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US antiwar demonstrations mark four years since Iraq invasion
by wsws (reposted)
Monday Mar 19th, 2007 6:44 AM
Tens of thousands of people took part in marches and rallies in Washington, D.C., and in cities across the country over the weekend to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, demanding an end to the war in Iraq and the withdrawal of US troops.
In Washington on Saturday, marchers came from as far away as Maine, Iowa and California, despite the near-freezing temperatures and snow storms the night before.

Veterans of the Iraq war and family members of soldiers killed there joined the march from the Lincoln Memorial across the Potomac River to a rally at the Pentagon. Organizers placed the crowd at between 20,000 and 30,000, while police, who no longer give official estimates, said the crowd ranged from 10,000 to 20,000. A few hundred right-wing counter-demonstrators lined the route near the Lincoln Memorial, some of them shouting obscenities at the marchers.

A massive security mobilization greeted the march, with police on motorcycles, bicycles, and horseback and in vans and patrol cars lining the route and present at both the assembly point and rally. Several helicopters circled low over the crowd, making it difficult for people to hear the speakers.

Arlo Gesner, who came from Cornell College in Iowa, expressed his frustration with the Democratic Party. “I came today not just for the war, but because the government is not listening to the people. You can put all the pressure you want on the Democratic Party, but they are backing this war. Time and time again, it has been shown that the Democrats support this war.”

Jessica Smith, also from Cornell College, said that she came because her brother is being sent to Afghanistan. “I just found out that he is proud of me coming here,” she said. “I had the chance to see him this weekend, but I felt that I needed to come here and take a stand against this war.”


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by UK Independent (reposted)
Monday Mar 19th, 2007 6:53 AM
Thousands of protesters marched on the Pentagon in Washington on Saturday to mark the fourth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and to evoke another anti-war demonstration that followed the same route almost 40 years ago, when America was divided by the Vietnam War.

At its height, and in spite of freezing weather conditions, as many as 10,000 people joined Saturday's protest. There were smaller demonstrations in other US cities, including Los Angeles, New York and San Diego. The conflict, which has killed more than 3,200 American soldiers, will enter its fifth year tomorrow.

In Washington, the marchers, bearing banners with messages such as "Illegal Combat" and "Peace through Strength", were confronted at several points by smaller groups of counter-demonstrators. A contingent of military veterans congregated close to the Vietnam Memorial on the Washington Mall after hearing rumours that protesters had plans to deface it.

After crossing the Potomac river headed toward the Pentagon, the marchers also confronted another group of counter-demonstrations near the Arlington Cemetery where slain soldiers are buried. "Go to hell traitors," one sign read. "You dishonour our dead on hallowed ground."

Among those addressing the crowds was Cindy Sheehan, who became famous in 2005 for camping outside the Texas ranch of President George Bush after her son was killed in Iraq.

"We're here in the shadow of the war machine," she said after the marchers reached a cordoned-off site in sight of the Pentagon.

"It's like being in the shadow of the death star. They take their death and destruction and they export it around the world. We need to shut it down. We want the people in the White House out of our house and arrested for crimes against humanity."