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Fresno Commemorates 3,000 American Iraq War Deaths
by Mike Rhodes (mikerhodes [at] Comcast.net)
Monday Jan 1st, 2007 10:29 PM
Peace activists in Fresno held a commemoration for the 3,000 Americans that have died fighting in Iraq. The event was held at Peace Corner (Shaw and Blackstone) and organized by Peace Fresno. At least 150 people attended.
600a.jpg
Fresno Commemorates 3,000 American Iraq War Deaths
By Mike Rhodes

The Peace Corner in Fresno (Shaw and Blackstone) was filled in the late afternoon and early evening on New Year’s Day as the death of 3,000 American Iraq war deaths were commemorated. The sound of automobile horns honking support for the anti-war activists often made it hard to hear what the person next to you was saying. This Indymedia reporter asked about two dozen of the participants why they were there and what could be done to prevent us from having to commemorate the death of 4,000 American soldiers in another six months. Their answers are below, followed by the Press Release sent out by Peace Fresno calling for this commemoration.

To see a photo and story about the June 2006 event commemorating 2,500 American soldiers, see:
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2006/06/16/18281006.php


Lisa Soloman
We need to encourage people to speak up and make their voices heard with the government we have coming into place next week. People need to be angry and show our government that enough is enough. We need a peace surge across this country that says no more new troops to Iraq, lets start drawing down the numbers. . . we can’t afford this anymore.

Genie Barinoff
I’m out here because 3,000 of the children of our neighbors have been slaughtered for no reason and if I stay home I’m stuck in my own grief, but if I come out with people of like mind then I can bear it. I think it is time to rachet up the action. It is good to do vigils, it’s good to do bumper stickers, it’s good to do all of the things we do but it is now time to do sit in’s. It is time to stop traffic, its time to go to each one of our representatives and just sit there and not leave. Just say you have to change policy and stop funding an illegal and immoral war.

Dan Yaseen
Peace Fresno has opposed the war from the beginning because it is immoral, illegal, and unjust. What we need to do to stop the war is to pressure the Democratic Congress. The country voted for them because they are sick and tired of this war and we need to pressure them to stop funding it.

Leni Reeves
I think it would be a really good idea to get out of Iraq and bring the troops home and give them scholarships and jobs and health care and while we are at it why not do the same for everybody else. We need to put heavy duty pressure on the Democrats.

Bill Simon (current president of Peace Fresno)
We are here because 3,000 Americans and 655,000 Iraqi’s have died for a war that has no obvious reason. War is always wrong, at least on the part of the country that attacks and we are the attackers of a country that was in no way a threat to us, had nothing to do with 9-11, and nothing to do with terrorism. So, it is an immoral unjust war that should have never been and we need to get out before more Iraqi and American’s die.

Jim Grant
We have to keep doing this until there is not another death, never mind a monumental 4,000 or 5,000. We have to be able to decide that in the time we have in this new year that we take action, whether they are large or small, personal or public, that change the course of our own lives...to change the course of our nation. We need to let Congress know where we are, what we think, and what we are going to do about it.

Pat Wolk
We shouldn’t be over there, this craziness of killing our young people and turning them into killers. . . and that is not what we want. We have to keep writing to our Congress people and protesting. We need to get more and more of us out here. We need to stop feeding the war machine.

Ben Spitler
We don’t need to continue spending money on a needless war when we have so many things we need that money for.

Ken Hudson
I’m here to commemorate the day - the 3,000 U.S. deaths and the 650,000 Iraqi civilian deaths. We have to stop it and we have to stop it now. The United States needs to approach the United Nations and say we need to pull out and we would like the United Nations to come in to provide security for the people.

Glenn DeVoogd
I’m here because Jesus said to live in peace and that is what we want to do. Contact Congress and urge them to stop funding the war.

Jim Kratzer
I hope Congress will cut off funding to the war and if that fails we need to impeach Bush and Cheney.

Polly Victor
We have to press our government more than we ever have before.

Joan Poss
I feel like I have been here forever and this is a repeat performance from the Vietnam war. We never should have been in that war and we should never have gotten into this war. We need to deluge the switchboards of our representatives in Washington DC and in Fresno.

Rych Withers
Why are we there? It is a mess. We are wasting taxpayer money, we are wasting lives, and it is just an absolute mess. We need to keep the pressure on Congress. . . call them, write them, or they will just move on to the next bright shiny object.

Phil Trayner
We have to make the administration understand that the last election was a message from the people of this country that we don’t want any more of this, it’s over. I get upset when I hear people say that were here to effect the 2008 elections. That’s bullshit, lets get this war ended. I remember in the Vietnam War people asked how we were going to get out of it - the answer is by ship and by plane.

