Thursday, February 24, 2005

Direct Action Gets Satisfaction 

Dante Zappala, writing at PixelPress about her brother, Sherwood Baker, a Philadelphia native, killed in iWaq:

…For most of America today, the "War in Iraq" has been dumbed down to nothing more than a political football. We've got two teams trying to pick up a fumble and run with it. We've wrangled now for years over the existence of WMD. But in our obsession with that process, we neglect soldiers like Sherwood – and Iraqi civilians -- whose lives were sacrificed to find those weapons. As it turns out, to not find those weapons.

Sherwood didn't die in vain. But the war in Iraq is still being fought in vain. We have acquiesced to an agenda that has killed our brothers and sisters, raided our Treasury and fractured our moral standing in the world. The legacy of Sherwood's service will only be honored when we all demand truth in our politicians, demand that they too serve with honor and integrity.
Demanding that, I believe, is the best way that we can honor a dead soldier.

So let’s demand. United for Peace and Justice (United For Peace) is organizing…

Not so fast, say anti-war activists like Plummer, who is helping to organise a mass protest rally near the base in Fayetteville, North Carolina on Mar. 19 to coincide with the second anniversary of the U.S. invasion. ''The message is not 'bring them home after they fix stuff', it's 'bring them home now','' said Plummer, an active member of the national peace group Military Families Speak Out. ''

Organising in Fayetteville requires sensitivity that you wouldn't need to have in a non-military town,'' he added. ''You have to respect people who oppose the war but are afraid to go public because they have a spouse in the military and could lose their benefits.'' Even so, he says that interest in his group -- which represents 2,000 military families -- and in the March anti-war events has been ''overwhelming''. The Fayetteville rally is being conceived and planned by veterans and relatives of soldiers, with delegations coming from as far away as the Pacific island state of Hawaii…

…The Fayetteville rally is just one of many taking place around the United States next month, with New York City hosting a Central Park gathering expected to attract up to a quarter million people. The international peace movement has become increasingly sophisticated in coordinating events across the globe: in February 2003, more than ten million people marched simultaneously in 60 countries against the imminent U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

This year, anti-war actions are also planned in Britain, Greece, Italy, France, Iceland, Germany, Denmark and other European cities, as well as in Brazil, Korea, Japan, South Africa, Bangladesh and Australia.

In Sydney, the main focus will be on opposing the presence of foreign troops, but also specifically to condemn the Australian government's decision this week to send another 450 soldiers to Iraq, activists say. Mar. 20 falls on Palm Sunday this year, the traditional day on which Australians have held peace rallies. Anti-war actions will take place across the country… via Inter Press Service

And, hell, maybe organize something locally to coincide. We can usually get 30 or 40 people even here in the sticks.

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