WASHINGTON – Peace Action joined with other anti war groups in a day of action on Wednesday around the 2,000th unnecessary death of an American soldier in Iraq. Peace Action affiliates, along with allied antiwar groups and coalition partners participated in nearly 2,000 events nationwide. At the White House vigil, hundreds held candles calling for U.S. troops to be brought home from Iraq and for Congress to provide leadership to bring our troops home. Nearly fifty people laid head to toe on the sidewalk in front of the President’s home just like soldiers are laid to rest at Arlington cemetery. Park police arrested 26 mourners at the “die in” including Cindy Sheehan – the mother who lost her son in Iraq and camped at Crawford, TX asking the President why.
“As I lay on the sidewalk shivering in the cold, I thought about the everyday suffering of the Iraqis, the suffering of our soldiers and the suffering of families who lose loved ones to this unjust war. We need to bring our troops home,” said 36 year-old, Washington, DC resident, Paul Kawika Martin, Peace Action Education Fund’s Organizing and Political Director and one of the arrestees.
Like the civil rights, suffrage and abolitionist movements, Sheehan and others are asking people to participate in nonviolent civil disobedience to bring the troops home.
“With the deaths of 2,000 American service men and women and estimates upwards of 100,000 Iraqis. Bush’s insistence on continued military occupation feeds the insurgency. Congress must now take the leadership role in bringing our troops home. We momentarily gave up our freedom in hopes of providing Iraqis freedom from U.S. occupation,” concluded Martin
Those arrested spent several hours in jail and were released with $75 citations for demonstrating without a permit.
The Peace Action Education Fund is the sister organization of Peace Action, the United States' largest peace and disarmament organization with over 100,000 members and nearly 100 chapters in 30 states and works to achieve the abolition of nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs and encourage a foreign policy that embodies respect for human rights.