Holly Johnson
We should pull out because all of our excuses to get there in the first place, I don’t think are true anymore. . . even though they weren’t really in the first place.

Jovita Harrah
We have to make our protests more visible. We need to participate in civil disobedience, we have to contact our legislators. . . day in and day out until they get tired of us.

Steve Hayes
I’m here as an act of conscience - 3,000 people have lost there lives. The least a person can do is to honor the sacrifices that they made. Especially for a war that people have realized, over time, is wrong and that there is no good that can come out of it.

Evo Bluestein
To end the war we have to keep getting our voice out there. . .louder . . . and it would be terrible if we had to do some rash things in order to. . . it would be nice if they (the Bush Administration) would listen to the majority without us having to go to jail or do extreme things. But, sometimes I wonder because we don’t seem to be able to make a difference.

Ellie Bluestein
3,000 people are more than the number that was killed on 9-11. We should not be here now (commemorating the death of 3,000 US soldiers) because there were demonstrations all over the world - the biggest that we have ever had, and it didn’t do any good. But I do think that we need to put pressure on the people we just put into office.


THIS IS THE PEACE FRESNO PRESS RELEASE (issued before the event)

3000 American Iraq War deaths to be commemorated in Fresno
on New Years Day

AP reports that American military deaths in Iraq have passed the 3000 mark. Members and friends of Peace Fresno will congregate on New Years Day at the traditional "Peace Corner ":(the southeast corner of Blackstone and Shaw in Fresno),starting at 3:30 pm (to take advantage of some daylight)and continue until 6:00 or 6:30 p.m.

Peace supporters are urged to come when they can. Bill Simon, the President of Peace Fresno says to members and friends "We would anticipate a fairly somber, quiet demonstration as fitting to the situation. Black or dark clothing would be appropriate. We are also planning to have candles. Bring your own if you can."

This vigil is in keeping with the history of Peace Fresno which has doggedly opposed the militarism of the Bush Administration since the tragedy of 9/11.Peace Fresno has consistently opposed the war against Iraq. What was once a small minority opinion has grown to the point where one recent reputable national poll says that only 11 percent of the American people support the so called "Surge Plan " to escalate the conflict by injecting even more American military lives into the breech of the Iraq conflict.

Peace Fresno is an independent and unaffiliated group of over 200 dues paying Central Valley members who are opposed to war as a way of resolving conflicts in the world.

Contact:

Bill Simon
President, Peace Fresno
SIMON72811 [at] sbcglobal.net
Home:(559)227-6565
Cell:(559)375-5725
http://www.peacefresno.org
§United Against War
by Mike Rhodes Monday Jan 1st, 2007 10:29 PM
600nowar.jpg
Peace Corner on New Year's Day. All photos by Mike Rhodes
§Lisa Soloman & Genie Barinoff
by Mike Rhodes Monday Jan 1st, 2007 10:29 PM
600lisaandgenie.jpg
Lisa Soloman
We need to encourage people to speak up and make their voices heard with the government we have coming into place next week. People need to be angry and show our government that enough is enough. We need a peace surge across this country that says no more new troops to Iraq, lets start drawing down the numbers. . . we can’t afford this anymore.

