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New York protest demands ‘End to the wars at home and abroad!’

By Joe Lombardo |
March 14, 2016
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New York, NY - Hundreds of people rallied in New York’s busy Herald Square for a Day of Peace and Solidarity. Called by the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC), the protest brought attention to the fact that none of the major candidates are speaking about the U.S. wars and intervention happening in many parts of the world. The protest was under the slogan, “End to the Wars at Home and Abroad.” This was reflected by banners and signs that included, “Money for jobs and people’s needs, not war,” “Rebuild Flint! Rebuild our cities! End the wars,” “Defend the Black Lives Matter movement,” and “No to Islamophobia.”

A number of groups joined together and supported the rally, including the International Action Center, Islamic Leadership Council of New York, AlAwda Palestine Right to Return Coalition, BAYAN USA, Peoples Organization for Progress, U.S. Peace Council, World Can’t Wait, World Beyond War, Haiti support Network, Action 21, Syrian American Will Association, Manhattan Greens and many others.

The rally was chaired by leaders of UNAC-affiliated groups including Joe Lombardo, UNAC co-coordinator, Sara Flounders of the International Action Center, Margaret Kimberley of Black Agenda Report, a member of BAYAN USA, and Terrea Mitchell of the People’s Power Assembly.

The Peace Poets, an inspiring group of local spoken word performers opened the rally. Poet Raymond Nat Turner and Filipino dancers from BAYAN USA also performed.

The speakers included Imam Abdul Rashid Talib of the Mosqu of the Islamic Brotherhood and former president of the Islamic Leadership Council of the city of New York, Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Non-violence, former Army colonel Ann Wright, Al Marder, president of the U.S. Peace Council, Khaldoun Makhoul of the Syrian American Will Association, Nina Macapinlac of BAYAN USA, Sara Flounders of the International Action Center, Margaret Kimberly of Black Agenda Report, Lawrence Hamm of the People’s Organization for Progress and many others.

After the two-hour rally, protesters took to the streets for a march to the United Nations. Along the route, there were many enthusiastic signs of support from people on the streets of Manhattan. At the UN, additional speakers included Lynne Stewart spoke and there were songs by the Raging Grannies.

Though it is difficult to break into the corporate media in New York, many media outlets covered the event including local TV and radio stations and many international news outlets.