Following the beginning of the invasion of Iraq, Ashlanders gathered in the plaza downtown to express their sorrow and rage and to stand in solidarity with anti-war activists across the globe. |
A street theater performance at an Exxon gas station drew the condemnation of Ashland Mayor Alan DeBoer, who attempted to disrupt the expression of dissent in his community. Earlier in the day, many activists received an e-mail from DeBoer, encouraging Ashlanders to gather in the park and "pray for the world in this controversial time."
After holding an intersection adjacent to the Exxon for about 30 minutes, the crowd moved back into downtown, and held another intersection for nearly 2 hours. Police diverted all traffic around downtown, causing backups and confusion for motorists. Under the watchful eye of the Mayor and APD, armed with digital cameras, drummers and skateboarders, children and teens, city councilors and anarchists, street performers and artists, business owners and concerned citizens convened a meeting to discuss future actions against the invasion in Iraq, in the middle of Main Street.
A call has been made to continue to build momentum in Ashland. The Women in Black are inviting all to their vigil in the Plaza, Friday at 12:00 noon. A vigil is planned for Senator Smith's office in Medford, Friday from 3:00 to 7:00 pm. People are encouraged to organize into affinity groups to plan civil disobedience until this war ends.
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