VoteNoWar.org & Washington Post & Dennis Kyne – 2005-09-25 23:41:36
300,000 Surround White House in
Largest Antiwar Protest Since War BeganVoteNoWar.org
With the support of everyone in the antiwar movement around the country, the September 24th demonstration was a magnificent success. We had hoped for 100,000 people, and more than 300,000 joined the protest. We received media coverage all around the world. The article below, from the Washington Post, took up the front page of the newspaper above the fold.
The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition initiated this demonstration on May 12, 2005 under the slogans “Stop the War Against Iraq” and “End Colonial Occupation from Iraq, to Palestine, to Haiti and Everywhere.” We also later connected the war in Iraq with Bush’s criminal neglect in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. On May 12, we also proposed to the United for Peace and Justice that our two coalitions enter into a united front for the purpose of maximizing the broadest possible turnout in the streets. We believe that the final agreement to organize a joint rally and joint march was in the best interests of launching a wider struggle against the war-makers.
Everyone should feel very proud in the success of this demonstration, and the large-scale protests that also took place in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and in other cities. More than 350 cities and towns organized transportation to come to Washington DC. The commitment and self-sacrifice of local organizers speaks to the fact that this movement has taken off.
If you could not go to the demonstration or you know a friend or family member that could not go, but would like to have gone, you can now join the demonstration from home! A.N.S.W.E.R. has set up an easy mechanism so you can let the politicians know that you stand with the more than 100 thousand people at the Sept. 24 March on Washington and are demanding Bring the Troops Home Now, spend money on human needs — not war and occupation!
We want to send a special “thank you” to the hundreds of VoteNoWar and A.N.S.W.E.R. volunteers who helped with stage and sound set up, takedown, fund collection, march security, and the tireless around-the-clock work that was necessary to make the demonstration so successful. Many volunteers have hardly slept for the last 72 hours.
We also want to send a special “thank you” to all of those who have also made a financial contribution. This movement exists because of the commitment of those who can make a financial contribution. We have to keep up the momentum. If you would like to continue to support the antiwar movement and build on this national success to take the next steps, please make a generous donation.
-All of us at VoteNoWar.org
Antiwar Fervor Fills the Streets:
Demonstration Is Largest in Capital
Since US. Military Invaded Iraq
Petula Dvorak / Washington Post
(September 25, 2005) — Tens of thousands of people packed downtown Washington yesterday and marched past the White House in the largest show of antiwar sentiment in the nation’s capital since the conflict in Iraq began.
The demonstration drew grandmothers in wheelchairs and babies in strollers, military veterans in fatigues and protest veterans in tie-dye. It was the first time in a decade that protest groups had a permit to march in front of the executive mansion, and, even though President Bush was not there, the setting seemed to electrify the crowd.
Signs, T-shirts, slogans and speeches outlined the cost of the Iraq conflict in human as well as economic terms. They memorialized dead U.S. troops and Iraqis, and contrasted the price of war with the price of recovery for areas battered by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Riffs on Vietnam-era protests were plentiful, with messages declaring, “Make Levees, Not War,” “I never thought I’d miss Nixon” and “Iraq is Arabic for Vietnam.” Many in the crowd had protested in the 1960s; others weren’t even born during those tumultuous years.
Protest organizers estimated that 300,000 people participated, triple their original target. D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey, who walked the march route, said the protesters achieved the goal of 100,000 and probably exceeded it. Asked whether at least 150,000 showed up, the chief said, “That’s as good a guess as any.
“It’s their protest, not mine. It was peaceful — that’s all I care about,” Ramsey said.
The protesters rallied at the Ellipse, then marched through a misty drizzle around the White House and along Pennsylvania Avenue NW. The crowd thinned as events continued into the evening with a concert on the grounds of the Washington Monument that featured Joan Baez and other performers, along with antiwar speeches.
The police presence along the demonstration’s route seemed more relaxed than at recent protests, although DC police and US Park Police had hundreds of officers in place to deal with potential trouble. Police said a construction fence was torn down and a newspaper box damaged, but they reported no injuries or major problems. They said three people were arrested — one on a charge of destruction of property, one on a charge of attempted theft and one on a charge of disorderly conduct.
More than 200 counter-demonstrators set up outside the FBI building on Pennsylvania Avenue, and some back-and-forth yelling occurred as the antiwar marchers moved past. “Shame on you! Shame on you!” one counter-protester shouted at the antiwar group. Several dozen officers stood between the two groups, and no trouble erupted, police said.
Some organizations supporting the war in Iraq plan to demonstrate today on the Mall.
Antiwar groups staged smaller rallies yesterday in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, London, Rome and other cities. In Washington, the events were sponsored by groups including the ANSWER Coalition and United for Peace and Justice and focused on a succinct theme: “End the War in Iraq and Bring the Troops Home Now.”
Roughly 147,000 U.S. troops are in Iraq. Since the war began in March 2003, 1,911 U.S. members of the military have been killed and 14,641 have been wounded.
The protest groups helped organize caravans and carpools, and many participants began arriving early in the morning after bumpy, all-night bus rides.
