Protestors demand end to Iraq war

Thousands of angry protestors including the families of dead US soldiers marched in Washington Saturday demanding an end to the war in Iraq, the return of US troops, and the impeachment of President George W. Bush.

A crowd of protesters some 4,000 to 6,000 strong gathered outside the White House before marching under a clear sky to the US Capitol building. Many waved placards that read “Support our troops, stop the war,” and “Impeach Bush.”

Several dozen demonstrators stretched out on their backs in front of Congress, which was not in session, in what they termed a “die-in,” drawing attention to the rising death toll in insurgency-stricken Iraq.

One hundred ninety-seven people, including dozens of veterans and activists, were arrested as they crossed police lines, organizers said. Police also used pepper-spray to disperse the crowd, according to the Act Now to Stop War & End Racism (ANSWER) coalition, the group that organized the march.

US television networks broadcast pictures of scuffles between protestors and police.

Phil Aliff, 21, marched wearing his camouflage uniform jacket as part of a group called Iraq Veterans Against the War. He first arrived in Iraq in July 2006.

“I stayed there for a year, in Abu Ghraib and outside Fallujah. When we arrived, we were told we were here to bring stabilization to the country,” said Aliff.

“But we were not rebuilding anything. The Iraqis had only two hours of electricity. And I saw the atrocities committed by the Americans there.”

Aliff spoke days after the top US general in Iraq, David Petraeus, testified before Congress, giving an optimistic report on conditions in Iraq and the effectiveness of the US president’s “surge” strategy of adding more US troops to the fight.

“General Petraeus’s report is incredibly far from the reality on the ground,” said Aliff.

Another marcher, Diane Santoriello, held a photograph of her 25-year-old son Neil, lost in Iraq on August 13, 2004. “I am here to get Congress to defund the war,” she said.

“The vast majority of Iraqi people want the US and other foreign forces out of the country,” said Brian Becker with the ANSWER.

“The vast majority of the people in the US want the war ended and the troops brought home now,” he added.

Speakers also included activist Cindy Sheehan, who lost her US soldier son, Casey, in Iraq and became a figurehead for the anti-war movement.

The highest percentage ever of Americans — 62 percent — now believe the war was a mistake, while 59 percent believe it is not worth American lives, according to a poll published last week.

Americans trust US military commanders over President George W. Bush or the Democratic-controlled US Congress to successfully end the Iraq war, according to the New York Times/CBS News poll published Monday.

When asked to choose who could best end the war, 68 percent said they most trusted the military commanders, 21 percent said Congress, and just five percent said the Bush administration.

5 Responses to "Protestors demand end to Iraq war"

  1. SEAL  September 16, 2007 at 10:34 pm

    One of the reports I saw said there were about 100,000 people there. Anyone know the actual number?

  2. justanothercoverup  September 17, 2007 at 10:59 am

    Yes, there were approximately 100,000, if not more who protested in Washington, DC, and the MSM seemed to try and minimize the event – but it rattled many who witnessed that finally, people are “taking it to the streets!”

    Some families believed the manner in which the protest was staged was degrading to those that had fallen in battle, however, I believe if it appeared that way, it was completely unintentional. The figures on how many may have participated are included in this story:

    A Message To Families That Believe We Dishonored The Dead At Anti-War Protest

    It is vital that we gain enough MSM publicity and solidarity so we can help to insure that thousands more won’t join the families that are already in mourning. Enough is enough!

    William Cormier

  3. some miami dude  September 18, 2007 at 1:28 am

    some miami dude

    I was there, and there were at least 100,000 people. There were not “several dozen” protesters who participated in the die-in, there were several hundred. I’m not surprised to see that Agence France Presse supressed the actual numbers, after all, the French just elected Nikolas Sarkozy, a right wing kindred spirit of W. Kind of makes sense, though, that W’s British Poodle was replaced by a French Poodle.

  4. lastcamp2  September 18, 2007 at 11:09 pm

    As Will Rogers said, “All I know is what I read in the newspapers.” Unfortunately, that is not a good way to figure out what is going on.

    What would you rather believe, the newspapers, or your own eyes?

    I was there. I saw the crowd. I also went home and measured the area and computed the crowd density, etc. There were no less than 70K and perhaps more than 100K.

    The MSN either lies, is blind to the facts, or willfully ignores them.

    Yes, there were several thousand who stayed after the march to the Capitol in support of those who were being arrested. No, they did not the charge the barricade. Those arrested stepped over it very gently, one at a time, and were arrested by hordes of robocops, in direct action against an unconscionable war.

    “The problem is not civil disobedience. The problem is civil obedience.” Howard Zinn

    Why do they march? Because they are not listened to by their elected representatives, and certainly not by GWB. They march because GWB is a delusional, sociopathic moron who lied the United States into an illegal, immoral, criminal war. They are frustrated with a system that is unresponsive.

    As Alphonse de Lamartine (1790-1869) once wrote: “The more I see of the representatives of the people, the more I admire my dogs.”

  5. SEAL  September 19, 2007 at 2:44 am

    No government has ever been honest with the governed unless forced to be so. Throughout history the governed have always made the same mistake. They allowed their government to become so unresponsive and dictatorial that they inevitably wound up having to revolt and create a new government. Hopefully, a contiuation of events like the past weekend will grow and make the point sufficiently that we can avoid having resort to force. I wish my health would have allowed me to be there. Maybe next time.

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