Socialist Worker

US demo: half a million Americans say 'troops out now'

by James Clark, Washington DC
Issue No. 2036

Trade unionists on the anti-war march in Washington DC last Saturday (Pic: Charlotte Ireland)

Trade unionists on the anti-war march in Washington DC last Saturday (Pic: Charlotte Ireland)

More than half a million people from across the US marched in Washington DC last Saturday, to say bring the troops home from Iraq now.

The demo was organised by United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ). The protest took place as George Bush sent a 'surge' of 20,000 US troops to Iraq.

One of the biggest contingents was from Iraq Veterans Against the War – young men and women in military fatigues. Military Families Speak Out and Gold Star Families for Peace carried pictures of their loved ones who are in Iraq or who have been killed.

Oriana Futrell from Washington state carried a sign saying, 'Bring My Husband Home Now.' Her husband, Dan, is an army lieutenant in Baghdad.

She said, 'I'm sick of attending the funerals of my friends. I am sick of the death. I don't know what else to say, other than bring them home.'

Fernando Braga is a member of the National Guard from the Bronx in New York. He served in Iraq from March 2004 until January 2005. He said, 'My own commander told us when we arrived that if we thought we were there for any reason other than oil then we had another think coming.

'I realised even commanding officers were against it but following orders.'

First lieutenant Ehren K Watada is due to be court-martialed next month for refusing to serve in Iraq. He said 'So many thousands of our own have died and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and for what?'

UFPJ had called the march only six weeks earlier after November's mid-term elections and in the wake of the Iraq Study Group report. 'On election day the voters delivered a dramatic, unmistakable mandate for peace,' said Leslie Cagan, national coordinator of UFPJ. 'Now it's time for action.'

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Article information

Sat 3 Feb 2007, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2036
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