Reflections from the Peace Rally in Washington DC

Submitted by Nicole Tuzzio on Tue, 09/27/2005 - 13:06.

People opposing the war and the policies of George W. Bush gathered near the National Mall on Saturday, September 24, 2005, for an 11 hour rally, march, and concert. The group A.N.S.W.E.R. (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), one of the event organizers, put the number of protestors there at over 300,000, making it the largest of its kind since the war in Iraq began.

People carried signs and banners demanding the end of the Iraq occupation, and criticizing the Bush administrations handling of energy issues and hurricane Katrina. Demonstrators chanted “Impeach Bush”, and “We don’t want your oil war”, others just marched in silence. A group of people stood in front of the White House, some with their hands forming the peace sign, others with their arms around shoulders singing John Lennon’s famous anti-war anthem, “Give Peace a Chance.” One group of people carried dozens of boxes symbolizing coffins of fallen soldiers.

Among the protestors was Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq. She said a few words to the crowd to start off the march, “And we’re going to Congress and we’re going to ask them, how many more of other people’s children are you going to sacrifice for the lies. And we’re going to say shame on you, shame on you for giving him the authority to invade Iraq. And we’re going to say not one person should have died, not one more should die.”

Sheila Keller, an event coordinator for Cleveland Peace Action had been in D.C. since Wednesday evening attending workshops for people furthering the movement. The protest on Saturday was the third she has been involved with since the beginning of the occupation in Iraq. Sheila’s group, along with National Peace Action, is petitioning Congress to sign onto a piece of legislation called “Homeward Bound”. It calls for the President to announce, not later than December 31, 2005, a plan for the withdrawal of all United States Armed Forces from Iraq. The bill also states that all military operations should be turned over to the elected Government of Iraq as soon as possible, and that a prompt and orderly withdrawal of all United Stated armed forces from Iraq should be initiated no later than October 1, 2006.

"People in our country have this restless feeling that the government isn’t listening to the constituents,” Sheila said, “George Bush isn’t respecting people who elected him.” She felt the march was a positive step towards peace, “Something is shifting in our country and people are organizing to take back power.”

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