I had two hats, four layers on top, long underwear, and two pairs of socks. It was still quite chilly as the afternoon rolled around in Washington, DC Saturday, but it was warm enough to do what needed to be done.
We marched against the brewing U.S. war on Iraq. Jeanhee stood in the cold draped under a blanket that said “win w/o war” in masking tape. (Grandmothers for a Just World outdid us in the “blanket-as-protest” category…). [More pictures from the protest…]
We heard speakers and marched through the streets. We made up our own silly chants:
Bush wants to bomb Iraq to hell / We’re gonna stop him with a cow bell / [ring cowbell] / Dubya’s got a big old missle / We’re gonna stop him with our little whistle / [blow whistle]
My sister Jessica was there with her friends, and after saying hello in the morning, we happened upon each other in the afternoon march. We watched two young performers box each other blindly in a crowd, each covering their eyes and wearing a sign that said Bush one side and Hussein on the other. They accidentally punched a few marchers in the process.
The protest had a hopeful feeling to it. As many marchers sang, The ain’t no power like the power of the people, cuz the power of the people don’t stop. On the weekend of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, we remembered the progress he helped create and we strengthened our own belief that we can create change in the world.
In the weeks before the protest, I had been hesitant to go. I had concerns about the causes that the organizers, International ANSWER, support. I wanted an event that would send this message to the worl: there is a large and growing percentage of the American people who see war a last resort and support a nonviolent approach to problem of Iraq. But on top of that, ANSWER’s goals include ending racism, ending Israeli occupation, as well freeing Mumia Abu Jamal, Leonard Peltier, etc., etc. etc. I won’t comment on each of their specific goals. Some I feel strongly about, some I don’t.
I decided in the days before the protest, though, that a march on Washington would send one message — the one I most cared about: these throngs, in their hats and gloves, with their signs and drums, think the rush to war on Iraq is bad and should be stopped, and they each represent hundreds of others who feel similarly. The press coverage so far has validated that decision and I’m very glad I made the trip.