Despite what the corporate news media would have us believe, opposition to the "liberation" of Iraq, the death march of U.S. imperialism, and the diabolical administration behind it all is still very much alive, kicking, (and being kicked) here in the belly of the beast!!! With the news media attempting to spin the situation in Iraq as a resounding victory and an effective "liberation" of the Iraqi people, today's march may have been the most critical yet in regards to the momentum of the opposition movement. A poor showing or lukewarm event may well have dealt a blow to morale, but thanks to a peaceful but defiant crowd of over 20,000 and the valiant efforts of organizers, today's march has once again put things into high gear. The event was planned to address the latest round of IMF/World Trade meetings in DC this weekend, as well as show support for the Latin American Solidarity Conference taking place here as well. A number of feeder marches organized by such groups as DAWN (DC Anti-War Network), Veterans Against the War, and an unpermitted anti-capitalist segment joined with the largest group of demonstrators around noon. Altogether, this "National March to Stop the War on Iraq" was ogranized rather brilliantly by International ANSWER (www.internationalanswer.org)
The crowd heard from a number of ethnically and spiritually diverse speakers, all of whom were extremely eloquent and displayed comprehensive knowledge of just how deep the current administration is in its own shit. Touched on by many of the speakers was yesterday's news that a $7 billion dollar Iraq "rebuilding" contract had been awarded to Halliburton, the company that Vice President Dick Cheney served as CEO to from 1995 to 2000. Cheney continues to make $1 million per year in deffered compensation from Halliburton. For more on this story, check out:
The day was not without its share of violence however. Police brutally assaulted several groups of protesters on a number of different occasions as the group moved through the streets of DC. The show of police force was unbelievably disproportionate to the size and temperment of the crowd. Battalions of 25-50 officers on horses, bikes, motorcycles or foot stood at nearly every intersection on the route. Mototcycled officers insisted on speeding aggressively up both sides of the march for it's entirely, clearly using the noise and power of the bikes to intimidate peaceful marchers on countless occasions. Marchers were instructed to stay on the sidewalks one minute, then ordered into the strees the next. The tension resulted in several instances of violence on the part of police, numerous injuries to citizens, and a few arrests. Check out DC IMC for full reports and more photos. The DC IMC is phenomenal! They have own well-equipped space for the weekend, are in touch with the latest via call-in, and best of all: They have taken me in and are putting me up for the night! (Thanks you guys...)
That's the news from DC.
See you back in Portland soon, everybody....