… continuing reports of last week’s antiwar protests…

by on March 25, 2008 · 0 comments

in Civil Disobedience, Civil Rights, Media, Organizing, Peace Movement, War and Peace

by Frank Gormlie Posted on March 25th, 2008

(I originally posted this during today, but due to a later technical glitch I lost most of all the links. I will attempt to replace them as I can.)

Since the corporate media is not doing it, we will. We are here continually posting reports of antiwar protests and demonstrations that occurred last week and through yesterday, March 24th. (Check here during the day for updates.)

CEDAR FALLS, IOWA. March 19: more than 100 people took a stand on a busy intersection in Cedar Falls to protest the U.S. presence in Iraq. Some motorists honked to show their support. A few, siding with the president, shouted disparaging remarks.

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA. 3/19 – Dozens demonstrated in front of the VA Medical Center.

GAINESVILLE, FL. Local UF students rallied against the war.

KALAMAZOO, MICHIGAN. Over a hundred demonstrators congregated downtown at the Federal Building, marched to a local park for a rally, then marched to the office of Congressman Fred Upton.

HONOLULU, HAWAII. March 15: Hundreds took to the streets in a noisy, windy, night-time march. A band played and people banged pots as demonstrators converged on the rally site. [Go here for the video.]

NEW YORK CITY. On Saturday, Mar. 15, 10.000 demonstrators rallied in downtown, and rallied near Union Square. [Go here for the report.]

EWING, NEW JERSEY. 20 students marched around campus at The College of New Jersey, and culminated their protest at a rally.

CAPE COD, MA. 35 members of the local Cape Cod peace group marched on the office of Congressman William Delahunt in protest of the war. Four members occupied his office all night, and were arrested the next morning. [Go here for the details.]

March 20th: Chicago Demonstrators Get Creative – At Least 2 Arrested for Civil Disobedience

On the five-year anniversary of the United States’ war on Iraq-Wed., March 19-anti-war protestors marched through downtown Chicago, echoing nationwide protests. Departing from tradition, a broad coalition of Chicago’s anti-war groups decided to continue the spirit of protest with a day of “creative actions” and civil disobedience on the following day, March 20. According to a spokesperson, Mitchell Szczepanczyk, groups and individuals were encouraged to speak out against the war outside the format of speeches and rallies. By his account, events began at 7 a.m with a group dropping a banner commemorating Malachi Richter, who self-immolated in protest of the war in 2006, at the Millenium Flame near the Kennedy Expressway.

Reports of various actions throughout the area filtered in constantly, including one about a march at University of Illinois at Chicago, against a laboratory that does research on Raytheon Missile Defense Systems. [For the rest of this article, go here.]

Protesters Interrupt Easter Mass in Chicago

CHICAGO (AP) – Six Iraq war protesters disrupted an Easter Mass on Sunday, shouting and squirting fake blood on themselves and parishioners in a packed auditorium. Three men and three women startled the crowd during Cardinal Francis George’s homily, yelling “Even the Pope calls for peace” as they were removed from the Mass by security guards and ushers.

One Mass attendee, Mike Wainscott of Chicago, yelled at the anti-war protesters. “Are you happy with yourselves?” he said. “There were kids in there. You scared little kids with your selfish act. Are you happy now?” The group, which calls itself Catholic Schoolgirls Against the War, said in a statement after the arrests that they targeted the Holy Name Cathedral on Easter to reach a large audience, including Chicago’s most prominent Catholic citizens and the press, which usually covers the services. [Go here for the rest of the article.]

Police Use Pepper Spray on Portland Demonstrators

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Police used pepper spray on demonstrators protesting the Iraq war in downtown Portland on its fifth anniversary. The demonstrators later hopped a train and headed for a military recruitment center across town. Police Bureau spokesman Sgt. Brian Schmautz said Shawn Biggers, 23, was arrested Wednesday and charged with assaulting an officer, disorderly conduct and interfering with an officer after he allegedly kicked a policeman in the knee. Schmautz said police used “a little pepper spray.”

A group of about 100 demonstrators headed away from the confrontation toward a plaza for a rally, accompanied by police on bicycles, horseback and motorcycles. They then piled onto a MAX light rail train to a shopping center located near a recruiting station. A string of police motorcycles and a van of police in riot gear followed the train. [For more on this, go here.]

