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Atlanta Protest: U.S. Out Now! Justice at Home!

by Kosta Harlan |
April 20, 2006
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Protest outside King Center in Atlanta
Thousands gathered outside the King Center in Atlanta before beginning a 2-mile march through the city. (Fight Back! News/Staff)
Youth and Students march against war in Atlanta 4000 march against war Atlanta police and demonstrators
Atlanta police look on as the demonstrators march through the city.
The march of over 4000 stretched for nearly a mile as the protesters moved through the city.
“Money for schools, not for war!” Youth and students made up the loudest contingents at the march.

Atlanta, GA - In one of the largest anti-war rallies in the South, upwards of 4000 protesters - students, Black civil rights activists, trade unionists and military veterans - marched in Atlanta, April 1, demanding, “Peace in Iraq, justice at home!”

Michael Graham, a student activist from Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College said, “It was good to see everyone get together, from Palestine solidarity groups to church congregations and students from across the South - standing up for a worthwhile cause.” The march passed through some of Atlanta’s poorest African-American neighborhoods, where people shouted out their support to the demonstrators.

The protest brings together two dates: March 20, the third anniversary of the invasion of the Iraq war, and April 4, the 38th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Many people who were visiting Atlanta to honor the legacy of Dr. King joined the march.

Speakers denounced the racist, criminal and unjust war in Iraq. Many also emphasized the need to combat racism and national oppression in the U.S., especially in the South, where hundreds of thousands of African-Americans remain either displaced or impoverished as a result of the U.S. government’s neglect and incompetent response to Hurricane Katrina.

To the resounding cheers of thousands of people at the rally, many of the African-American speakers declared their support for Latino and other immigrant workers. Speakers also demanded social equality and stressed the need for unity between the oppressed classes and nationalities in the struggle to bring about lasting social and economic justice in the United States. Rachel Jensen a UNC-Asheville student said, “Such a diverse group of people united for a common cause. It was absolutely wonderful!”