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2005-03-18

Over 725 Protests Planned to Mark Second Anniversary of Iraq Invasion

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More than 725 anti-war protests and events are scheduled across the country on March 19th to mark the second anniversary of the invasion Iraq. We hear from organizers around the country who describe what is happening in their communities. [includes rush transcript]

Saturday, March 19th, marks the second anniversary of the Iraq invasion.

More than 725 anti-war protests and events are scheduled across the country to mark the anniversary. United For Peace and Justice reports this is more than double the number of actions that took place a year ago to mark the first anniversary of the war.

One of the largest rallies is expected to take place in Fayetteville, North Carolina outside the military base Fort Bragg. Main sponsors of that protest include Veterans For Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and Military Families Speak Out. Yesterday we spoke with organizers around the country to get a sense of what is happening in their communities.

  • Voices of Dissent, protests organizers around the U.S. describe what is happening in their communities on March 19, 2005.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Yesterday, Yoruba Richen, one of our producers, spoke with organizers around the country to get a sense of what was happening in their communities.

LOU PLUMMER: My name is Lou Plummer, and I’m a member of Military Families Speak Out. I live in Fayetteville, North Carolina, right outside of Ft. Bragg. On Saturday, March 19, we are having a rally that’s sponsored by Military Families Speak Out, Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and the Gold Star Families for Peace. This will be a rally, of course, marking the second anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and there are approximately 20,000 to 25,000 people from our community who have been in Iraq. A great many of them were — didn’t come away with that, with a big warm, fuzzy feeling inside, so we organized this event as veterans and members of military families to give people an opportunity to speak their opposition with the added ingredient that there are people who have been to Iraq and who have seen what’s going on there firsthand.

BOB KRZEWINSKI: My name is Bob Krzewinski with Veterans for Peace for Southeast Michigan. We’re going to have our Arlington Midwest display of one cross for every dead soldier killed in Iraq. It’ll be on Saturday at Grand Circus Park in downtown Detroit. This is Bob Krzewinski of Veterans for Peace of Southeast Michigan. We’re going to be having our Arlington Midwest display of one cross for every soldier killed in Iraq. This will be in downtown Detroit at Grand Circus Park on Saturday and in Ann Arbor at the university central campus on Sunday.

BILL HACKWELL: My name is Bill Hackwell. I’m with the ANSWER Coalition in San Francisco. On the 19th, this Saturday, which is the second anniversary of the illegal war against Iraq, tens of thousands of people are expected in San Francisco. We’re having an opening rally at the Dolores Park, the traditional spot of anti-war rallies in San Francisco in the Mission. After that, we’ll be marching down to the Civic Center where there will be a following rally. Significant in this year is that we’re starting to see sort of a groundswell of grassroots organizations who haven’t always come out for the anti-war marches, maybe have supported it, but haven’t come out in numbers.

FRIDA BERRIGAN: I’m Frida Berrigan. I’m with the War Resisters League, a local organization in Manhattan and Brooklyn. And we’re organizing funeral processions to recruiting stations around the city. In Manhattan, we’ll be meeting in the morning at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza and carrying coffins representing Iraqi and American victims of the war. We’ll be carrying those coffins along 42nd Street to the Times Square recruiting station where some of our participants will commit civil disobedience and block the doors of the recruiting station. Simultaneously, actions will happen in Brooklyn on Flatbush Avenue and in the Bronx on Fordham Road. In both locations there are military recruiting stations, and activists will be carrying coffins and photographs of Iraqi and American victims of the war.

PHUNG VO: This is Phung Vo. I’m calling from Toledo, Ohio. On the anniversary of — the second anniversary of the Iraq war, the organization Northwest Ohio Peace Coalition is going to set up an event called Arlington Midwest at the University of Toledo, where we put over 1,500 tombstones with the names of the American fallen in Afghanistan and Iraq at the campus of University of Toledo.

BRIAN STEWART: Hi, this is Brian Stewart. I’m with Work for Peace in Downeast Maine, and on Saturday, we’re doing a teach-in at the university. And Sunday, we’re putting up 100-mile memorial along the highways of Downeast Maine, remembering the names of people who have been killed in Iraq.

EDWINA VOGAN: This is Edwina Vogan from Phoenix, Arizona. And there are two events, two of several, actually, but one is Saturday morning by the Department of Peace in downtown Phoenix; and then, the other one is Saturday afternoon between 5:00 and 7:00, and it’s by the Arizona Alliance of Peaceful Justice, and it’s a candlelight vigil and memorial service. And it’s to remember the war dead in Iraq, and that’s because it was an illegal war based on lies and deception.

LEE HUGHES: Hi. This is Lee Hughes. I’m from Act Now, which is in Australia in Cambra, and this Saturday, on March 19, we’ll be protesting against, you know, the war in Iraq and reminding people that two years on from the invasion, Australians still oppose the war. We think that with 100,000 Iraqis dead, and the U.S. just moving further and further away from actually bringing democracy to Iraq, we should bring the troops home and, you know, we should let Iraqis rebuild their own country.

AMY GOODMAN: Voices of dissent on this eve of the invasion of Iraq, the second anniversary of the invasion.

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