Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

A News Hound Tale of Protest: United for Peace & Justice March

Reported by Janie - January 28, 2007 -

As Deb noted earlier, I attended the United for Peace and Justice march in Washington, DC yesterday. While Fox, MSNBC and CNN are attempting to make the story about Jane Fonda, the real story can be found in the hundreds of thousands of American patriots that gathered together to support the troops by demanding their return home (photo essay below the fold).

With the rally set to begin at 11, I arrived at the train station shortly after 9 (press was able to pick up their passes at 9:30). The station was empty, but once the train arrived, it was noticeably packed for a Saturday morning. The particular car I was in was fairly empty, but the others were standing room only.

As soon as I stepped on the train, it was clear most passangers were heading downtown to the rally. Signs were everywhere, reading "Stop the Lies" and "Bring the Troops Home." I immediately struck up a conversation with a group that had spent the previous night travelling from Ohio. In fact, many of those I met during the rally were not from Washington, DC, but rather from around the country.

I finally arrived in DC around 10 am. The Mall was fairly desolate, but it was beginning to show signs of life.

The stage was set up directly in front of the Capital, as a reminder that those who inhabit the building were the ones we were addressing that day.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
The Capital, 10 am.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
The Mall, 10 am.

By the time the rally kicked off, a few more people had shown up.
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
The crowd by 11 am.

The rally started promptly at 11 am, with guided meditation, and statements from representatives of various faiths.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

The rally included a vast number of speakers including:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Rep. Dennis Kucinich - who's statements sounded a bit like he was on a campaign stop.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Rep. John Conyers, whose comments ended in the crowd screaming "Impeach Bush!"

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Rep. Lynn Woosley, promoting HR 508: "It's long title is The Bring Our Troops Home and the Iraq Soverignty Restoration Act. And it would end the US occupation in Iraq within six months, saving lives and limbs and money, and America's standing in the world. HR 508 is the only comprehensive legislation that puts us on the fast-track to a fully funded military withdraw from Iraq.

Congresswomen Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee and I have introducted HR 508 in the Congress, you are the true authors of this legislation. It is your will that HR 508 carries out."

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Rep. Maxine Waters: "My name is Maxine Waters and I am not a fan of George W. Bush. My name is Maxine Waters, and I'm not intimidated by Dick Cheney! My name is Maxine Waters and I helped to get rid of Rumsfeld! My name is Maxine Waters, and Condi Rice is nothing but another Neocon who doesn't represent me!"

Later she said, "I will not fund one dime for this illegal war!"

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Reverend Jesse Jackson


Outside of the politicians, a handful of the usual celeberties were on hand:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Jane Fonda

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Sean Penn (I took about 50,000 other pictures of Sean!)

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Susan Sarandon

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Tim Robbins

However, the three most intriguing, motivating and moving speakers were:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Moriah Arnold, a 12 year old from Harvard, MA who "organized a petition drive at her school against the war..."

During the protest, Moriah said, "Now we know our leaders either lied to us or hid the truth. Because of our actions, the rest of the world sees us as a bully and a liar."

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Raed Jarrar, a half Sunni, half Shia Iraqi citizen. "The only hope to end the Iraqi violence is to end the occupation now!

I am here today as a half Sunni, half Shiite Iraqi delivering a untied message from the Iraqis, Sunnis and Shia… From all Iraqis: We want our country back! We want the occupation to end now!"

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
In one of the first times since the Iraq war has begun, active duty members of the military that have served in Iraq joined the rally. Above is Liam Madden, active duty member of the Navy.

“I served for 1 year in Iraq. Now I’m home. I’m still serving my country, I’m still serving my brothers and sisters by trying to get them home alive…

Men and women are coming home and they’re pissed off. I listened to the State of the Union Address. In the 50 minutes of rambling, George Bush not once mentioned the word veteran. Not once…

I thought I was going because our country needed defense, and because there was an injustice that needed to be stopped. Instead I was sent to war with no proper planning, no proper training, no proper equipment, and their premise proved fraudulent.

We need to address our elected government, and force them to represent us as a country, and bring the troops home legitimately.”

While I didn't happen to notice any counter-protestors, there were signs of their presence:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

The march finally kicked off (late) at about 1:35, and it took hours for all those involved to traverse the parade route. Spirits were high, the weather was beautiful and Americans were able to share their opinion by actively using the first amendment.