Thousands marched in the streets of downtown Portland to protest against 8 years of war in Iraq, and 9 years in Afghanistan. The turnout this year was great, compared to the last few years. Marching under the Veterans for Peace, Chp. 72, banner, "How is the War Economy Working for You?" thousands turned out to demand an end to the war economy and the continuation of wars and occupations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. 66 groups endorsed this big march and rally, including anti-war and veterans groups, Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against War, labor, churches, JWJ, Physicians for Social Responsibility, AUPHR, SUPER, students, PCASC, ISO, Sisters of the Road homeless advocates, Green Party, Radical Women, KBOO and the Portland Alliance, and many, many more.
The protestors shouted and chanted as they marched all the way from Pioneer Courthouse Square down to the Waterfront Park, waving banners, flags, and signs that called for an end to wars, stop the drone attacks on Pakistan and Afghanistan, stop the war on workers, solidarity with the unions and especially in Wisconsin, Obama as the "New War Criminal," "War is a Racket" that has bankrupted this country, and many more. One of the best signs was by a 9-year old boy, Shanti (peace):"This War is Older than Me."
As the protestors marched past the Saturday Market, hundreds of people lined the streets to applaud and shout out their support. The protestors called out, "Stop shopping and join us! Stop eating and join us! Stop drinking and join us!" Many people driving by honked in support.
It was a good day to be out in the streets, protesting for justice and peace. Now what do we do next?