Saturday, March 18, 2006
3 years of war, too many dead-- DC holds rally, march and press conference
Organizing for the event was not an easy task. Organizers began meeting weekly in January in the basement of the Mt. Pleasant Library. The first roadblock was to obtain a permit for the place to rally. When activist Pete Perry went to the police for the permit, he learned that ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and Racism) had already asked for permits everywhere DC rallies are normally held. After a long discussion about where a march should go, the organizers decided on starting at Cheney's place because of Cheney's integral part in the war in Iraq.
Kit Bonson of the Washington Peace Center and Malachy Kilbride of DC AntiWar Network were two of the hardest working organizers that made the event happen.
Before kicking off the march, several speakers took the mike to rev up the crowd. One was the Reverend Graylan Hagler, pastor of the Plymouth Congregational Church. The Rev was great at revving.
After the speeches, the march went down Massachusetts Avenue. It was led by Daniela Shia on her scooter, carrying an ANSWER sign. Following Daniela, were banners of pink and black, indicating our friends from Code Pink and the anarchists were there..
When the march reached its destination in Dupont Circle, the rally was starting around the fountain at the same time a press conference was beginning on the grass in the southeast corner of the park. One of the speakers at the press conference was Tariq Khan, a George Mason University student and an Iraq war veteran who faced criminal charges for speaking out against recruiters on his campus. The university eventually dropped the charges against him. Tariq spoke about supporting the troops when they want to become consciencious objectors or go AWOL in order to leave the service of this war.
It was a great march down Massachusetts Avenue, a beautiful day in Washington, D.C. Speaking against the war in Iraq at this time made a lot of sense.