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STRONG>On this the two year anniversary of the U.S. preemptive invasion of Iraq, Portland joined many cities world wide to protest the continuing occupation of both Iraq and Afghanistan.
1000 people gathered at the Urban Center, near Portland State University and marched through the streets of Portland to demonstrate their opposition to war and their dedication to the peaceful resolution for all conflicts.
Before the march, Laurie King, of Portland Jobs With Justice
spoke to the crowd, defining the reasons for the gathering. "We march today to protest the occupation of Iraq, and we want to bring the troops home where they belong..............people are mourning the loss of 1500 American soldiers and over 100,000 Iraqi people have died in this immoral war, the 1500 American dead, the thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians deaths."
After reading a list of Oregon cities who demonstrated against the war, Laurie speaks about demonstrations at Fort Bragg North Carolina, and about the Longshoreman in San Francisco, California, who shut down the port in solidarity with these world wide demonstrations.
The group then marched through the streets of Portland, gathering briefly at the Oregonian to chastize them for their slanted coverage of the war in Iraq and refusal to fully report Palestinian deaths in that occupation.
Finally, back at the starting point, the crowd was exhorted to continue their peace activism, to join peace groups, write letters, particpate in "street heat," any number of activities in order to bring the important message of Peace to the American people. "Organize broadly and deeply, continue to educate yourselves............everything is linked together, we all have to talk to everyday people."

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