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March 19th Two Year Anniversary of Iraqi Invasion
Useful Information for March 19th Demonstrations and Planning Committees
Useful Information for March 19th Demonstrations and Planning Committees
Reportback: Student Walk-out - March 20th
From the open publishing newswire: The student movement lives! Todays walkout/protest for students was the most high spirited and most energized protest I've ever been to. 1500/2000 students walked out of school today in Portland, to show Oregon and the world that the student movement does have a voice and a loud one as well.
As we arrived to the elephant at North Park Blocks, over a thousand high school students were already lining the sidewalks giving peace signs to cars passing by. As more and more students flooded in, we began doing speeches atop a trash can. Students talked about the costs of war, and I mentioned the corporate influence on the war as well as the growing student movement. We began the march shortly afterwards... Read More
Student Walkout- a brief reportBy the time I made it downtown, the demonstration was already approaching City Hall. It was an impressive wave of (mostly) young people. The East side of City Hall was saturated with demonstrators, with several scaling the wall, up onto the balcony. The spirited crowd eventually moved on to the Wells Fargo Tower and beyond.
Police presence was heavy. I don't remember seeing any Robocops, but the bike, horse, motorcycle, squad-car, and foot officers were all there. There was even one Homeland Security vehicle that passed by a couple of times. Overall, they behaved even worse than they did yesterday, from what I saw. Read More
Other Actions: All hopped up
Funk The War - March 19th
From the open publishing newswire: As the anti war march with horns playing and drums beating moved into the street in front of Wells Fargo Bank on 4th street & Columbia ( I think ) so did the cops. IMMEDIATELY they confronted the group in the street. Within minutes more police on motorcycles and then more in Riot gear
They started pushing the crowd ...ripping their signs from them and yelling get out of the street. The moved their big white van up to the line and were using the speakers to yell stuff. Cops with bikes pushed their bikes towards the peoples..pushing aggressively ...pushing ...pushing.... a few horses came in from the side ...right into the crowd...i didn't see them tromp on anyone but they were right butted up to the peoples from around the back side.
Soon the pepper-spray was flying... Read More
Ernie Wisner Super-Awesome Community Hoe-Down Benefit this Friday!!
From the open publishing newswire: In May, 2006 Ernie Wisner, a member of the Cob Cottage Co. and caretaker of the North American Retreat Center for Natural Building in Coquille, Oregon, rode his bike to Portland to participate in the Village Building Convergence. While Ernie worked on the Arleta Triangle Project, a car lost control within the intersection of SE 72nd & Woodstock, accelerated into the triangle, and crushed Ernie's lower right leg against the backside of the cob bench he was building. He has since had numerous major surgeries, the cost of which long ago exceeded the automobile insurance funds. To help defray expenses, Friends of Ernie Wisner are sponsoring a benefit for Ernie.
A black-and-white flyer is attached with more details. We're also looking for volunteers to help welcome people, manage auction items and food service, and help with setup and cleanup. Donations can also be made at any branch of Washington Mutual, to the Ernie Wisner Benefit Fund.
In-depth report from March 18 anti-war event in Eugene
From the open publishing newswire: Civil resisters from the Civil Resistance study group that have been meeting at the Friend's Meeting house in Eugene led 70 people in a successful direct action at the recruitment offices of the four major branches of the military service: Air Force, Army, Navy and Marines.
In a dignified, inspired example of classic non-violent struggle, and armed with graphic photo enlargements of the human casualties of the war, American and Iraqi, as well as thoroughly researched material that exposed the lies of our government about the realities of the war and the recruitment process, the resisters confronted the military recruiters and the mainstream media. While acting from a place of deep compassion and respect for the human dignity for those who disagree with us, we achieved three major objectives with startling success; we shut down the recruitment center for the day; we succeeded in injecting into the mainstream media graphic images and powerful verbal messages capable of transforming public opinion about the war; and we established our First Amendment rights to demonstrate at a supposedly "private property" shopping center without interference from law enforcement.
The action was executed after a month of meticulous planning, many meetings, civil disobedience training, copious research and a tremendous amount of hard work and long hours by many of the resisters.
Baghdad resident remembers two years ago
From the open publishing newswire: We've completed two years since the beginning of the war. These last two years have felt like two decades, but I can remember the war itself like it was yesterday.
The sky was lit with flashes of red and white and the ground rocked with explosions on March 21, 2003. The bombing had actually begun on the dawn of the 20th of March, but it got really heavy on the 21st. I remember being caught upstairs when the heavier bombing first began. I was struggling to drag down a heavy cotton mattress from my room for an aunt who was spending a couple of weeks with us and I suddenly heard a faraway 'whiiiiiiiiiiiiiz' that sounded like it might be getting closer.
I began to rush then- pulling and pushing at the heavy mattress; trying to half throw, half haul it down stairs. I got stuck halfway down the staircase and, at that point, the whizzing sound had grown so loud, it felt like it was coming out of my head.
Saving Shiavo While Burying the Real News
From the open publishing newswire: The weekend second anniversary of the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq was marked by demonstrations large and small around the globe, but here in the U.S. you could be forgiven for not knowing anything was happening. In the corporate media, the front pages and TV news programs were dominated by a demonstration of 30 religious fundamentalists opposed to the removal of a feeding tube from the brain-dead Terri Schiavo.
