Thursday, October 04, 2007

The "Soldier's and Citizen's Rally against the War" in Syracuse, NY on Sept. 29th


On a beautiful Saturday afternoon last week, I saw something incredible - people, thousands of people coming together, peacefully yet passionately united to end the most unnecessary war this country ever fought since Vietnam.

We came with signs like "Healthcare NOT Warfare, " or "Green Party Veterans Against the War," or "BUSH - WEAPON OF MASS DECEPTION." Many groups came together because the war in Iraq is an obstacle to their causes just as the Vietnam War was a generation ago. There were Greens there, as well as Iraq Veterans Against the War, childcare advocates, a Catholic priest, the SEIU, chapters of the DFA from all over New York State.

The first rally occurred at Everson Museum Plaza. Somehow, we packed at least 2,500 people there to hear veterans speak out against the insincere absurdities they encountered in the American war effort, and how that turned them against the war.



There were at least two die-ins on the march to Walnut Park and S.U. Both were under the sign: "IF NEW YORK WERE IRAQ." I am an uncle to two little girls, and began to think about the little children who were dying in Anbar, Ramadi and Baghdad.


Myself, I chose a more humorous approach to a visual presentation. A listener to Stephanie Miller, I used one of my many contributions to Photoshop Fun at Stephanie, a "living caricature" of a terrified Dubya, which I pasted onto both sides of the placard. It was a way to ritually force a horrified Bush to look with fear and trepidation at a crowd not vetted by the Secret Service, and unencumbered by Loyalty Oaths or Pledges! The caption read: "Ruggie! Wheresz Mah Ruggie?!"

Actually, this was an attempt to encourage any tired marchers to keep going by creating a sense of joy at scaring the bejeezus out of Dubya.

As we marched into Walnut Park, (with people beeping us and yelling encouragements along the way) the last rally began. Marine Lance Corporal John Turner told us all how at every tour in Iraq, things got progressively worse and how he changed from a "gung ho Marine" as the Syracuse New Times:
put it - to a disillusioned one.



An hour after the rally began, marchers were STILL pouring in as a massive crowd! Placards were everywhere!

Later, although i could not attend, I heard that on campus at S.U. there were speakers like Scott Ritter, Dr.. Dahlia Wasfi and other witnesses who were there in Iraq who saw the disastrous results of the Bush War Machine and his Lie Factory.


As I saw the mass of people filling up Walnut Park, vibrant with energy and commitment, I realized that this must have been what it was like in the Sixties, only better because the people are behind us, and there were no riots. Those marches were of a generation. This one spanned ALL generations.

I can find no better a way to end the story than with a quote from SNT:

They had marched through the streets from downtown, where an even larger group had gathered at 1 p.m. outside the Everson Museum, 401 Harrison St. It was by far the largest peace march downtown Syracuse had seen in years, and it came at an important time in the debate about the Iraq war. The Bush administration appears determined to continue the conflict in spite of public sentiment, as evidenced by the November 2006 elections and polls showing Americans want the war to end.

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