[mgj-discuss] anti-war protests: a few articles that may be of
interest to organizers
levy-listsonly at cox.net
Mon Mar 22 09:58:29 EST 2004
--AP: Peace Rallies Mark Iraq War Anniversary
--NY Times: Police Release Ground Rules for Antiwar Demonstration
--Chic. Tribune: War foes denied permit to march down Michigan Ave.
--Chic. Tribune: Year later, rally returns; During a march with few arrests, thousands call for peace in Iraq
Associated Press Online
March 21, 2004 Sunday 2:20 PM Eastern Time
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HEADLINE: Peace Rallies Mark Iraq War Anniversary
BYLINE: VERENA DOBNIK; Associated Press Writer
DATELINE: NEW YORK
Hundreds of thousands of people around the world rallied against the U.S. presence in Iraq on the first anniversary of the war Saturday, in protests that retained the anger, if not the size, of demonstrations held before the invasion began.
Protesters filled more than a dozen police-lined blocks in Manhattan, calling on President Bush to bring home U.S. troops serving in Iraq. Mayor Michael Bloomberg estimated the crowd at about 30,000, but organizers said later that number had grown to more than 100,000.
"It is time to bring our children home and declare this war was unnecessary," said the Rev. Herbert Daughtry, a New York activist addressing a rally in Manhattan.
The roughly 250 anti-war protests scheduled around the country by United for Peace and Justice ranged from solemn to brash.
In Montpelier, Vt., hundreds of silent protesters placed a pair of shoes on the Statehouse steps for each of the more than 560 U.S. soldiers killed in the war. In Los Angeles, one of thousands of protesters held photographs of Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney with the words, "forget Janet Jackson's - expose the real boobs."
More than 300 people rallied in Stevens Point, Wis., including the 5-year-old son of Sgt. Mark McClure, a Wisconsin National Guard soldier who has been stationed in the Middle East for 11 months.
Michael McClure made his own, slightly misspelled protest sign: "Let Dady Come Home."
Around the world, hundreds of thousands raised their voices in rallies from Spain to Egypt to the Philippines.
Organizers estimated up to 2 million people demonstrated in Rome, and 100,000 in London, but police in those cities gave estimates of 250,000 and 25,000, respectively.
Anti-war activists jammed the streets of central Rome, many of them decked out in rainbow-colored peace flags and chanting "assassins." Protesters demanded that the Italian government, a strong supporter of the war, withdraw its 2,600 troops from Iraq.
About 150,000 demonstrated in Barcelona, Spain. No crowd estimate was immediately available for Madrid, but the numbers paled in comparison to the millions that packed streets all over Spain after the Madrid train bombings that killed 202 people March 11.
The rallies coincided with the anniversary of the first bombings in Baghdad last year. Although President Bush ordered the attacks on March 19, the time difference made it March 20 in Iraq.
While turnout was high in some nations, most protests were far smaller than the enormous demonstrations held around the world shortly before the war began.
A New York protest a year ago drew more than 125,000 by official estimates. Although that's similar to organizers' estimate Saturday, organizers last year estimated that crowd at more than 250,000.
Last year's rally produced several clashes between demonstrators and police, but New York police reported just four arrests on disorderly conduct charges Saturday. There were scattered arrests in other U.S. cities as well.
New York police in riot gear walked calmly past barricades marking off the demonstration area on Madison Avenue as speakers mounted a stage to address the crowd on a sunny afternoon. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly stopped by the rally, but didn't speak to demonstrators or participate.
In President Bush's hometown of Crawford, about 800 peace activists from across Texas marched, chanting, "One, two, three, four, kick the liar out the door." Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader spoke to the crowd and called for Bush's impeachment.
The march kept John Taylor, an Air Force veteran who lives in Crawford, waiting at an intersection. He propped his cowboy hat above the steering wheel of his Ford pickup to block his view of the protesters, some holding up effigies of Bush.
"If they'd leave, it would be nice," said Taylor, 28.
Thousands of protesters marched through Chicago's downtown shopping district. The Rev. Jesse Jackson urged the crowd to express their opposition to the war by voting against Bush.
"It's time to fight back," Jackson said. "Remember in November."
In Cincinnati, Claire Mugavin wore a biohazard suit to a protest that drew several hundred people. She pretended to look for weapons of mass destruction beneath benches and garbage cans.
"We figure they're not in Iraq," said the 24-year-old Cincinnati resident. "So we figured we'd come look for them in Fountain Square."
