably smaller crowds, but unlike the more varied themes of recent protests against administration policies, antiwar sentiment on Saturday was consistent throughout. In Washington, it was evident from the start, as an organizer screamed over the microphone, "Let Bush and Cheney and the White House hear our message: Bring the troops home now."

    Mr. Bush was in Colorado and Texas monitoring hurricane developments, and Mr. Cheney was undergoing surgery at George Washington University hospital.

    "It's significant that Bush is out of town," said William Dobbs, an organizer of the march. "It shows that he's turned his back on the peace movement, which represents a majority of the American public right now."

    Dana Perino, a spokeswoman for the administration, said: "The White House is certainly aware of the protest. The president believes that one of the most treasured rights of Americans is to peacefully express yourself, and there are differences of opinion about the way forward. He understands that."

    Speakers at the rally included a newcomer to the modern antiwar movement, Cindy Sheehan, the California mother whose son was killed last year fighting in Iraq. Ms. Sheehan has become the face of the movement because of her efforts over the summer, camping near Mr. Bush's ranch in Crawford, Tex. Her appearance and brief remarks drew a thunderous response.

    "I really haven't had a chance to digest all this," she said in an interview after her speech, referring to the attention she has received. "I hope I'm a catalyst for change, but I don't want to be the focus of change."

    But the crowd also heard from old lions of the antiwar movement, like the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the actress Jessica Lange, Ralph Nader and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark, who has endorsed impeaching Mr. Bush.

    Mr. Jackson reminded the crowd that the war proceeded without proof that Iraq had unconventional weapons or a connection to Al Qaeda, saying, "We deserve another way and better leadership."

    The protests here and elsewhere were largely sponsored by two groups, the Answer Coalition, which embodies a wide range of progressive political objectives, and United for Peace and Justice, which has a more narrow, antiwar focus.

    For months in planning, the theme was Iraq. But as Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, followed by Hurricane Rita, the rally quickly embraced domestic themes as well. One sign held high said, "Make levees, not war."

    "To me, there is an ideological connection," said Sheri Leafgren, a professor of education at Kent State University in Ohio who held a sign that said, "From New Orleans to Iraq: Stop the war on the poor." "If you care about people losing lives and being devastated by grief, it's all human suffering."

    In San Francisco, as protesters marched toward downtown, David Miles, 49, pumped up the volume on his iPod, attached to a 12-volt battery and large speakers on wheels. "War," the Vietnam-era protest song by Edwin Starr, suddenly filled the air.

    The lyrics, "War, what is it good for?" blared from the speakers, and protesters joined in, shouting back: "Absolutely nothing."[/b][/quote]

  • #2

    It was either thousands or 30 - give or take a few.
    And, frankly, it has never occured to me that "winning" a debate is important, or that I should be hurt when someone like Airshark or kah, among others (for whom winning a pseudo debate or declaring intellectual superiority over invisible others is obviously very important) ridicule me.

    -The Artist formerly known as King in KC


    • #3
      QUOTE(Damtoft @ Sep 25 2005, 04:34 PM) Quoted post


      It was either thousands or 30 - give or take a few.

      well, you know what they say about statistics...
      "It would have been difficult for us to discuss it with his dick in my mouth, so evidently I don't know him that well."


      • #4
        I walked through it on my way to the national book fair...By DC standards, it was pretty sissy.


        • #6
          Personally, I'm thrilled that my tax dollars are paying for that clusterfuck.
          Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law ~



          • #7
            QUOTE(Gracie @ Sep 25 2005, 07:00 PM) Quoted post

            QUOTE(Damtoft @ Sep 25 2005, 04:34 PM) Quoted post


            It was either thousands or 30 - give or take a few.

            well, you know what they say about statistics...
            yah - everybody has them and they all stink.

            Wait, that's excuses. Nevermind.


            • #8
              There was a group of protesters walking downtown StL after the football game.

              Official Lounge sponsor of Chris Pronger & Alex Pietrangelo


              • #9
                QUOTE(Prngr44 @ Sep 25 2005, 09:37 PM) Quoted post

                There was a group of protesters walking downtown StL after the football game.

                They were just upset that Sejna! was demoted to Peoria today [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif[/img]