The soundtruck leading a TONC anti-war demonstration in Washington D.C. on Sept. 29, 2007. (Photo: Abayomi Azikiwe).
Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire File Photos
Thousands gather for march at capital demanding cut in war funding
by Abayomi Azikiwe, Editor
Pan-African News Wire
Washington, D.C. (PANW)--Thousands of anti-war activists marched through downtown Washington, D.C. on Saturday as the culmination of a week-long set of activities sponsored by the Troops Out Now Coalition (TONC).
This was the first national demonstration organized by TONC that focused on the Iraq war and its links to other struggles against racism and economic exploitation in the United States.
Prior to Saturday's demonstration, an encampment was erected on Sept. 22 across from the capital building to symbolize the need to divert military spending towards solving the growing problems of inferior education, the lack of health care, mortgage foreclosures and the growing prison industrial complex.
Buses and car caravans came to the demonstration from as far away as Detroit, New York, Cleveland, Newark and Philadelphia. The rally speakers prior to the demonstration on Saturday, discussed the plight of people in Palestine, Haiti, Afghanistan, Somalia, the Philippines and Haiti.
Also the Jena 6, a case that has gained national attention with the railroad of African-American youth in Louisiana, was repeatedly raised by the rally particpants in both speeches and slogans. This case has mobilzed millions throughout the United States demanding justice for the Jena 6.
"Every time you drop a bomb overseas, you make it harder to take care of your people at home," said Jared Ball of the District's Green Party.
"On September 11, I witnessed almost 3,000 people killed in New York," according to John Graham, an emergency technician from New Jersey who had worked to assist the victims of 9-11.
"Now we have had more than 3,000 troops killed in Iraq. It's more than enough. It's time to stop the death."
After the conclusion of the rally, thousands marched through the streets chanting anti-war, anti-imperialist, anti-racist and revolutionary slogans.
At the conclusion of the march back at the Capital building, several hundred youth staged a sit-in blocking traffic in the area.