Pack Your TrashDennis Kyne / Support the Truth
(September 25th, 2005) — We just split Washington DC. I am not sure if I am supposed to report it was a wonderful success because a gazillion people showed up, or I am supposed to tell the truth. Can you believe it, I am not sure if I should tell the truth. My book, titled, Support The Truth, forces my obligation. So, I will tell the truth.
We split early. It is a ghost town. There is trash cans filled to the rim, flowing over, creating trash areas. Never have I seen so much garbage coming from people trying to save the world. The porta potties, freshened out this morning, were stacked to the rim. And there was a real problem keeping people in toilet paper, as you could see by some of the stuffing in the hole when I stopped by early evening and used up the last inch of the bucket.
That is the gripe. I can gripe, because I can explain how to fix it. But…. I want to address the underlying problem which expresses itself in this trash heap we have left for city employees to deal with. We aren’t consciously outreaching to the people who need what we know. I mean how is the guy hauling away bins full of soiled newspaper and the lady stacking up plastic bottles tossed four feet from the tin, right up to the edge of the heap, going to know that the evening before Steve Earle said, “The Revolution starts NOW. ”
They are busy picking up the bottom of the folks who came down for the day, got on a bus at five last night and went back to wherever they came from. Ok, so some out-of-townees came round and dropped bottom. It is not that we should ever expect anything less, seriously, there is no reality in expecting people to see the ground as anything other than a garbage dump. Wal-Mart bags stuffed with Coca-Cola products and McDonalds were settled up as the base, while plastic bottles, aluminum cans, paper and cigarette butts settled on top. Amazingly, this ghastly sight did not stop people from continuing to empty their hands into the piles more and more, and even more.
The Veterans For Peace bus crew led the VFP section of the march yesterday. Gordon had the VFP Flag held in front, while Fred and I held a 28-foot banner together for the entire march. One of the chants I led them in was a call and response that goes, “We’ve had enough,” and the response was, “Stop the War.” OK. The truth is we might have yelled that for hours, believe me, we yelled for hours, but it was on deaf ears.
The president wasn’t in town. The only people in town were the people who are cleaning up the mess we made. If I had known this was the situation, I would have not even bothered showing up to this protest. My mother always told me as a child, “You are either a help or a hindrance.” Seems to me that the protest might have helped everyone realize there are a gazillion people who don’t like the current situation, but the result is that while they split for all points west, the trash was everywhere. I walked around for blocks, the trash was everywhere.
I’ve had enough, stop the war on ourselves. The idea that we live in a conscious, thoughtful paradigm can only be expressed through action. Proof is in the pudding, that means somebody has to manage the trash.
The trash is actually the most basic example of whether an operation went off successfully or not. I am sure there will be other complaints levied against the day of Sept. 24th, but being a military veteran, I tend to keep it simple. Simply put, if you cannot manage your trash, and you cannot pack your trash, than do not throw a party.
Enough, most of the people I saw yesterday are grown. There were elders and infants as well. My point is that cognitive dissonance was present in the collective group, I can’t seem to figure out why Fred and I were sitting there, at multiple locations watching mounds develop of recyclable products.
Here is how you fix this problem: Call Julia “Butterfly” Hill, if you can’t call, visit this page http://www.circleoflife.org/
Julia “Butterfly” Hill holds the “WE THE PLANET” Festival in Oakland annually. Last year my friend Amira Jessica Diamond invited me to the show that featured two of the acts that were in Washington DC yesterday. Joan Baez and the Coup in DC yesterday were in Oakland last November, so was Third Eye Blind, The Roots and Woody Harrelson. The name dropping is for one purpose only. These artists know what Julia has been able to do, and could surely appreciate the connection that has to be made for us to never be so embarrassed that we cannot even manage trash as we ask our government to manage themselves.
I would not have been out in the streets marching against a government that is dumping its trash all over the world if I had known that back on the farm my fellows were incapable of getting the garbage into something worthy of a trip to the dump without having to be handled multiple times by somebody else.
What Julia does is explained here; http://circleoflife.org/WTP2004/WTP_final_PR.pdf
It states that the second annual We The Planet music and activism festival was the most eco friendly indoor concert ever produced. As a result the event produced 112 gallons worth of trash – the amount that an average family of four generates in three weeks. Comparatively, 704 gallons of biodegradable compost was generated which will be turned into nutrient rich soil. At any other event the compost would have been thrown away. I was at this festival. I watched it work. It was impressive.
My gripe is that the organizers were not addressing this matter. So, in truth, Veterans For Peace was a sponsor for a number of actions. As a group, we worked in support of United For Peace and Justice as well as A.N.S.W.E.R, we were walking hand in hand with Military Families Speak Out, Gold Star Families For Peace, and Iraq Veterans Against War, and since I know members of all these groups I feel comfortable in making my statement to them. There were a great deal of other organizations involved though, and we are all accountable when it comes to managing our trash.
My statement is this, Call Julia “Butterfly” Hill, Circle of Life should have been with us as well.
Admiration is a descriptive term for how I feel about what Julia has been able to produce. In these times, admiration seems to be such a forgotten feeling. I have it, and after you learn about this woman you will too.
It is Sunday, the bus is on it’s way back to the Bayou to see how Camp Casey III is holding up. There is a lot of trash down there that the government won’t clean up. I am hoping that at the next protest I go to we aren’t guilty of the same thing.
Pack Your Trash.