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Protest Marks Five-Year Anniversary of 9/11: No to U.S. War without End!

by staff |
September 14, 2006
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Minneapolis, MN - On Monday, Sept. 11, 125 people protested against the ‘war on terror,’ and demonstrated an act of international solidarity at Peavey Plaza in downtown Minneapolis. The demonstration was organized by the Anti-War Committee.

Protesters said that the response to the attacks on 9/11 has cost too much. Jessica Sundin, Anti-War Committee member, explained, “Five years after Sept. 11, 2001, at least 114,000 people have been killed, and 9.6 million people have been made refugees in the name of fighting terror. The ‘war on terror’ has U.S. troops occupying Iraq and Afghanistan, Israel on the offensive in Lebanon and Palestine, war with Iran is looming, and the Colombian civil war continues to be fueled by U.S. dollars. We need to say no to this state of unending war.”

Protesters also pointed out the costs at home. They were critical of policies such as the USA-PATRIOT Act, which they say racially profiles Arabs, Muslims and other immigrants, who are discriminated against, criminalized, and in at least 83,000 cases, detained. Moreover, demonstrators said the money spent in the war on terror - some $586 billion - could have been better spent meeting human needs here at home.

Protesters got louder when Minneapolis police threatened to shut down the protest if demonstrators “used amplified sound.” Palestinian American activist Sabry Wazwaz was joined on the bullhorn by Erika Zurawski of the University of Minnesota Anti-War Organizing League. They energized the crowd with chants of, “Who is a terrorist? Bush is a terrorist!” On the five-year anniversary of 9/11, protesters wanted to confront the patriotic fervor that dominated mainstream media, and refused to be silenced in the face of police intimidation.

The impact of the U.S. war on terror was beautifully demonstrated by the Anti-War Committee’s guerilla theater. Actors recreated the U.S. attacks on Iraq and U.S. support for state terror in Israel and Colombia. At the end of the skit, military members joined with taxpayers in refusing to help George W. Bush lift his giant bomb and the war on terror was over because Bush could not do it alone. As actor Thistle Parker-Hartog said in the skit, “When soldiers refuse to fight, when taxpayers refuse to pay for war, our government cannot continue to terrorize the people of the world. The people of the world are under attack. What do we do? Stand up, fight back!”

Anh Pham spoke at the demonstration and explained what 9/11 should mean, “In the face of this grim reality, the people of Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, Colombia and the world continue to resist. We are doing the same. Let’s stand up to reclaim 9/11 and make it a day of international solidarity with the people of the world!”

The Anti-War Committee and other groups are building for the Iraq Peace Action Coalition’s upcoming demonstration on Saturday, Sept. 23 at noon at Library Plaza at the intersection of Hennepin and Lagoon Avenues in the Uptown neighborhood in Minneapolis. The demonstration will be a part of a national call for action by United for Peace and Justice.