Boston protests the war

By Paul Hubbard and Shaun Joseph

NEARLY 200 people from Massachusetts and Rhode Island participated in a rally and march in Boston on October 6 to mark the 11th anniversary of the war on Afghanistan and to demand an end to U.S. wars and interventions.

The demonstration, organized primarily by the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) and United for Justice with Peace (UJP), also strongly denounced Islamophobia and the attacks on civil liberties generated by the bipartisan "war on terror."

A diverse group of speakers connected the problems of war and militarism to the deep economic inequality and oppression that plagues U.S. society. Duncan McFarland of UJP announced the "Budget for All" ballot question, a nonbinding referendum calling for an end to the wars, sharply reduced military spending, higher taxes on the 1 percent and a budget focused on social needs. The question will appear on the ballot in districts across Massachusetts, including all of greater Boston.

Although the demonstration was modest in size, it was somewhat younger and more multiracial relative to previous antiwar events. Students from the Boston University Antiwar Coalition had a substantial presence, and many veterans of Occupy Boston and Occupy Providence attended.

The Boston demonstrators declared their solidarity with a major protest taking place on the same day in Pakistan against the widely despised "drone war" that the U.S. is prosecuting in that country. A delegation of U.S. activists, including members of Code Pink and UNAC, participated in that demonstration.