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Although these large protests marking the fifth anniversary of the war on Iraq were of national significance, I didn't see any mention of them in the corporate media. They really should have been lead stories. Coverage of the protests were limited to civil disobedience in the Washington, DC area, which was important, but far from the whole story. If not for an email from A.N.S.W.E.R., I wouldn't have heard about them. Here's the actual news corporate America doesn't want you to read:


Mass marches in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago punctuate week of action

San Francisco 3-19-08
March 19th protest in San Francisco
On March 19, the fifth anniversary of the war, hundreds of protests took place in cities and towns large and small. In San Francisco, ANSWER organized a night-time march of 7,000 people. Thousands of young people joined the very spirited and densely packed march which stretched for several blocks along Mission St. Chants of “Occupation is a crime, from Iraq to Palestine,” “No More War,” and “El Pueblo Unido Jamas Sera Vencido” (the People United Will Never Be Defeated) echoed through the Mission District. Among the speakers at the event were Cindy Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed in Iraq; independent presidential candidates Cynthia McKinney and Gloria La Riva; Zeina Zaatari of the Free Palestine Alliance; Iraqi American activist Muhammed Al-Adeeb; and Eugene Puryear, National Co-Coordinator of Youth and Student ANSWER. Throughout the day in San Francisco there were direct actions and civil disobedience, planned by many different organizations.

Chicago 3-19-08
March 19th protest in Chicago
Simultaneously, 4,000 people took to the streets of Chicago. Spirited chants of "Troops Out Now, Iraq for Iraqis" echoed throughout downtown as the march -- made up primarily of young, energetic and militant protesters -- proceeded through the streets. The demonstration was called by a coalition of organizations, and there was a significant turnout of young people from Arab and Muslim communities.

At the rally in Federal Plaza prior to the march, A.N.S.W.E.R. Chicago Coordinator John Beacham told thousands that "Our enemies are not in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela or China. They’re in Washington, The Pentagon, and Wall Street. They want us to fight their wars and fight each other. We must resist their divide and conquer strategies and fight them. Change will come through a united struggle against the banks, corporations and the war machine.”

The March 19 actions came four days after a march of 10,000 through downtown Los Angeles. The march filled the six-lane street from sidewalk to sidewalk on Hollywood Blvd. from Vine to Schrader--many blocks away. During the march, people at the front of the march could see the marchers still joining the action 7 blocks behind them.

Los Angeles 3-15-08
March 15 mobilization in Los Angeles
The demonstration was overwhelmingly youthful, with students pouring into the march from hundreds of Southern California schools. A large, militant contingent of over 200 young people wore red shirts and marched together. Other students lined the front banners, chanting "Iraq for Iraqis, troops out now!" and "Alto a la guerra, stop the war!"

Once the marchers arrived at the main rally point at Sunset and Cahuenga, at least 10,000 people stood at the CNN building. Protesters chanted "CNN, can't you see? Put the peace march on TV!" Despite strong, cold winds and scattered rain, many thousands stayed at the rally site for hours.

Michael Prysner at Winter Soldier:
From March 13-16 in Washington DC, Iraq Veterans Against the War sponsored Winter Soldier, an event that showcased testimony from U.S. veterans who served in the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. The veterans delivered powerful accounts of what is really happening day in and day out, on the ground in those countries. Iraq war veteran and ANSWER organizer Michael Prysner spoke at the event, retelling his horrifying responsibilities as an occupation soldier, and denouncing the Army officers who used racism and bigotry in order to justify the oppression of the Iraqi people. Prysner's eloquent and compelling testimony cuts through the Pentagon's propaganda and can be viewed here.

Also in Washington DC, several civil disobedience and direct actions took place around the city. Dramatic actions took place in front of prominent government buildings as well as the corporate offices of the principal war profiteers.

One of the things I admire about A.N.S.W.E.R. is their willingness to slog through the hard work of organizing. Their determination has played a huge role in the peace movement. As I was reminded while working on the March 19 Blogswarm Against the Iraq War, it takes a lot of work, sometimes tedious, to organize something involving large numbers of diverse people.

 

1 Responses to The Big A.N.S.W.E.R. Protests I Didn't Read About in the Corporate Media

  1. Mauigirl Says:
  2. Thanks for posting this - amazing we've seen so little about the protests in the news. I believe our television "journalists" are no longer responsible or doing their job to inform the American people of what is really going on. They have become an "opiate for the masses."

     

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