January 29, 2007 Leave a comment
As I noted earlier in the week, I attended the United for Peace and Justice anti-war demonstration in Washington, DC this weekend. I arrived early to grab my press pass, and at 10 am the crowd was thin, and the mall empty. By 11 am, when the rally was set to begin, the crowd had grown, and kept growing until the march kicked off at 1:30.
The stage was already set up, and showed Americans something they haven’t had too much of a chance to see, thanks to the Bush Administration.
By searching the crowd, you could see that much of the United States was represented on the Mall Saturday.
The list of speakers was vast, and included politicians, protestors, and celebrities alike.
The most interesting and motivating portion of the rally came when these two speakers shared their views.
For the first time since the war begun, active duty members of the US military joined in protests of the war. Liam Madden, an active duty member of the Navy, joined protestors Saturday:
“I served for 1 year in Iraq. Now I’m home. I’m still serving my country, I’m still serving my brothers and sisters by trying to get them home alive…
Men and women are coming home and they’re pissed off. I listened to the State of the Union Address. In the 50 minutes of rambling, George Bush not once mentioned the word veteran. Not once…
I thought I was going because our country needed defense, and because there was an injustice that needed to be stopped. Instead I was sent to war with no proper planning, no proper training, no proper equipment, and their premise proved fraudulent.
We need to address our elected government, and force them to represent us as a country, and bring the troops home legitimately.”
Raed Jarrar, a half Sunni/half Shia also joined the protest to provide the voice of the Iraqi people:
“The only hope to end the Iraqi violence is to end the occupation now!
I am here today as a half Sunni, half Shiite Iraqi delivering a untied message from the Iraqis, Sunnis and Shia… From all Iraqis: We want our country back! We want the occupation to end now!”
While the overall point of the march and rally was to share with Congress American’s displeasure with the war, each individual at the protest decided to show their opinion in different and expressive ways: