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Major protest against Iraq war

by staff |
March 30, 2008
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Crowd marching with banners and signs.
March 15 anti-war march in Minneapolis. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Minneapolis, MN - About 2000 people filled the streets here, March 15 for an anti-war march to mark the fifth anniversary of the U.S. war in Iraq with a call for an end to the occupation.

The Minneapolis protest was organized by the Twin Cities Year 5 Committee to End the War, a coalition of anti-war, peace, student and other groups. The event started with a rally in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis followed by a one and half mile to Loring Park. Passing motorists honked in support of the anti-war message.

Anh Pham, of the Anti-War Committee told the rally, “We do not speak out against the war and occupation in Iraq only to stay silent on the occupation of Palestine, while Israel lays siege to Gaza using U.S.-made weapons. The Palestinian people have a right to self-determination and the right of return. We do not speak out against the surge of troops in Iraq and stay silent while politicians in congress claim to oppose the war in Iraq all the while making plans to redeploy troops to Afghanistan. We do not speak out and support the sovereignty of the Iraqi people, and watch silently while the U.S.-supported government of Colombia illegally violates the sovereignty of Ecuador and kills one of the leaders of the Colombian resistance movement. We will not stay silent!”

Groups that participated in the march included Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out, Anti-War Committee, Twin Cities Peace Campaign-Focus on Iraq, Women Against Military Madness and others.

A very broad range of community groups endorsed the event and helped mobilize. The Saint Paul Trades and Labor Assembly endorsed the protest and spread the word to trade union members. The assembly represents nearly 30,000 members in 100 union locals in the St. Paul area.

Saint. Joan of Arc Church in Minneapolis and several Unitarian-Universalist churches organized large contingents, including local buses to bring people to the protest.

The event was organized around the slogans: U.S. Out of Iraq now! End the war and occupation. No war on Iran. Fund education, housing, health care and other human needs. Bring the troops home now!