Genie Barinoff
I’m out here because 3,000 of the children of our neighbors have been slaughtered for no reason and if I stay home I’m stuck in my own grief, but if I come out with people of like mind then I can bear it. I think it is time to rachet up the action. It is good to do vigils, it’s good to do bumper stickers, it’s good to do all of the things we do but it is now time to do sit in’s. It is time to stop traffic, its time to go to each one of our representatives and just sit there and not leave. Just say you have to change policy and stop funding an illegal and immoral war.
§Dan Yaseen
by Mike Rhodes Monday Jan 1st, 2007 10:29 PM
600dan.jpg
Peace Fresno has opposed the war from the beginning because it is immoral, illegal, and unjust. What we need to do to stop the war is to pressure the Democratic Congress. The country voted for them because they are sick and tired of this war and we need to pressure them to stop funding it.
§Leni Reeves
by Mike Rhodes Monday Jan 1st, 2007 10:29 PM
600leni.jpg
I think it would be a really good idea to get out of Iraq and bring the troops home and give them scholarships and jobs and health care and while we are at it why not do the same for everybody else. We need to put heavy duty pressure on the Democrats.
§Bill Simon (current president of Peace Fresno)
by Mike Rhodes Monday Jan 1st, 2007 10:29 PM
600bill.jpg
We are here because 3,000 Americans and 655,000 Iraqi’s have died for a war that has no obvious reason. War is always wrong, at least on the part of the country that attacks and we are the attackers of a country that was in no way a threat to us, had nothing to do with 9-11, and nothing to do with terrorism. So, it is an immoral unjust war that should have never been and we need to get out before more Iraqi and American’s die.
§Jim Grant
by Mike Rhodes Monday Jan 1st, 2007 10:29 PM
600jim.jpg
We have to keep doing this until there is not another death, never mind a monumental 4,000 or 5,000. We have to be able to decide that in the time we have in this new year that we take action, whether they are large or small, personal or public, that change the course of our own lives...to change the course of our nation. We need to let Congress know where we are, what we think, and what we are going to do about it.
§Pat Wolk
by Mike Rhodes Monday Jan 1st, 2007 10:29 PM
600pat.jpg
We shouldn’t be over there, this craziness of killing our young people and turning them into killers. . . and that is not what we want. We have to keep writing to our Congress people and protesting. We need to get more and more of us out here. We need to stop feeding the war machine.
§Ben Spitler
by Mike Rhodes Monday Jan 1st, 2007 10:29 PM
600ben.jpg
We don’t need to continue spending money on a needless war when we have so many things we need that money for.
§Ken Hudson
by Mike Rhodes Monday Jan 1st, 2007 10:29 PM
600ken.jpg
I’m here to commemorate the day - the 3,000 U.S. deaths and the 650,000 Iraqi civilian deaths. We have to stop it and we have to stop it now. The United States needs to approach the United Nations and say we need to pull out and we would like the United Nations to come in to provide security for the people.
§Glenn DeVoogd
by Mike Rhodes Monday Jan 1st, 2007 10:29 PM
600glenn.jpg
I’m here because Jesus said to live in peace and that is what we want to do. Contact Congress and urge them to stop funding the war.
§Jim Kratzer
by Mike Rhodes Monday Jan 1st, 2007 10:29 PM
600jimkrat.jpg
I hope Congress will cut off funding to the war and if that fails we need to impeach Bush and Cheney.
§Polly Victor
by Mike Rhodes Monday Jan 1st, 2007 10:29 PM
600polly.jpg
We have to press our government more than we ever have before.
§Joan Poss
by Mike Rhodes Monday Jan 1st, 2007 10:29 PM
600joan.jpg
I feel like I have been here forever and this is a repeat performance from the Vietnam war. We never should have been in that war and we should never have gotten into this war. We need to deluge the switchboards of our representatives in Washington DC and in Fresno.
§Rych Withers
by Mike Rhodes Monday Jan 1st, 2007 10:29 PM
600rych.jpg
Why are we there? It is a mess. We are wasting taxpayer money, we are wasting lives, and it is just an absolute mess. We need to keep the pressure on Congress. . . call them, write them, or they will just move on to the next bright shiny object.
§Phil Trayner
by Mike Rhodes Monday Jan 1st, 2007 10:29 PM
600phil.jpg
We have to make the administration understand that the last election was a message from the people of this country that we don’t want any more of this, it’s over. I get upset when I hear people say that were here to effect the 2008 elections. That’s bullshit, lets get this war ended. I remember in the Vietnam War people asked how we were going to get out of it - the answer is by ship and by plane.
§Holly Johnson
by Mike Rhodes Monday Jan 1st, 2007 10:29 PM
600holly.jpg
We should pull out because all of our excuses to get there in the first place, I don’t think are true anymore. . . even though they weren’t really in the first place.
§Jovita Harrah
by Mike Rhodes Monday Jan 1st, 2007 10:29 PM
600jovita.jpg
We have to make our protests more visible. We need to participate in civil disobedience, we have to contact our legislators. . . day in and day out until they get tired of us.
§Steve Hayes
by Mike Rhodes Monday Jan 1st, 2007 10:29 PM
600steve.jpg
I’m here as an act of conscience - 3,000 people have lost there lives. The least a person can do is to honor the sacrifices that they made. Especially for a war that people have realized, over time, is wrong and that there is no good that can come out of it.
§Ellie Bluestein and her son Evo
by Mike Rhodes Monday Jan 1st, 2007 10:29 PM
600ellieandevo.jpg
Evo Bluestein
To end the war we have to keep getting our voice out there. . .louder . . . and it would be terrible if we had to do some rash things in order to. . . it would be nice if they (the Bush Administration) would listen to the majority without us having to go to jail or do extreme things. But, sometimes I wonder because we don’t seem to be able to make a difference.

Ellie Bluestein
3,000 people are more than the number that was killed on 9-11. We should not be here now (commemorating the death of 3,000 US soldiers) because there were demonstrations all over the world - the biggest that we have ever had, and it didn’t do any good. But I do think that we need to put pressure on the people we just put into office.

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