October 27 Anti-War Marches in US
an article by Leslie Cagan, National Coordinator, United for Peace and Justice
Reports from around the country are still coming in, but by all accounts, Saturday's events were powerful expressions of our movement's commitment to end the war and occupation in Iraq. Organizers from the 11 regional actions, as well as the solidarity actions in other locations, talk about the excitement and energy in their marches, and the very positive response the demonstrations received from people watching them.
Here are a few highlights from the day:
* In New York, 45,000 stood up to the rain, led by veterans, military families, union members, and students, to make their calls for an immediate end to the war in Iraq and for no attack on Iran heard loud and clear in the streets of Manhattan.
* In San Francisco, 16,000 marched from the Civic Center to Dolores Park, stopping to hold a symbolic, mass die-in on Market Street along the way.
* In Orlando, 3,000 from Georgia to Key West also braved the rain to march in opposition to the war and to build the peace movement in the Southeast.
click on photo to enlarge
Many more action reports from all around the country, including photos and videos, as well as a slideshow, have already been posted on www.oct27.org. You can also find dozens of media reports about the events. We encourage you to check out these reports and to share them far and wide -- and to visit www.oct27.org to post your own as well.
One of the most valuable aspects of the day was its national character. The antiwar movement was in the streets in every region of the country. And in several of those places, people were in the streets in pretty miserable weather. But a little rain, even a lot of rain, is not enough to deter the determination of the antiwar movement!
As powerful and important as this day of action was, we are still far from mobilizing the millions of people throughout the country that want to see this war end. For months now, at least 70% of those polled have consistently opposed the war. More recently, 70% are now also saying they want Congress to cut funding for the war. But we have not yet reached into the vast majority of the population and convinced them of the value of public protest and the importance of their involvement in our movement.
The idea of doing a national protest in the form of regional actions was new and, in some ways, an experiment. In the past we've organized national marches in Washington, DC or New York City, and days of coordinated local actions, but the concept of regional actions was something different. We are pleased that people from all of the regional actions felt so positive about their experience, and that in the process of organizing, stronger ties were forged among peace and justice groups in each region.
Question(s) related to this article:
How can we be sure to get news about peace demonstrations?,
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Latest reader comment:
Following the peace marches of October 27, 2007, there was no information in the major news media in the United States.
For more on this see the op-ed piece by Jerry Lanson in the Christian Science Monitor.