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Thousands of people marching for peace in Seattle

October 27 bannersI made it up to the Seattle peace demo along with several friends (and one charming old dog) but I did not take a camera with me. Luckily, my fine friends at PDX Peace did, and they’ve posted lots of photos at Flickr. Pictured on the left are the banners that AFSC brought up for the march. Yes, they are quite tall, but surprisingly easy to carry… I was so lucky as to get to carry one of them for most of the march. If you squint at the photo you can see the back of my head holding one of them (the farthest one from the camera).

This day of marches across the country drew over 150,000 people (watch a slideshow of images from across the country — the first slide says 100,000 but I guess they were tired when they did the addition because the cities listed total over 150,000). The official October 27 website reports that 6,000 people attended — I’m sure that’s the minimum number. In a few locations we could see that for blocks and the street was thick with people, signs, puppets, banners.

We were with a well-organized, vocal group of folks who had a bullhorn in their possession, and we chanted most of the way. Lively chants like:

1-2-3-4– We don’t want your racist war!
5-6-7-8– We will not cooperate!

Money for housing and education!
Not for war and occupation!

And a few call and responses that I don’t remember (it takes a lot of attention to carry a 12-foot high pole in a city with streetcar wires) but there was definitely some creative rhyming happening. Including a chant about a Walk-out on November 16th. If you’re wondering what to do next, you can visit October 27th’s “What Next?” poll and vote.

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Actions News

Code Pink calls Secretary Rice a war criminal… pressure is building

Code Pink was at the Capitol Tuesday, and a member approached Secretary of State Rice with her hands painted in blood, calling her a war criminal. The woman was arrested, and then, as you can see in this video, the police rounded up other people and forcibly took them out of the room. This follows on the heels of other protests earlier this week, and pressure builds for us to get out of Iraq, and the country prepares for a wave of demonstrations this Saturday, October 27th.

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Actions Things We Can Do

Tear It Down: Guantanamo Bay Prison

I’m adding the “Tear It Down” badge to my site. Amnesty is launching a campaign to get half a million people to sign on to their petition calling for the closure of that infamous prison. Hundreds of people are still incarcerated there, with no charges against them, no clear evidence, and no civil rights protection.

To learn more about what’s wrong with Guantanamo:

Human Rights Watch latest articles: http://hrw.org/doc/?t=usa_gitmo
Human Rights Watch Op-ed: http://hrw.org/english/docs/2007/07/02/usint16325.htm

The Guardian on the infamy of the prison: http://www.guardian.co.uk/guantanamo/story/0,,2109502,00.html
NPR on the Supreme Court decision to hear the cases of detainees: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11601680

And there’s so much more — more protests and criticisms all the time.

What if we really are close to shutting it down? Take a minute to be a part of it: sign the petition and pass it on!

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Actions News

200+ folks turn out for Hawthorne Bridge anti-war vigil

I showed up for the gathering part of the vigil that was before they actually went onto the bridge, but when I was there I saw over 200 people. I didn’t realize that the event was actually at the Esplanade, so I wound up looking down on it from the Hawthorne Bridge ramp, but it meant I could actually count the crowd. Besides me up on the ramp, there were passers-by who stopped to watch, and a bunch of folks who were up on the bridge with signs against the war. Passing cars would honk and wave.

The speakers were brief, which was nice. There was a guy who talked about running for Senate (didn’t impress me much) and then they had a sort of open mike where people could say a word or two as long as they kept it to a minute, which folks did for the most part.

  • One woman spoke about her fears because her son has already spent a year and a half deployed in our war zones, and could be called back at anytime.
  • One man called for mini-protests, where people just got together and hung out with signs against the war in the evenings. I\’m wondering about doing that.

All this is about keeping pressure up as Congress reconvenes. This particular event was organized by MoveOn, and they will be following up with more of these vigils in September.