NEW YORK - March 9 - Marking one year since the U.S.-led bombing of Iraq began, anti-war groups throughout the United States and around the globe will take to the streets on Saturday, March 20, under the banner "The World Still Says No to War." Over 150 protests are planned in cities across the U.S., from Alaska to Florida, Hawaii to Maine, calling for an end to the occupation of Iraq. Similar demonstrations will take place on continents around the world, making March 20 a global day of coordinated action in the spirit of last year's historic February 15 protests. An up-to-date list of U.S. and international actions is available on the web at www.unitedforpeace.org.
The March 20 protests come after months of revelations vindicating the anti-war movement's position that waging war on Iraq was unnecessary and unjustified. Mounting evidence indicates that Iraq posed no imminent threat to the United States and that Bush administration justifications for its preemptive strike were deliberately exaggerated or false. March 20 protests will highlight the ongoing costs of war and occupation: 550 U.S. soldiers have been killed and more than 3,000 injured; over 10,000 Iraqi civilians have died. The cost already exceeds $100 billion with no end in sight.
Military families and veterans will play a prominent role in the March 20 protests, including one near Ft. Bragg in North Carolina. Over 400 groups have endorsed March 20 including labor unions, religious organizations, student and veterans groups.
Notable protests include:
- New York City: Tens of thousands from throughout the Northeast will converge in Midtown Manhattan for a march and rally in the heart of the city's busiest shopping district.
- Fayetteville, North Carolina: A march and rally will bring an anti- war message to the U.S. military base at Ft. Bragg. Organizers expect the event, which will draw people from throughout the Southeast, to be the largest there since the Vietnam War.
- Crawford, Texas: Activist caravans from around Texas will converge on President George W. Bush's hometown for a parade and rally.
United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) is a national coalition with more than 700 groups under its umbrella. Since its founding in October 2002, UFPJ has spurred hundreds of protests and rallies around the country, including the two largest demonstrations against the Iraq war.
WHAT: 150+ marches and rallies around the country to protest the occupation of Iraq.
WHO: United for Peace and Justice
WHEN: Saturday, March 20, 2004
WHERE: Cities and towns around the U.S., www.unitedforpeace.org for more information.