Anti-War Activists to Converge on Washington

A guide to September 24-26 peace actions in the capital and across the US


| September 22, 2005


Before grieving military mom Cindy Sheehan set up camp in Crawford, Texas, last month, the media had all but pronounced the peace movement dead. Now, with the public fuming over the botched federal response to Hurricane Katrina and support for the Iraq war slipping, the movement is building up a new head of steam.

On Saturday, September 24, tens (possibly hundreds) of thousands of people are expected to converge on Washington, DC, for a massive rally and march to demand an end to the war in Iraq and the immediate withdrawal of US troops. Deliberately timed to coincide with the annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund -- institutions whose failed policies have exacerbated global poverty and environmental destruction -- these events aim to highlight the links between war and corporate-led globalization.

The main organizers of the protest, United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) and International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), are still urging opponents of the war across the country to come to the capital for this weekend's events.

If you are considering attending the protests, it's not too late. Both groups' websites contain detailed information on the events, as well as resources for finding housing in the DC area and transportation there, including charter buses and ride-shares heading to the capital from around the country.

In addition to the rally and march, UFPJ has planned a series of events spread over three days. The 'Operation Ceasefire' concert -- headlined by Thievery Corporation, Steve Earle, The Coup, Jello Biafra, and others -- begins immediately after the march Saturday afternoon at the Washington Monument. Sunday's program includes nonviolent direct-action training and an interfaith 'tent revival.' And on Monday, activists will take their message to Congress via both a Capitol Hill lobby day and street demonstrations.

For those who can't make it to DC this weekend, local peace groups from Anchorage to Miami are planning activities to coincide with Saturday's march. Many of these are listed on the UFPJ website.