March 20th in Portland: 400 High School Students Protest Fifth Anniversary of Iraq War With Walk-Outs & Downtown Rally – 4 Students Arrested

“I’ve never seen a protest where the average age is 14, 15, 16 years old,” he said. “Look at it. These kids don’t even have facial hair. When was the last time you saw a protest where three-fourths of the guys weren’t bearded?”

ANNIE MARTIN / The Oregonian Staff

Capping a week of anti-war protests in Portland timed to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, hundreds of students crowded the entrance to City Hall on Thursday afternoon (3/20/08). The sound of protesters chanting “Not my president, not my war,” could be heard for blocks. A teenage boy yelled “We are the future!” and the crowd erupted into cheers. Some protesters climbed the building’s walls and pillars as city employees watched from their windows. Most of the students walked out of area high schools in the late morning. College students and some younger than high school also mingled in the crowd, which numbered at least 400.Kiana Hamilton, 16, said she thinks the United States is at war for “the wrong reasons,” which include “trying to introduce democracy but not being able to substantiate it.” The Wilson High School junior doesn’t think she’ll face any serious punishment when she returns to school tomorrow.

“I feel like it was a good thing,” Hamilton said. “I’ll take the consequences, if there are any.” Most students gathered in the North Park Blocks before the march began about 1 p.m. From there, they walked along the sidewalks to the South Park Blocks, City Hall, the Wells Fargo Center, Pioneer Courthouse Square, Tom McCall Waterfront Park and the Portland State University campus, where most eventually dispersed. Many carried signs calling for peace. Police arrested four students between 15 and 17 years old, Sgt. Brian Schmautz said. Two others were issued citations for disobeying a traffic control device. Portland State University student Steve McKimmy, 22, followed the protesters to City Hall. McKimmy was glad to see teenagers and young adults becoming politically active, he said. “I’ve never seen a protest where the average age is 14, 15, 16 years old,” he said. “Look at it. These kids don’t even have facial hair. When was the last time you saw a protest where three-fourths of the guys weren’t bearded?”

The walkout was organized by more than a dozen students representing several high schools and Lewis & Clark College. Most of the students heard about the event through fliers the group distributed, word of mouth and social networking sites such as Facebook. [For the remainder of this article. go here.]

7 Antiwar Protesters Arrested at Tennessee Senator’s Office

Seven people were arrested yesterday for refusing to leave U.S. Senator Bob Corker’s Memphis office inside the Peabody Place complex. The seven were part of a nonviolent “die-in” protest to mark the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War. [For the rest of this article, go here.]

Over 100 anti-war protesters arrested at NATO HQ

By Yvonne Bell and Darren Ennis

BRUSSELS, March 22 (Reuters) – Around 100 anti-war protesters were arrested trying to force their way into NATO’s headquarters in Belgium on Saturday, police said. Police in riot gear and on horses clashed with over 500 activists from across Europe – opposed to military action in Iraq and Afghanistan and the use of nuclear weapons – outside NATO’s Brussels hub. Water cannons were used to prevent most of the protesters from gaining entry to the large security compound situated on the outskirts of the Belgian capital and close to Brussels national airport. At least one protester was taken to hospital with serious injuries after falling on barbed wire, a police spokeswoman said. “We have arrested over 100 and they are being taken to court to be dealt with swiftly.”

A NATO official said the compound had not been breached. “Demonstrations are a feature of democracy. All we hope for with any such protest is that it is done in a peaceful and safe manner,” the official told Reuters. NATO is a security and defence alliance of 26 countries from North America and Europe with forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Darfur.

Organisers of Saturday’s “NATO Game Over” protest say without the military organisation, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would not be possible. They also oppose the use of nuclear weapons. “Today is close to the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq and we are protesting against NATO’s involvement and in particular European countries which are allowing themselves to be used as military hubs,” anti-war campaigner Hans Lammerant told Reuters. “NATO has 350 U.S. nuclear weapons deployed in Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Britain and Turkey. According to international humanitarian law these weapons are illegal.” (Editing by Richard Meares)

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