By David Swanson
t r u t h o u t | Exclusive Report
Saturday 11 March 2006
The month of March is the time for marching. The cherry buds and articles of impeachment will be emerging soon in Washington. On the Gulf Coast, Mardi Gras hangovers and media interest in hurricane victims are wearing off. The 20th of this month will be the third anniversary of the war and the 36th International Earth Day.
So, where are the citizens of the Earth, and what are they up to?
Some of them are marching 241 miles from Mexico to San Francisco. On March 12th, Fernando Suarez del Solar, Pablo Paredes, Camilo Mejia and Aidan Delgado will lead a march for peace to raise Latino voices of opposition to the Iraq War. The March will run from Tijuana, Mexico, to the Mission district of San Francisco. The 241-mile march is inspired by Gandhi’s 1930 Salt March of that same distance.
Students are marching too. Between March 13th and 17th, the Campus Anti-War Network has organized marches, rallies, and forums on college campuses across the country.
Two major marches in March will combine opposition to the war with opposition to social injustice in the United States. On March 14th, Washington, DC, will see a Mardi Gras style march from Capitol Hill past FEMA and Homeland Security to the White House. Thousands plan to stay in front of the White House for a rally until midnight and – if necessary – beyond. March 15th is the date on which FEMA plans to evict more hurricane victims from temporary housing. Marchers are demanding a moratorium on evictions until housing is provided.
From March 14th to 19th, Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out, Gold Star Families for Peace and hurricane survivors’ organizations are organizing a five-day march along Gulf Coast Highway 90, from Mobile, Alabama, to New Orleans, to demand the immediate return of our troops from Iraq, and to call for US tax dollars to be spent on human priorities and rebuilding of the devastated Gulf Coast, instead of the illegal occupation of Iraq.
At an international peace conference in London on December 10th, the Stop the War Coalition called for marches against the war on March 18th and 19th, to mark the third anniversary of the war. People all over the world have heeded the call, and marches against the war are planned from Baghdad to Bangkok, from Sao Paolo to Seoul.
United for Peace and Justice has chosen to organize many marches in towns around the United States, rather than one big march in DC or New York. (There will be a big march in New York on April 29th.) Between March 15th and 22nd, towns and cities around the country will be holding anti-war marches and rallies.
Local citizens in DC will hold a march on March 18th, starting at Dick Cheney’s house at 2 pm and ending at Dupont Circle.
In my town, Charlotesville, Virginia, we’ll hold a forum on the war on March 13th, a film screening on March 15th and a March for Peace and Impeachment on March 20th.
On March 15th, around the country, people are being encouraged to march to their local media outlets and protest pro-war reporting.
March 16th is a National Day of Youth and Student Action Against the War.
Also on March 16th, at noon, citizens will rally in Santa Barbara, California, to keep weapons out of space. The rally precedes the trial of MacGregor Eddy, who was arrested October 8th, 2005, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, headquarters for the Air Force space task force whose mission is to "control and exploit space for global and theater operations."
As March 20th approaches, people around the United States and the world plan to do more than march. They plan to engage in civil disobedience for peace and to go to jail for justice. There is a global call for nonviolent resistance to end the US-led occupation of Iraq.
Many groups around the US have planned actions at Congressional offices.
And a major march to the Pentagon, followed by nonviolent civil disobedience, is planned on the 20th.
9:00 am Gather at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
10:00 am Begin march to Pentagon
11:00 am Arrive at Pentagon
11:15 am Ceremony honoring the dead
11:30 am Die-in and other nonviolent actions by those willing to risk arrest
Many of the marches and rallies around the United States opposing the war will also be calling for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney. A growing coalition of organizations is putting together weekly protests at the homes of Congress members to demand impeachment and peace, including marches through their neighborhoods aimed at embarrassing them into action.
On the day the month of March ends, a couple of important marches will begin. The March to Redeem the Soul of America will take place from April 1st through the 14th in Texas, from Irving to Crawford.
The Southern Regional March for Peace in Iraq and Justice at Home will be held in Atlanta on April 1st, a date chosen to fall between the third anniversary of the war and the April 4th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s death. Activists are organizing contingents from Birmingham, Alabama; Fayetteville, North Carolina; Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee; Tallahassee, Florida, and all corners of Georgia.
Whether or not you spend the month of March marching, please plan to come to Crawford, Texas, from April 10th through the 16th. If Bush gets a vacation, why shouldn’t we?
Here are pages listing events around the country in March:
David Swanson is creator of MeetWithCindy.org, co-founder of the AfterDowningStreet.org coalition, a writer and activist, and the Washington Director of Democrats.com. He is a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, and serves on the Executive Council of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, TNG-CWA. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including Press Secretary for Dennis Kucinich’s 2004 presidential campaign, Media Coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association, and three years as Communications Coordinator for ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Swanson obtained a Master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia in 1997. His website is www.davidswanson.org.