Thousands protest Iraq war in Washington D.C.

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Photo of the protest in Washington, D.C., organized by United for Peace and Justice.

Anti-war demonstrations were held in Washington, D.C. and other cities around the world on Saturday to call an end to the Iraq war and to bring back home the troops stationed there. Among the 1,400 organizations included in the protest were the United for Peace and Justice Coalition as well as the Students for a Democratic Society(SDS).

In Washington, D.C., celebrities including Jane Fonda, a half dozen members of Congress, and thousands of demonstrators coming from all over the United States joined together in protest against the war. One of the speakers during the protest, 12-year-old Moriah Arnold from Harvard, Massachusetts, said to the crowd of protesters, "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." A week earlier at her school, she had organized a petition drive against the war in Iraq.

A bloc of about 300-1000 protesters from mostly SDS stormed up to the final set of stairs to the capital where they had a stand off with the Capitol police. They stood at the stairs for an hour before going to the rear of the Capitol in an attempt to occupy the building. They later returned after going into the main march. They left in their wake a good amount of political graffiti on the Capitol Building.

Representative John Conyers (D) said he would use congressional spending power in order to stop the war in Iraq, "George Bush has a habit of firing military leaders who tell him the Iraq war is failing. He can't fire you. He can't fire us. The founders of our country gave our Congress the power of the purse because they envisioned a scenario exactly like we find ourselves in today. Not only is it in our power, it is our obligation to stop Bush."

26-year-old Air Force Staff Sgt. Tassi McKee, an intelligence specialist at Fort Meade, said she had initially joined the Air Force to become a patriot, so she could travel, and so she could get money for college. But she added, "After we went to Iraq, I began to see through the lies."

72-year-old Frank Houde, who served in Vietnam as an Air Force pilot, wore a hat that said, "Veterans for peace." He said that, "The fact is war doesn't work. Iraq is not going to work. The war was started for reasons that turned out to be false."

A small protest against the anti-war demonstrations was held, with AP reporting approximately 40 attendees.

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