In San Francisco, thousands of taiko drummers, cyclists, activists and other protesters chanted "End the occupation" and "Impeach Bush."
Thousands of people also turned out in Denver and Seattle, and demonstrations drew several hundred people in Atlanta, Albuquerque, N.M., and Augusta, Maine.
Many of the demonstrations were accompanied by smaller gatherings of Bush supporters. Iraqi-American Kaise Urfali, 46, was among 10 people gathered at the Atlanta rally to oppose the protesters.
"These people have no clue, they have no idea about the meaning of terrorism and the meaning of freedom," said Urfali, who said his family has lived in exile from Iraq since 1958. "These protesters talk in the name of Iraq and none of them are from Iraq, none of them lived in the terror."
Germany, Greece, the Netherlands and other European countries also saw protests, while demonstrations took place earlier in Japan, Australia and India. About 500 protesters clashed with police outside the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines capital, Manila. No injuries were reported.
Demonstrators in Cairo - vastly outnumbered by riot police - burned an American flag. Hundreds of people gathered in other Middle Eastern capitals to denounce the war.
LOAD-DATE: March 21, 2004
New York Times
March 20, 2004
Police Release Ground Rules for Antiwar Demonstration
By MICHAEL WILSON
The New York City Police Department yesterday released its final plans and instructions to demonstrators planning to attend an antiwar rally and march today that will circle 17 blocks in Manhattan.
In a gesture toward cooperation with the demonstrators, the Police Department has for the first time posted details of the protest on the city's Web page, nyc.gov, and on its own site, nyc.gov/nypd.
Demonstrators are asked to arrive before noon today at 42nd Street and Madison Avenue and walk south on Madison toward the speaker's platform at 24th Street, where speeches will precede the march, which is expected to begin around 1 p.m.
Demonstrators will not be allowed to enter Madison Avenue from side streets, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said yesterday. People who try to go straight to the speaker's platform via 24th or 25th Streets, for example, will be blocked. Some fliers for the march have urged demonstrators to meet at 23rd Street and Madison, but that would be a mistake, Mr. Kelly said.
The march will proceed south on Madison to 23rd Street, west to Sixth Avenue and north to 40th Street and will then return down Madison to the speaker's stand at 24th Street for a longer rally, expected to last until 6 p.m.
At the rally, metal barricades will seal off the south end of each block as it fills with demonstrators, Mr. Kelly said, to keep the intersections open for emergency vehicles. To leave the protest, a demonstrator would walk to the north end of the block, and then leave Madison on a side street.
There will also be barricades lining the side of Madison Avenue to keep demonstrators from flowing onto the sidewalks, but Mr. Kelly said there would be exit points along the curbs where possible.
Parade organizers, who have likened the barricades to cattle pens, said that those exit points would be a major improvement over previous demonstrations, like the antiwar rally in February 2003 that led to 91 arrests and left 17 police officers injured.
"It sounds like a small thing, but that would be a significant change in their practices,'' said Christopher Dunn, the associate legal director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.
The group that organized the protest, United for Peace and Justice, will have representatives monitoring crowd control, said Leslie Cagan, the national coordinator. "We also want the day to go smoothly without any problems," she said. "I actually think it's going to be fine."
The group posted details about the protest and instructions on its Web site, unitedforpeace.org.
Similar protests will be held around the world today, on what the group is calling a "global day of action on the one-year anniversary of the Iraq war."
Demonstrators and the police say they view the protest as a preview of the demonstrations that will take place during the Republican National Convention this summer.
An aide to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said yesterday that the mayor planned to monitor the protest from a police command post, in part because the mayor wanted to observe how the Police Department handled the event in light of the upcoming convention.
"With the protest parade, it's a chance for people to say what they want to say," the mayor said. "I just hope everybody behaves responsibly, and we'll have the world's greatest police department out there protecting us, and also protecting people's rights."
March 21, 2004 Sunday
Chicago Early Edition
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HEADLINE: Protest set, route uncertain;
War foes denied permit to march down Michigan Ave.
BYLINE: By Li Fellers, Tribune staff reporter.
Despite months of weekly meetings with volunteers from more than 60 Chicago groups, the anti-war protest Saturday to mark the one-year anniversary of the war in Iraq still was very much in flux.
Protesters wanted to march down Michigan Avenue to maximize their visibility. But the city said no, citing concerns about safety and the disruption to traffic and pedestrians. Activists rejected proposed alternative routes. As of Saturday morning, protesters did not have a permit for their desired route.
