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Opposition to the War on Iraq Builds

by Meredith Aby-Keirstead |
January 1, 2003
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Opposition to Bush’s war plans is growing. Momentum has continued to build since Oct. 26, when 200,000 people demonstrated in Washington D.C. against the war threats on Iraq. Up to mid-October, there were at least 400 major demonstrations. Since then, the anti-war movement has been expanding and actions are taking place on a daily basis. 

The American people don’t believe in the Bush doctrine. In an October Gallup Poll, Americans say 51% to 40% that ‘the United States should not attack another country unless that country has attacked the United States first.’ A Los Angeles Times poll released Dec. 17 also shows that the Bush administration is under increasing pressure. 72% of the people surveyed, including 60% of Republicans surveyed, said the president has not provided enough justification for starting a war against Iraq. This new poll shows a dramatic change from a year ago when the Los Angeles Times poll found support for military action against the ‘axis of evil’ to be greater than 70%. 

Trade unions, community and student organizations are standing against the war. On Nov. 25, the membership of the Washington D.C. Teachers Union Local 6 overwhelmingly passed a resolution saying no to Bush’s war on Iraq. Hundreds of other locals and central labor bodies have done the same. Reed College joined hundreds of colleges throughout the country in passing anti-war resolutions in December. The Baltimore city council passed an anti-war resolution, becoming the 26th city to do so. In Brooklyn, over 1000 packed into the House of the Lord Church - New York’s first major anti-war demonstration in the African American community. 

On Dec. 10, the anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, actions throughout the nation drew attention to the U.S. war threats against Iraq. Over 100 U.S. television and film stars, including Matt Damon, Samuel L. Jackson, and Martin Sheen, signed a petition saying, ‘war talk in Washington is alarming and unnecessary.’ There were demonstrations in Washington D.C. and Minneapolis. 

Resistance has also been reaching suburban and rural areas that have not seen demonstrations since the 1960s. Smaller communities, like Lacey, Washington and Worthington, Minnesota have had new groups of people organizing bannerings, vigils and public meetings.

Internationally, resistance has been increasing. In Florence, Italy, on Nov. 10, half a million protesters took to the streets. Millions have taken to the streets of cities in Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa to say no to the U.S. war against Iraq.