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Say no to Bush's war on Iraq

May 9, 2003 | Page 11

MORE THAN 1,000 people protested May 2 outside United Defense Technologies in Santa Clara, Calif., while inside George W. Bush shot down imaginary enemy planes as part of a war game.

Protesters took on the occupation of Iraq as well as the issues facing working people, such as the cuts to health care, jobs and education. "I feel we are burning all of our resources [for war]," one protester told Socialist Worker. "We don't need to do what we are doing. We don't need a military economy."

The day before in San Diego, about 300 people gathered by the waterfront to demonstrate against Bush who was just offshore on an aircraft carrier to give a victory speech. And 300 people marched in San Diego's Chicano Park, chanting "Raza sí, guerra no" and "Money for schools, not for war!"

One speaker pointed out that one of the first casualties was an undocumented Mexican immigrant. While denied the rights of a U.S. citizen because of his immigration status, he was given the "freedom" to die in war.

In Madison, Wis., about 1,000 people marched on May 3, chanting "Occupation is not peace, U.S. out of the Middle East!" Later, a series of workshops drew hundreds more.

Voices in the Wilderness cofounder Kathy Kelly, who just returned from Baghdad, gave a firsthand account of the brutality of the war and occupation. Other speakers talked about Colombia, Palestine, the state of the U.S. antiwar movement and lessons from the Vietnam antiwar movement.

In New York City, "Money for tuition, not for ammunition" was the most popular chant on a march down Fifth Avenue that drew more than 100 students from schools throughout the City University of New York school system.

And in Chicago, about 50 students from a dozen campuses met May 3 and 4 at Northwestern University for the Midwest regional conference of the Campus Antiwar Network. Keynote speakers were Salim Muwakkil, a senior editor of In These Times; Bitta Mostofi from Voices in the Wilderness; and Ray Lotta of Not In Our Name.

In addition to approving resolutions opposing the occupation of Iraq, participants engaged in a number of important debates--such as whether the United Nations represents a humane alternative to U.S. occupation and whether international law can serve as a basis for opposing future wars.

"I'm here because I feel very strongly about opposing the Bush Doctrine--right now, the war and then occupation of Iraq and then future conflicts that might arise," said Nathan Strickland from the University of Kansas-Lawrence.

Ragina Johnson, Dennis Kosuth, Amy Kemery, Balmore Alvarenga and Justin Akers contributed to this report.

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