Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, at demonstration on December 30, 2006, in response to the legal lynching of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. (Photo by Cheryl Labash, WW).
Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire File Photos.
By Abayomi Azikiwe,
Pan-African News Wire
There have been two demonstrations in Detroit organized by anti-war activists since December 30. The Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice (MECAWI) staged a protest in front of the McNamara Federal Building on Saturday afternoon to denounce the legal lynching of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
This demonstration gained international press coverage. Some of the news sources covering the event through the Associated Press reporting on the Detroit, Boston and New York City demonstrations included: USA Today, MLive.com, SiLive.com, New York Newsday, W-CBS TV New York, Wood TV, Grand Rapids, the New York Sun, The Hindu International, the Jerusalem Post, the International Herald Tribune, the Pan-African News Wire as well as upcoming coverage from Workers World and the Michigan Citizen newspapers.
In addition, on the "Fighting for Justice" radio broadcast aired every Sunday from 10:00-11:00 a.m. over 1310 AM, WDTW, the Detroit affiliate for the Air America radio network, co-hosts Abayomi Azikiwe, Ron Scott and Sandra Hines, criticized the execution of Saddam Hussein. One caller to the program asked: when will the crimes carried out by the Bush administration be punished? Not one caller phoned in to express support for the American war policy, including the execution of Saddam Hussein.
Below is the Detroit Free Press article on the December 31 demonstration outside the Spirit of Detroit downtown, protesting the officially reported 3,000 American soldier deaths since the occupation began in March of 2003. This demonstration was organized by Jeanne Coopman of MECAWI.
Detroit rally protests Iraq war toll
3,000 U.S. troops have died in fighting
BY STEVE NEAVLING
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
January 1, 2007
Demonstrators gathered in downtown Detroit on Sunday to call attention to the grim milestone of the last day of 2006 -- the death toll of U.S. troops in Iraq reached 3,000.
More than a dozen war protesters braved strong winds and chilly rain to hold signs that read "3,000 dead" and "Impeach Bush" at the corner of Woodward and Jefferson.
"How many of these dead soldiers would have been scientists or doctors?" asked Westland resident Jeanne Coopman, the demonstration's organizer. "How many children are left without a parent? We need to get our troops out of Iraq."
The protesters spoke of war crimes, impeachment and oil profits. They also read some of the names of Michigan soldiers who were killed fighting the war. The idea was to take advantage of New Year's Eve traffic to expose what they consider a hopeless war.
Coopman organized similar demonstrations in Livonia when the U.S. death toll reached 1,000 and 2,000.
The 3,000th death came at the end of the deadliest month for U.S. military personnel in Iraq in the past year. At least 820 troops died in that country in 2006, according to the Associated Press. President George W. Bush said he plans to devise a new strategy for the war.
Demonstrator Victor Kittila of Eastpointe said he sees no end to the conflict until Bush is impeached.
Damon Watson, 28, of Detroit said young people need to become more active to pressure the government to bring home the troops.
"To me, it seems that until the youth and the underprivileged understand this is a war against the underprivileged, it won't end," he said.
Contact STEVE NEAVLING at 586-469-4935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.