Posted by Jeff from d53-237-236.try.wideopenwest.com (220.127.116.11) on Sunday, January 12, 2003 at 4:18PM :
Subject: The Tide is Turning - - Seize the Moment!
Date: SUN, 12 JAN 2003 16:07:16 -0400
"With the U.S. government moving closer to war with Iraq, thousands of demonstrators, some pushing strollers and walking dogs, took to the streets of downtown Los Angeles Saturday to voice their protest," begins Saturday's Associated Press dispatch (January 11, 2003).
"'Here, take a picture of my sons' first protest,' Maria Negrete, 27, goaded relatives as waves of people streamed by in a festival-like atmosphere.
"A mother of three small children, Negrete echoed the views of many accidental activists who said although a war with Iraq might be inevitable, they weren't going to sit back without a nonviolent fight.
"'There are going to be children like mine who will die for oil, which I think is crazy, stupid and dumb,' Negrete said. 'So I brought my sons, who are just as beautiful as any in Iraq.'" (Excerpts from the rest of the article are below.)
It is obvious from the demonstration yesterday in Los Angeles, and other mounting world-wide protest, that our actions now can be decisive in stopping this war from happening. A convergence of powerful opposition is causing the tide to turn.
The Bush juggernaut towards war is being confronted by its first major obstacle in the form of massive popular opposition to the war drive that is forcing foreign governments to alter their public support for the Bush Administration's plans.
If we seize the moment the people of the U.S. can be the most potent deterrent to war. We must change the political climate in the United States by making mass anti-war sentiment visible and vocal with a physical presence and force that cannot be ignored.
Our movement is growing rapidly and in addition to the hard work of thousands of volunteers this could not be happening without the generous financial contributions of many of you. You can make a tax deductible contribution to support the anti-war movement either online by credit card or by mailing a check, by clicking here now.
With the clock ticking towards the January 27 inspectors' report to the U.N., and under extreme pressure from the anti-war movement in Europe, Britain and France have this week publicly told the administration that they are not ready to support an attack on Iraq. A poll out late last week reported that 77% of the French oppose an attack on Iraq. (AP dispatch January 9, 2003). The Turkish government, confronted by nationwide opposition to a U.S. war, is fearing the political consequences of allowing the U.S. to use Turkey as a staging ground for an invasion from the North.
Next Saturday, January 18th tens of thousands of people will take to the streets of Washington, D.C. and San Francisco to stop the Bush Administration, demanding No War Against Iraq. If you haven't purchased a bus ticket, please contact your local organizing center. If you are planning on coming but haven't talked to your friends and neighbors about coming with you, now is the time to do so.
We want to thank all who have been volunteering -- from organizing busses and car caravans, to handing out leaflets, to collecting signatures on the People's Anti-War Referendum. And to those who have been able to make a donation to support this work, thank you - your dollars are making these demonstrations happen. If you haven't contributed we ask for your support to help make these upcoming actions successful. To make a tax deductible contribution, click here now. If you have contributed, we are asking you to help again if at all possible.
Thousands in LA Protest Possible War
Sat Jan 11, 754 PM ET
By SANDRA MARQUEZ, Associated Press Writer
LOS ANGELES - With the U.S. government moving closer to war with Iraq, thousands of demonstrators, some pushing strollers and walking dogs, took to the streets of downtown Los Angeles Saturday to voice their protest.
"Here, take a picture of my sons' first protest," Maria Negrete, 27, goaded relatives as waves of people streamed by in a festival-like atmosphere.
A mother of three small children, Negrete echoed the views of many accidental activists who said although a war with Iraq might be inevitable, they weren't going to sit back without a nonviolent fight.
"There are going to be children like mine who will die for oil, which I think is crazy, stupid and dumb," Negrete said. "So I brought my sons, who are just as beautiful as any in Iraq."
The demonstration came a day after the Bush administration issued a massive deployment order to send about 35,000 new troops to the Persian Gulf region. Famed Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic, who uses a wheelchair, led the protesters.
Others lending their celebrity to the cause included Martin Sheen, star of NBC's "West Wing," and pop singer Jackson Browne. ...
Kovic, whose autobiography "Born on the Fourth of July," was made into a movie, predicted the protest would mark the start of "one of the greatest anti-war movements in the history of the United States."
Additional demonstrations, timed to coincide with the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, are scheduled to take place in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., next Saturday.
"I and others are entering a deployment order for citizens of this country to go to the streets and to protest in mass," Kovic said.
Standing nearby, retired school teacher Bill Payne, 65, said he had not participated in anti-war protests during the Vietnam era. But his feelings about activism changed over the years, prompting him to drive two hours from his home in Yucaipa.
"I don't want to see any kids killed. That's it. That's all there is to it," he said. "No kids in Iraq killed, no kids any place killed."
But he said the U.S. war machine might be unstoppable.
"I am sure that (President Bush) is going to start his war anyway," he said. "I hope that he is getting stronger and stronger messages all the time that there are more and more people who really don't want this thing to happen."
Many of the signs at the protest appeared to be directed at the president.
"Mr. Bush, don't repeat your daddy's mistakes," read one.
"Bush is the real terrorist," said another.
"Bush, we are not your cattle," read a piece of white cloth hanging from a green rake.
Oscar Sanchez, an art student from El Salvador, found a creative way to express his dissent and belief that the conflict was being driven by oil.
Trailing behind his bicycle was a large military tank made of cardboard.
The names of two oil companies and the words "Just Married" were emblazoned on the make-believe military craft.
"By making it out of cardboard, I am showing that it can be discarded," Sanchez said.
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