500,000 March in DC: Cindy Sheehan’s Speech

September 25th, 2005 - by admin

Scott Galindez / AfterDowningStreet.org – 2005-09-25 00:06:44


500,000 Marched in DC
Scott Galindez / AfterDowningStreet.org

(September 24, 2005) — It is safe to say that there were hundreds of thousands of people marching against the war in Iraq today. Police Chief Charles Ramsey’s only statement was that the organizers achieved their goal of 100,000. The DC police refused to make any other estimate. C-SPAN estimated 500,000, a number that I believe was possible from my observations.

I was on the corner of Pennsylvania and 15th on the steps of Riggs bank when the march began. People were still arriving from all directions. The massive amount of people moving in all directions prevented a front of the march from forming. People just started marching on their own with no marshals anywhere near the front of the march. Thousands of people passed me before any organized contingent.

The first major contingent that passed me were thousands of students with signs that said, “college not enlistment.” Thousands of people later I finally saw what was intended to be the lead banner. I saw Congresswomen Lynn Woosley, and Barbara Lee, the Reverend Al Sharpton and other dignitaries carrying that banner.

Thousands of people behind that came the Iraq Veterans Against the War. Joan Baez was marching with them right next to Marine Jeff Key and dozens of other veterans of the Iraq war. Behind them was Gold Star Families for Peace. About half a block later came Veterans for Peace, with Military Families Speak Out a short distance behind them. At the time I assumed that they were in the middle of the march. I later found out that while they were not near the front they were much further from the rear.

I moved down to Pennsylvania and 13th to catch the front again and noticed for hours that there were still people heading up 15th Street. I headed to the concert at 4:30 pm, 4 hours after the march began and people were still marching past the White House, only 4 blocks from the march’s starting point.

To summarize, it took over 4 hours for people clear out of the ellipse area. I have been to several large marches in Washington, DC, since 1989 and this was by far the largest.

Cindy Sheehan’s Speech at UFPJ Rally

Ahhhh, I love the smell of Patriotic Dissent in the afternoon!

As we stand here on the grounds of a monument that is dedicated to the Father of our Country, George Washington, we are reminded that he was well known for the apocryphal stories of never being able to tell a lie. I find it so ironic that there is another man here named George who stays in this town between vacations and he seems to never be able to tell the truth. It is tragic for us that our bookend presidents named George have two completely different relationships with honesty.

I also find it ironic and heartbreaking that my son, Casey, who was a brave person, tall and proud, who loved his country and was honest beyond measure, could be sent to his death by someone who is even too cowardly to meet with a broken-hearted mom, let alone go and fight in the illegal and immoral war of his generation. We are losing our best and our brightest in a country that we are destroying that was no threat to the United States of America.

Iraq was and still is no danger to our safety and security, or to our way of life. The weapons of mass destruction and mass deception reside in this town: they are the neocons who pull the strings and the members of Congress who have loosened the purse strings with reckless abandon and have practically given George and company a blank check to run our country into monetary and moral bankruptcy.

We are out here in force today to take our country back and restore true democracy and sanity to our political process. The time is now and we are here because we love our country and we won’t let the reckless maniacs destroy her any further.

We as a young colony of Great Britain broke from another tyrant, King George the Third. Well, I wish our George the Third were here today to see us out here in force protesting against his war and against his murderous policies. George is not here, though, because he is out galavanting around the country somewhere pretending that he cares about the people who are in the path of hurricane Rita.

We know that he cares nothing for the people of America: Katrina, Iraq, and his idiotic response to 9/11 are evidence of that. He is just out and about play-acting like a President whose country is in crisis just like he pretends to be a Commander in Chief and a Cowboy (I wonder if before he took off to Texas or Colorado or wherever he went, he watched a movie like Independence Day to see how that other fake president acted?).

The reason he is out today is that his handlers told him that he got a little flak for playing golf and eating birthday cake with Senator McCain while some of his employers were hanging off rooftops and treetops in New Orleans. He swaggers around arrogantly like he is a macho dictatorial tyrant who doesn’t have to answer to his employers, the people of the United States of America.

Those days are over George, we are here today to tell you that we are a majority and we will never rest until you bring our young people home from the Middle East and until you start putting money into rebuilding OUR communities: the ones natural disasters destroy with your help, and the ones which your callous and racist war economy are decimating.

We won’t allow you to take anymore money out of social programs to finance Halliburton to rebuild the Gulf States: there is no money. Our bank account is empty. George, this is our rainy day and you have failed us miserably. Stop pouring money into the pockets of the war profiteers and into building permanent bases in Iraq . It is time to bring our billions of dollars home from Iraq too!!!

One thing the Camp Casey movement that hunkered down in Crawford, Texas this past August taught us is that we the people of America have the power and we can and should name our national policy and make sure it is carried out. I constantly get asked if we are making a difference and if we think (like we’re naïve boobs) that we will actually stop the war.

Well, looking back at how Vietnam was ended and looking back in the history of our country, most notably in the suffragette, union, and civil rights movements, we the people are the only ones who have been able to transform history and affect true and lasting change here in America: so to those people who question if we are making a difference: I tell them to go back to school and read their history books!! And another thing these questioners overlook is that WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!!! And we are here to tell the media, Congress, and this criminal and criminally negligent administration: WE ARE NOT GOING AWAY!!!

We in the peace movement need to agree on one thing: yes we need an exit plan, but it is not a strategy, it is a command. The command should be: have all of our military personnel and paid killer mercenaries out of Iraq within 6 months and the generals carry out the command. Simple, it’s not brain surgery and I think it is so easy even George Bush can sign the order.

We can’t give the homicidal maniacs any wiggle room or long term strategy sessions. For one thing, when our leaders strategize, we are put in even more jeopardy, they have proven that they are not too bright or even a little compassionate.

But the most important thing is that people die everyday in Iraq for absolutely no reason and for lies. We have to say NOW because the people on the other side are saying NEVER. We can’t compromise, we can’t say please, and we can’t retreat. If we do, our country is doomed.

We have to honor the sacrifices of our loved ones by completing the mission of peace and justice. It is time. Bring our troops home, NOW!.

Massive March in DC
Turnout was beyond anything we’ve seen in recent years: clearly hundreds of thousands.

• Photos, videos, and blogging of the march:

• Cindy Sheehan receives Unvarnished Truth Award:

• What the polls say:

• How the media is lying about the crowd size:

• How to ask the media to tell the truth:

• Lobbying and civil resistance on Monday, September 26:

• Tool Kit to Stop a War:

• Department of Peace Bill Introduced in Senate

• Minnesota Veterans for Peace Launches Ad Campaign

Sept. 15 Hearing and Rally Against the War: Video and Text
Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey held a hearing, and citizens held a rally to demand an end to the war. See videos, photos, reports, transcripts:

• Resolution of Inquiry Fails by One Vote
H. Res. 375, a Resolution of Inquiry into the lies that launched the war, united the Democrats and won over a couple of Republicans, but still failed by one vote in the House International Relations Committee on September 14th.
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