Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Fifth Anniversary of Iraq War - early morning

Today is the Fifth Anniversary of the Iraq War and anti-war protesters made an early start.

By 7.00 am Direct Action to Stop the War were gathering in the financial district to blockade the offices of major corporations who they say are benefiting from the war.

Not long after, Women for Peace all in pink were trying to engage with commuters pouring from a subway. They were offering paper coffee mugs with a 'War Bucks' logo and a little pink slip of paper inside asking people to support their efforts.

Of the troops, Susan said, 'I feel like they are all my family. All the American soldiers are my sons and daughters and all the Iraqi children are my children. The Iraqi people are my brothers and sisters.

'If we all felt like that, there wouldn't be any war,' she added.

Susan indicated to the commuters who were ignoring her in droves. 'I see sad, tired faces and when people are asleep like this, that's when the government are able to do what they are doing,' she said.

One of her placards read: 'Wake Up America!'

Acknowledging the high profile of the coming presidential election, she said, 'Democracy is not to be had, it is to do. It's only us who can do it. We can't depend on one person to do it.'

I tried to speak to some of the commuters. What did they think of the protest? The war? But no-one wanted to stop and comment. I probably looked like part of the protest and they were wary. They also, as Susan said, looked stressed and preoccupied as they made their early-morning dash to work.

I went back to Susan and told her no-one would speak to me. She is there at the plaza on Market Street every week.

'Americans don't stop,' she said. 'Eighty per cent of people who stop are internationals.'

Alongside her group were Iraq Moratorium and as I left a woman handed me a sheet of paper with a black ribbon pinned to it with names of local congressmen and a telephone number to ring to request them to stop funding the war.

Click for pics. Click to enlarge.

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