Just days before pivotal midterm elections, about 25,000 protesters huddled
around Parkman Bandstand at Boston Common yesterday afternoon to voice their opposition
to military action against Iraq.
Organized by United
for Justice with Peace, a local anti-war coalition, the event was large enough
to close down adjacent Tremont Street.
Thousands of people march down Dartmouth Street in Boston, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2002,
participating in a protest against a possible war with Iraq. (AP Photo/Jodi Hilton)
Enduring frigid conditions, supporters heard from Green Party gubernatorial
candidate Jill E. Stein ’73, Boston University Professor Howard Zinn and actor
Tim Robbins, as the smell of burning sage permeated the park’s frozen fields and
folk songs echoed off the facades of neighboring buildings.
“War breeds terrorism, war is terrorism,” Zinn said, addressing the crowd.
“We need a regime change right here.”
Robbins said he was awed by the sheer number of people. He said that it took
years to assemble a crowd that size in the ’60s. Many of the protestors hoisted
signs, while some flew kites and others played bongo drums and tambourines.
Local political folk singer Pamela Means played several songs while preaching
to her fellow protesters.
A protester turns out for yesterday’s anti-war protest at Boston Common,
which drew a crowd of 25,000.
(CRIMSON/Maritza M. Mercado )
“Go out and vote your conscience,” Means said. “We have no reason to be afraid.”
About 50 Harvard undergraduates attended the rally with the Harvard Initiative
for Peace and Justice (HIPJ), a campus group formed in the wake of Sept. 11.
“The proliferation of rallies over the past few weeks have to be sending a
message to the Bush administration,” said HIPJ member Jessica E. Gould ’04.
Many other unaffiliated Harvard students were also in attendance.
“It’s unbelievable just to see this many people mobilized,” said Chanda R.S.
Prescod-Weinstein ’03, who came to the event with a friend from MIT. “I feel really
Joining the considerable student turnout, local protestors brought their families.
Children could be seen holding hand-made signs, and veterans likened the potential
war in Iraq to Vietnam.
“It’s shameful to drop bombs on people who need food and medicine,” said Zinn,
who is known for his book, A People’s History of the United States. “You can’t
bomb a country into democracy.”
Boston Police and Park Rangers maintained a strong presence on horses and in
—Staff writer Justin D. Gest can be reached at email@example.com.
Copyright © 2002, The Harvard Crimson Inc.