March 23, 2007
Volume 35
Issue 12
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Saturday, Sep 19, 2020



Thousands march against the war in Iraq - King County, Seattle officials take steps to oppose war
Thousands march against the war in Iraq - King County, Seattle officials take steps to oppose war
by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff

Thousands of people in the Puget Sound area joined in nation-wide protests marking the fourth anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Local demonstrations began Saturday, March 17, in Tacoma with a march of almost 1000 people organized by churches and peace groups. On Sunday, March 18, 3000 people participated in a Seattle march organized by the anti-war group ANSWER.

On Monday, March 19, 3000 people marched behind banners reading "Ending the War Begins at Home" and "Stop the Raids! Stop the Deportations!" Their route took them from the Federal Courthouse to Seattle City Hall and the Federal Building. Organized by a coalition of 60 labor, faith, and community organizations -- including the MLK County Labor Council, the Church Council of Greater Seattle, Jobs With Justice, Comite pro Amnistia, and Pride At Work AFL-CIO -- the marchers included veteran anti-war activists, union members, and immigrant rights activists. At 5th and Pine, they were joined by another 1000 marchers from the Troops Home Now coalition, made up largely of students and younger military veterans.

At the Federal Courthouse, MLK County Executive Ron Sims announced to the crowd that he and County Council Chair Larry Gossett had proclaimed March 19 "End the War Day." "A great nation wages peace, not war," Sims told the cheering crowd. "I want us to be a great nation once again." The crowd also cheered news that the Seattle City Council had unanimously adopted a resolution calling for "an immediate end to US military operations in Iraq," and the use of federal funds for human needs in local communities.

Monday's demonstration ended with a rally at the Federal Building, in support of a sit-in at the local offices of Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell. The Occupation Project, organized by SNOW (Sound Nonviolent Opponents of War) and the Fellowship of Reconciliation, hopes to pressure Murray and Cantwell to vote against supplemental funding for the occupation of Iraq.

Apart from single arrests on Sunday and Monday, the Seattle events were peaceful. Organizers complained, however, that Seattle police had blocked permits for vans in the line of march. Organizers had wanted the vans to assist demonstrators with mobility problems. The Troops Home Now coalition also had issues with their permits. Seattle police refused to issue permits for their preferred march route, forcing them to join the larger march at 5th and Pine. Direct negotiations between organizers of the two marches resolved the problem without further interference from the police.

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