"It's no good to have a protest when no one can see or hear it," said Andy Thayer, an organizer with the March 20th Anti-War Organizing Coalition.
The Chicago demonstration is one of more than a hundred taking place across the country and around the world. Thayer was expecting thousands from throughout the Midwest to participate in the downtown march.
Organizers have distributed fliers in English, Spanish, Arabic, French, Creole, Urdu and Polish throughout the city and suburbs.
Several hundred members of the Arab-American and Muslim communities are expected to attend, said Hatem Abudayyeh, executive director of the Arab American Action Network. Word has been spread through mosques by working with imams and distributing leaflets at Friday prayers.
Thayer said organizers have worked hard to make sure the event will be a peaceful expression of their discontent about the U.S. role in Iraq, and not a repeat of last year when an estimated 10,000 protesters flooded Lake Shore Drive. After crowds spilled onto Michigan Avenue, police arrested 543 demonstrators.
The city in February denied activists' request to march along Michigan Avenue.
Alternative routes offered by the city were not accepted because they didn't offer the same level of visibility, Thayer said. That left up in the air exactly what would happen Saturday about noon when protesters gather at Michigan Avenue and Pearson Street.
Thayer said marchers will walk along the sidewalks on Michigan Avenue, not the street as originally intended. And although their presence on the sidewalk is not illegal, it will become a problem if protesters impede the movement of people not involved in the demonstration, Chicago police spokesman David Bayless said.
Police officials want to be flexible, Bayless said, adding that decisions concerning the protest will be made early by assessing the crowd's size, vehicle and pedestrian traffic, and negotiations with organizers.
It was expected that protesters would march toward the Federal Plaza at Dearborn and Adams Streets for a 1:30 p.m. rally with speakers, including Jesse Jackson, musicians and dancers, Thayer said.
Legal monitors and emergency medical personnel will be dispersed throughout the crowd and more than a dozen volunteer organizers will be watching over the march, he said. Another event includes a 30-mile "Walk Against War," scheduled to start at Marquette Park at 6:45 a.m. and end in Wicker Park at 7 p.m. Marchers will make several stops along the way, joining downtown protesters at noon.
In contrast, Ald. James Balcer, (11th), a former Marine and Vietnam veteran, asked veterans and others to join him at the veterans memorial at Soldier Field to honor the troops at 11 a.m. Saturday.
"You would see war protests and you would think no one was really supporting you," Balcer said of his days in Vietnam.
The gathering is not for or against the war, but simply to show concern for the troops, said Balcer, who was wounded three times in combat and awarded the Bronze Star.
"Our message is simple. We want to tell our troops and their families that we support them and that we want to thank them," he said.
GRAPHIC: PHOTO: Jose Martin (left) and Matt Muchowski prepare signs for Saturday's downtown anti-war protest. Activists do not have a permit to march down Michigan Avenue, so they plan to use sidewalks. Tribune photo by Scott Strazzante.
March 21, 2004 Sunday
Chicago Final Edition
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HEADLINE: Year later, rally returns;
During a march with few arrests, thousands call for peace in Iraq
BYLINE: By Li Fellers and Carlos Sadovi, Tribune staff reporters. Tribune staff reporters David Heinzmann and Gayle Worland in Chicago, special correspondent Jane Meredith Adams in San Francisco and Tribune news services contributed to this report.
Beating drums and waving signs denouncing the Bush administration and calling for peace, thousands of demonstrators marched peacefully Saturday through the streets of downtown Chicago to mark the anniversary of the start of the Iraq war.
Some were parents with children, some were elderly couples, and some were anarchists. Their nearly 2-mile trek from the Chicago Water Tower on Michigan Avenue to Federal Plaza in the Loop was one of many protests held around the world Saturday.
"Every day I wake up and hear about more and more people killed. I'm so angry, I don't know what to do other than come out here," said Lee Jaffe, 76, a retired schoolteacher who lives in Evanston.
They stepped off from Chicago and Michigan Avenues, where hundreds of demonstrators were detained and arrested last year, a day after the start of the Iraq war. This year, police said there were three arrests among the estimated 5,000 who marched.
Around the country, the roughly 250 war protests ranged from solemn to brash.
Thousands marched in San Francisco, including the Hayward, Calif., chapter of Grandmothers for Peace. Police arrested 82 people who were blocking traffic. In Manhattan, protesters filled more than a dozen police-lined blocks. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg estimated the crowd at about 30,000, but organizers later said there were more than 100,000.
In Montpelier, Vt., hundreds of silent protesters placed a pair of shoes on the Statehouse steps for each of the more than 560 U.S. soldiers killed in the war.
