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RNC demonstration

Organizers announce route of anti-war protest

by Mick Kelly |
June 8, 2007
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Press conference organizers carry banner, "March on the RNC! US Out of Iraq!"
Press conference outside of Xcel Center in St. Paul announces planned march route for September 1, 2008 anti-war march on first day of Republican National Convention. (Fight Back! News/Staff)
Press conference organizers carry banner, "March on the RNC! US Out of Iraq!"
Map showing organizers' planned march route for Sept 1, 2008.
Protest organizers at press conference. (Fight Back! News/Staff)
Anti-war organizers announced the planned route for September 1, 2008 march on the opening day of the RNC in St. Paul, MN. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Saint Paul, MN - Local leaders of the Twin Cites peace and justice movement announced their planned march route here at a June 7 press conference. The massive demonstration on Sept. 1, 2008 will coincide with the Republican National Convention. A large map of the march route was displayed.

“We are here today to make a formal and public announcement of our plans for a massive rally and march against the war in Iraq,” said Jess Sundin of the twin cities-based Anti-wWr Committee and the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War.

“On that day, tens of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands, from many different organizations and communities, will join together under the banner of the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War. We will demand: U.S. Out of Iraq now; money for human needs, not for war. We will say no to the Republican agenda and demand peace, justice and equality,” Sundin continued.

Anti-war leaders have put in applications for permits but city officials are dragging their feet. When pressed, a Saint Paul police official said groups like the Saint Paul Winter Carnival announce their parade routes long before they have permits. Local activists have decided to do the same. The route of the march has been set. And tens of thousands will follow it to the Xcel Center, the site of the Republican National Convention.

“We have a plan. It is a good plan. And we expect the city of St Paul to issue the requested permits,” said Marie Braun of the Twin Cites Peace Campaign-Focus on Iraq and Women Against Military Madness.

Sundin stressed that the groundswell of interest in the protest made it necessary to announce concrete plans, stating, “We can not wait any longer. Groups from New York to North Carolina to Los Angeles are contacting us. They want to know what is planned and how they can get involved. Permits or not, we are organizing and mobilizing now, for a huge anti-war march on the Xcel Center on the first day of the Republican Convention.”

Angel Buechner of the Welfare Rights Committee announced that a poor people’s contingent would participate in the march: “On Sept. 1, 2008, low income people from all over the state and all over the country will be coming to protest the Republican National Convention in St. Paul. As low income people, we have serious needs in this country and we are outraged that this government spends billions to carry out occupations and war abroad, while they slash spending for basic human needs at home. We are also outraged that is us, poor and working folks, who are being sent to kill and be killed in this rich man’s war.”

Local anti-war organizations are at the forefront of this effort, including the Anti-War Committee, Twin Cities Peace Campaign-Focus on Iraq and Women Against Military Madness. Anh Pham of the Anti-War Committee states, “We have already established our capacity to mobilize thousands here in Minnesota. Now we are being joined by groups around the country, including some of the main organizers of the May 1 immigrant rights demonstrations, national anti-war coalitions and students from colleges near and far. There is no doubt that tens of thousands will fill the streets of Saint Paul to protest at the RNC.”