Sunday, January 28, 2007

 

Anti-War Protest in Washington - 01/27/07


Demonstrators listen to the speakers during a protest against the war in Iraq on the National Mall in Washington on Saturday.
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Politics of warJan. 27: Thousands converged on Washington to demonstrate against the war in Iraq and urge the U.S. to bring the troops home. NBC's John Yang reports.
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WASHINGTON - Protesters energized by fresh congressional skepticism about the Iraq war demanded a withdrawal of U.S. troops in a demonstration Saturday that drew tens of thousands and brought Jane Fonda back to the streets.
A sampling of celebrities, a half-dozen members of Congress and busloads of demonstrators from distant states joined in a spirited rally under a sunny sky, seeing opportunity to press their cause in a country that has turned against the war.
The House Judiciary Committee chairman, Rep. John Conyers, threatened to use congressional spending power to try to stop the war. “George Bush has a habit of firing military leaders who tell him the Iraq war is failing,” he said, looking out at the masses. “He can’t fire you.” Referring to Congress, the Michigan Democrat added: “He can’t fire us."

“The founders of our country gave our Congress the power of the purse because they envisioned a scenario exactly like we find ourselves in today. Now only is it in our power, it is our obligation to stop Bush.”

The protests came on a day when the U.S. military reported the deaths of seven more American soldiers, raising to at least 12 the number of service members killed in the past three days.
The most recent seven death reports were all the result of roadside bombs, two in Diyala province, two in Baghdad and three others at an unspecified location north of the capital.

Five of the soldiers were assigned to Multi-National Division-Baghdad, one was a member of Task Force Lightning who was assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, and one other was a Multi-National Corps-Iraq soldier attached to north division.

High U.S. death toll this month
According to an Associated Press count, at least 73 service members have been killed so far this month.

“Silence is no longer an option,” Fonda declared on Saturday to cheers, addressing not only the nation’s response to Iraq but her own absence from anti-war protests for 34 years.
The actress once derided as “Hanoi Jane” by conservatives for her stance on Vietnam said she had held back from activism so as not to be a distraction for the Iraq anti-war movement, but now needed to speak out.
“Thank you so much for the courage to stand up against this mean-spirited, vengeful administration,” she said.
Fonda drew parallels to the Vietnam War, citing “blindness to realities on the ground, hubris ... thoughtlessness in our approach to rebuilding a country we’ve destroyed.” But she noted that this time, veterans, soldiers and their families increasingly and vocally are against the Iraq war.

The rally on the National Mall unfolded peacefully, although about 300 protesters tried to rush the Capitol, running up the grassy lawn to the front of the building. Police on motorcycles tried to stop them, scuffling and wrestling with some and setting up barricades along the front steps.
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