Who had time or space for reports on tens of thousands of noisome protesters in New York, London, Ankara or Tokyo? Who had time to pause and reflect on two years of a war that never should have happened in the first place, that has taken over 100,000 civilian lives, and that has killed over 1500 American soldiers?
Most outrageously, no major media covered the remarkable 4500-person protest in Fayetteville, North Carolina outside Ft. Bragg, which featured large numbers of former military personnel marching against the war, including Camilo Mejia, recently released from 9 months in a military brig for desertion from his army unit (he courageously refused to return to Iraq after doing one tour there, saying it was an illegal, immoral war of aggression).
Historic anti-war protest in Fayetteville, NC, covered on IMC, ignored by corporate media4800 antiwar activists gathered near Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, NC on Saturday to commemorate the second anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq with demands to bring the troops home. A half mile march to Rowan Park saw a colorful group of weathered Vietnam vets, Gulf War vets, military families and thousands of antiwar activists joined together for a common cause. Bring the troops home!
As the procession reached the perimeter of the park, the well-manned police forces were waiting at the many checkpoints. What seemed to be an illegally-imposed search mandate was carried out on every participant in the march in order to gain entrance into the public grounds. The police, assisted by the ATF, patted down each peaceful marcher and swiped each inch with a metal detecting wand. They also stirred through all bags and backpacks. As if this was not absurd enough, the officials demanded the peace demonstrators to lift up every mock coffin which passed through the checkpoint as the officers searched for "weapons".
Report-backs from M19 marches in Bend, Corvallis & Eugene
From the open publishing newswire: It had rained in the morning here in Bend, and I thought I was going to rain during the March. We were fortunate that the rain had stopped and it was only windy and overcast.
There was a PA system playing Country Joe and the Fish's "What are we fighting for?" song among others.
There was a table for filling out postcards to be sent to our representatives.
About 110 people showed up for the event.
Reports from Portland M19 Peace March
From the open publishing newswire: About 1000 people took to the streets of Portland today to protest the war and occpation of Afghanistan and Iraq. The march wound through downtown, stopping briefly at the Oregonian to upbraid them for their slanted coverage of the occupation and U.S. Policy in general.
After brief remarks by Laurie King, of Portland Jobs With Justice, the crowd marched north on 6th Avenue. The mood was festive, yet not flippant. Though a solomon occasion, the anniversary of a preemptive strike for reasons later proved to be mistaken, if not deliberately fabricated, the crowd celebrated their sense of community with witty signs, music and even laughter.
Tightly packed and over two blocks long, the stream of peace moved through the city, stopping at the offices of the Oregonian, where Laurie King questioned the veracity of their coverage, especially the typical Corporate media habit of counting Israeli dead, but not Palestinian.
Capitalism, War, and KFC: Report back on the first four and a half minutesI left the march early today. Truth be told, I wasn't really in the mood for a march. I haven't been for at least two years now, when I finally realized all those marches weren't making any difference. I go anyway, usually, for the same reason everyone else does: I can't figure out what else to do. But I did not stay today.
I left when the donation buckets came out. It was just so damn disheartening. No, this isn't a rant about "damn liberals," I'm not gunning for anyone. I saw the same well-meaning people there that I always see at these things, carrying the same signs and flags and dwindling hope that they are always carrying. I'm in no position to be looking down on any of them. At least they're still trying. I saw the same shiny faces surrounded by the same threatening mob of the same bored riot cops, and the same utter lack of concern about the ineffectiveness of it all.
pdx indymedia streaming web radio provided coverage of the events of the day in Portland and around the world, and discussions of the issues behind the ongoing war in Iraq. Callers from the street gave updates from Portland, Milwaukee and Baltimore.
Iraq Invasion anniversary actions: Vancouver, Washington, Starts It Off
From the open publishing newswire: Nearly fifty members of Vancouver For Peace showed Peace banners, flags, & signs from the Evergreen Boulevard overpass, above the I-5, just north of the Columbia, splitting between northbound & southbound, during evening rush today. We were a spirited, determined group, with a nice age spread.
(Halfway thru, a WA state patrolman stopped on the center shoulder below the bridge & asked us on the southbound side to leave, explaining his concern about us distracting drivers, but we did not leave. So he called Vancouver Police, who, when they finally arrived, backed us, so that another state patrol officer simply asked that we not hang anything over the side, but to hold our stuff high, to prevent anything from falling onto the freeway. It's cool to be treated with respect & with smiles from police. It's cool to not feel a knot in my gut with cops around.)
March 19th, The start of something new
From the open publishing newswire: Everyone wants peace, that is a given. But the question is how far will we go to accomplish peace? Following an ice-cream truck around in a parade fashion is not my idea of an actual protest. Our voices need to be heard, not muffled. There have been too many times we have been ignored because of our lack of persistence. Do we not care anymore? When the war started we protested, but why have we dimmed our actions? March 19th should be the new beginning of a revolt. How many more people does our nation have to kill in order for people to understand what is going on? We are the ones that have to put an end to this senseless brutality. What ever happened to "For the people, by the people"? Time of action is at hand.