War protests mark Iraq war anniversary

Thirty-two people were arrested on Wednesday when they tried to block entrances to the Internal Revenue Service in protests marking the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, police said.

Protesters had planned to shut down the building that houses the U.S. tax-collection agency, one of several antiwar events planned across Washington as the Iraq war enters its sixth year.

Ernestine Fubbs, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the police agency that oversaw the protest, said 32 people were arrested at IRS when they crossed barriers set up by police in front of the building’s entrances. Other police officials said the event was nonviolent.

One hour after the standoff started, several dozen protesters waved signs that said “Stop Paying to Kill” and “How Much Longer?” as a ragtag brass band played. IRS employees were easily able to enter the building.

“We wanted to put our bodies between the money and what that money goes to fund — the war, the occupation, the bombs,” said Frida Berrigan, an organizer with the War Resisters League.

“It would have been nice to shut down the building for the whole day but I think this was a good symbolic action,” she said.

In a separate event on the National Mall, about 100 protesters with the antiwar group Veterans for Peace carried signs that read “the endlessness justifies the meaninglessness” and waved upside-down U.S. flags, a traditional sign of distress.

“Bush and Cheney belong in jail,” they chanted, referring to U.S. President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

Later, scores of noisy protesters blocked a busy intersection in the city’s business district.

Berrigan said she was disappointed that antiwar protests have shrunk in size over the past five years, in contrast to the massive protests of the Vietnam War era.

“The war is an abstraction to a majority of Americans,” she said.

6 Responses to "War protests mark Iraq war anniversary"

  1. Klaus Hergeschimmer  March 20, 2008 at 4:22 am

    This Is An All Volunteer War, It’s Everyone Else’s Kid Getting
    Wasted. The Neo-Cons Learned a valuable lesson in the Vietnam War not to have a draft.

    But that still doesn’t excuse the apathy in this nation. This war is being fought on borrowed money. The economy is showing more indications of folding. The public is aware of the astronomical cost of over 5 Trillion dollars, and yet as long as they can watch Dancing With The Stars, They’re ok with it.

    Democrappers are useless sacks of [CENSORED]. Don’t vote Democrat. I can’t even vote for Obama. We Are Screwed!

  2. mary cali  March 20, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    It bodes very poorly for this country that its citizens are so involved in their own worlds of work, family, and entertainment that they care so little about their government.

    Even without the quagmire in Iraq, an involved citizenry would have sent this administration packing, but the vast majority of Americans are clueless and uninvolved. If it isn’t about Britney Spears or their favorite football team, it doesn’t interest them.

  3. mary cali  March 20, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    Klaus, I feel your pain, but are you seriously considering voting for McCain who has committed himself to continuing Bush’s policies including borrowing to fight the never ending war in Iraq? He flipped on Bush’s tax cuts, which he initally opposed. Now, he says he will keep them, so he has to borrow the money to stay in Iraq. Sometimes you have to vote the policy not the person.

  4. Klaus Hergeschimmer  March 21, 2008 at 4:06 am

    Vote for McCain! Heavens no Mary. I’m a recovering Democrat, and I don’t believe Obama is a Knight from Camelot that’s going to save the Democratic party, I believe he’s far more conservative then he leads on to be. If I were forced at gunpoint to vote between Hillary or Obama, I’d take Obama -but I won’t vote for Obama.

    I know the Democratic party spends a lot of money trying to discredit Nader, so I may vote for him or some third party.

    I honestly have not done much research on Nader, or other alternatives, Greens, Peace & Law etc.

    I can’t quite say I would go Libertarian because I still don’t quite feel comfortable with them.

    I won’t vote for any alternative party on any whimsical notion, but since the Democrats lost me after they putzed out when they re-gained a majority in congress, I have some serious research to do on alternatives. Doing that research is a pain in the keester for me but it must be done, I certainly don’t shirk my responsibility as citizen to do so, but it’s a very disruptive process for me.

    It wasn’t just the Dems behavior once they regained the house, I was already getting fed up with them before that, but when they completely failed to do anything when they had an oppertunity to cut funds last year, that was the nail that sealed the coffin.

    They can cut war funds period, they could send the same war funding bill linked with law mandated troop withdrawl over and over letting Bush sign vetos till he turns blue, or send no bill at all. There’s no law that that congress has to comply with doing anything at all.

    It’s just a long laundry list of Democratic faliures that
    was the straw that broke the camels back.

    Harry Reid seeking retro-active immunity for AT&T.

    Nancy Pelosi taking impeachment off the table.

    Many, many other things the Dems have failed at.

    I’ve had it with the Democrats, but heavens no, I won’t vote for McCain. The Day I vote for McCain would be the day I get a lobotomy.

    Peace Mary

  5. Kim Scipes  March 21, 2008 at 2:42 am

    Folks–

    Although the mainstream media has refused to report this, there are a bunch of US military veterans who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan who have turned against the war, and who have created their own organization, Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW).

    Last weekend (March 13-16, 2008) they held public hearings on the war, and over 50 soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen/women testified as to what they had done or what they had personally witnessed while in country. The panels of testimony were streamed live over the internet, and all are at http://www.ivaw.org . There were panels on Rules of Engagement (i.e., the level of force that was permissible to use), contractors, VA services upon returning, institutionalized sexism in the military, the dehumanization of Iraqis and our vets, resistance in the military, etc.

    (By the way, this was NOT covered by the New York Times, the LA Times, the Wall Street Journal nor the Chicago Tribune. It was covered by the Washington Post, but not in their front section–where most of their most important news is placed–but in the Metro section. It was covered by the BBC, AFP, the Army Times, the Navy Times, the Air Force Times, and the Marine Times, as well as Stars and Stripes. And it was covered by Al-Jazera, and I’ve been told has been subsequently reported on every media outlet in the Middle East–but we can’t get it in the US: I wonder why…?)

    Now, I know we have to support the troops. I think the best way we can do so is to begin by LISTENING to the troops when they speak–and not just when they trot out some general with a bunch of fruit salad on his uniform.

    I encourage every one of you to go to the web site, and watch the panels. There are some gruesome (i.e., real) photos displayed, so you might not want to watch is you’re not feeling good beforehand.

    This way, you can make up your own mind, so I don’t have to say more than this. Check it out, and tell your friends!

    Best–

    Kim Scipes
    Chicago
    Former Sergeant, USMC, 1969-73

  6. Klaus Hergeschimmer  March 21, 2008 at 4:09 am

    Hey Kim, great commentary, and good information on the vets speaking out, and thanks for posting link.

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