A coalition many Twin Cities activist groups protested in the Uptown district of Minneapolis last Saturday as part of a nation-wide declaration of peace. About 400 persons participated. I hope you are impressed, as I was, with the diversity of the protesters and their creativity.
The protest was lead by Military Families Speak Out, an organization of people opposed to the war in Iraq who have relatives or loved ones in the military. Some of them that I spoke with have relatives who are currently serving in Iraq, including the child in the photo. Their sign in the image below makes it clear that every day that Congressman Mark Kennedy (US senatorial candidate Kennedy) doesn't act to bring home the troops, 2 more servicemen die. The death toll for Iraqis is much greater and should not be ignored.
The Veterans were present. The contingent was smaller today than it usually is because Veterans for Peace was sponsoring another event.
The signs weren't filled with hate or name calling. Indeed, many of the protesters had quotes from people who had influenced them and their lives. The usual quotes from Gandhi were present (for example, "An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind." ). One woman brought a poster with a photo of her grandparents. The image depicted them at the 20th anniversery reunion for a civil rights march with the Dr. Martin Luther King. You can see this image at my web link below. Another sign had a quote from philosopher Voltaire (1694-1778):
I really like the quote on this sign from W.H. Auden's poem, the Shield of Achilles:
One rally participant made an anti-war statement emphasizing a different medium - music:
Another was more specific about the type of music, with Chumbawamba's lyrics on his t-shirt:
Others reminded us of the cold reality of Bush's policies:
While others reminded us of how Bush achieved his goals:
Rally participants asked the difficult questions, the ones that address the morality of US policies:
And, we cannot forget the power of humor as a way to communicate ideas. We all know about the popularity of the Colbert Report and The Daily Show. Well, here is our local version:
and finally, a little nostalgia and some of Rosie Riveter's can-do attitude.
yea, in Minneapolis that day at the rally, we covered all the bases. Knowing that there are millions of us all over the country who share the same beliefs gives me hope.
If you want to see more, check out some other images from the rally that day at this link.