March 19, 2010

Report on the March 19 Anti-War Protests

CSS student and Iraqi citizen Zaynab Alwan made
this banner to highlight the terrible human cost of war

By Adam Ritscher

This March 19th marked the 7th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. During these past seven years hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and thousands of Americans have needlessly lost their lives - and millions more have had their lives disrupted by physical and psychological injuries, by having their homes demolished, and losing loved ones. And tragically, after the passage of all of this time, there is no real end in sight.

To show that our region is still against this war, and that we continue to demand an immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from overseas, the Northland Anti-War Coalition marked the occasion with three pickets that took place at different times throughout the day, in different neighborhoods of Duluth. Each picket was an hour long, and all told, 60 people participated in the day's events.

The first picket was held at 7:30am at the corner of Grand & Central in West Duluth. 10 hearty souls were able to roust themselves out of bed that early and hold signs to greet people on their way to work.

The second picket was held at 11:30 at the busy intersection of Central Entrance & Mesaba up by the Coppertop Church. Another 10 activists showed up for this event, which proved especially challenging due to a drop in the temperature, and fierce winds off the lake that even broke some of our picket signs!

And the final picket of the day was held at 4:30pm at the corner of Lake Ave. & Superior St. in downtown Duluth. Forty people attended this event, and like the previous pickets, we were greeted by overwhelmingly positive responses from the many passing motorists and pedestrians.

Both the local ABC and Fox television affiliates covered the actions.

I'd like to thank everyone who participated in today's protests, despite the weather! I especially want to hank our press spokesperson, Zaynab Alwan. I want to thank Fatima Alwan, Cole Maki and Scott Bol for leading us in some boisterous chants; Carl Sack for handling the press work; Joel Kilgour for proposing the pickets; and everyone else who had a hand in today's important event.

Since the war is not over, neither is the need for an anti-war movement! So, mark your calendars for the next NAWC protest, which will be on April 15 - Tax Day. We'll be gathering at 4:30pm at the MN Power Plaza for a colorful march through downtown Duluth, Canal Park and through the Tea Party event that'll be taking place at the same time. Be sure to tell your friends, and I look forward to seeing you there!

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