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September 29: Thousands March on Washington to Protest Iraq War

by Michael Graham |
October 8, 2007
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SDS banner in march says, "U.S. Out of Iraq Now!"
Members of Students for a Democratic Society march against the war in Iraq. Young people and students featured prominently in the Sept. 29 action. (Fight Back! News/Staff)
Woman on bullhorn in midst of protesters.
Signs reflect the crowd’s opposition to U.S. aggression against Iran.

Washington, D.C. - Thousands of people from across the United States marched here, Sept. 29 against the war in Iraq and the pro-war policies of Congress. The crowd gathered in response to a call put out by the Troops Out Now Coalition. Many nationalities and all age groups were represented. The demands included support for the Iraqi people, the release of the Jena Six, ending the U.S. intervention in the Philippines, justice for Katrina survivors and an end to the occupation of Palestine.

Everyone participating was united in opposition to the policies of the Bush regime. Many expressed their frustration with the unwillingness of Congress to stop the war. Along the march route residents of D.C. showed solidarity with the demonstration through gestures of approval.

A large group of youth and students participated in the march. At the end of the march around 50 people, many who were members of SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) and FIST (Fight Imperialism Stand Together), engaged in civil disobedience, blocking traffic in the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Constitution. The intersection was blocked for several hours.

Jess Handy of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte SDS participated in the civil disobedience. Describing the situation, she said, “It happened in a moment, we were running into the intersection, linking arms, our voices and our bodies united as one mass, in protest of the system that oppresses us. The sacrifice didn’t occur to me until [I was approached by another demonstrator] in the line and told that I would be arrested. In that moment I had to choose and I knew I couldn’t get up - I couldn't break the line.”

Erika Zurawski, an SDS member from the University of Minnesota, said, “With major elections coming up we’re at a critical point for the Bush administration. One of the most important aspects of the Sept. 29 demonstration was to make our voices heard that we are very dissatisfied with the direction the country is taking. We came together on the 29th to say no to the war in Iraq, and we also came together to oppose the entire Republican agenda. We are going to continue this pressure until the Republicans come to Saint Paul, Minnesota for the Republican National Convention in September of 2008 when we will once again appear at their doorstep en masse to oppose their destructive agenda. We are going to hold this administration and future administrations accountable.”

The Sept. 29 actions in Washington D.C. show the continued opposition from the public to the criminal war in Iraq and the willingness of those who want the U.S. out now to move from protest to resistance.