Germany, Greece, the Netherlands and other European countries also saw protests, while demonstrations took place earlier in Japan, Australia and India. About 500 protesters clashed with police outside the U.S. Embassy in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. No injuries were reported.
In Chicago, Stuart Iseminger, 38, held the hands of his two sons Levi, 7, and Noah, 5.
"I brought them out here to know that when we disagree with leaders, we can march and let them know how we feel," said Iseminger, a social worker from Logan Square. He said he had brought his sons to last year's march in Chicago as well.
The most significant conflict Saturday was a dispute over whether protesters would be allowed to march on Michigan Avenue, a route the police said posed too much of a safety risk as shoppers and tourists packed the Magnificent Mile on a sunny afternoon.
With more than 1,000 police officers in riot gear on duty, and with prisoner buses used as barriers to channel the march away from Michigan Avenue, the impasse ended when Rev. Jesse Jackson stepped in and told the organizers to accept the Police Department's route.
Jackson addressed the crowd at Michigan and Pearson Street, drawing huge cheers as he called for voters to elect a new president in November.
"The money to pay police is going to Iraq. The money to pay firemen is going to Iraq. The money to pay teachers is going to Iraq," Jackson said. "The administration has a narrow view of the world. It uses its power recklessly."
The march progressed along Chicago Avenue and south on Clark Street, with onlookers scattered all along the way.
Responding to organizers' criticism that the police presence was overkill, Chief of Patrol James Maurer said the department was prepared.
"You see the results," he said. "Nobody got hurt, and nothing got broken."
The demonstration drew some war supporters who called the protest unpatriotic.
Before the demonstration began, Charles Bolwin, 55, of Aurora, a Vietnam veteran, held up a sign near the Water Tower criticizing presidential candidate John Kerry's anti-war stance.
"I'm supporting [the troops] instead of demonstrating against them," said Bolwin, an employee with the Illinois Department of Transportation who was dressed in fatigues and wore a Purple Heart.
About an hour before the demonstration at Federal Plaza ended, a group of motorcyclists revved the engines of their Harley-Davidsons a block away, creating a roar that temporarily drowned out the anti-war speeches on the dais.
About three dozen people joined Ald. James Balcer (11th) at the Veterans Memorial at Soldier Field to show support for the troops. Balcer said the event was not meant to make a statement for or against military intervention in Iraq, but only to send a message of gratitude to men and women in the armed forces.
Some protesters downtown said they have family members serving in Iraq.
Linda Englund and her husband, Dean, a Vietnam veteran, carried handmade signs bearing a photo of their son in his Army uniform standing in front of a tank. Spec. John Englund has been in Iraq since February and was injured in a bomb attack on his Humvee, she said.
"We're protesting the war, not the military," said Englund, 54, of Rogers Park. Bush "is trying to kill our son and other sons for lies."
Michael Huft, 55, an attorney, and his wife, Charlotte Gyllenhaal, 55, a research scientist from Glenview, said they support the soldiers but disagree with the war.
"We're praying for the safety of the individual troops in Iraq," Gyllenhaal said.
Wheaton College student Aaron Brown, 20, said his beliefs prompted him to voice concerns about the war.
"It really bothers me [that] Bush is using Christian words" to talk about war, Brown said. "It's double-speak. I feel that as a Wheaton student, I need to represent that the kingdom of God is not based on or represented by violence."
Ellen Rebman, 19, a College of DuPage student from Wheaton, said she was protesting because her boyfriend, an Army reservist, may be sent to Iraq. She participated in a longer march that started early Saturday morning in the Pilsen neighborhood and passed through the Loop.
"Someone you love is going to someplace dangerous like that, to a place you don't support," Rebman said. "My boyfriend is probably leaving. My boyfriend might never come back."
GRAPHIC: PHOTO: Barred from Michigan Avenue, protesters marking the anniversary of the war in Iraq cross the Chicago River on Clark Street. Tribune photo by Alex Garcia.
PHOTO: At a Federal Plaza rally Saturday, one protester urged the United States to spend war money on domestic issues. Tribune photo by Abel Uribe.
PHOTO: James Williams (left) and Jose Martinez support the troops at a separate Soldier Field rally. Tribune photo by Antonio Perez.
PHOTO: Police line Michigan Avenue near Chicago Avenue as thousands of peace activists gather for Saturday's protest. More than 1,000 officers in riot gear were on duty. Tribune photo by E. Jason Wambsgans.
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