US Protests call for an end
to the occupation of Iraq and Palestine
Sunday March 16, 2008 21:20 by Saed Bannoura -
Protests were held throughout the United States
on Saturday to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of
Iraq, and calling for an end to the dual occupations of Iraq and
Palestine. Tens of thousands of Americans gathered in dozens of cities
to march, rally and carry out acts of civil disobedience to call for
peace in the Middle East.
In Washington, DC, a dozen Iraq Veterans Against the War were arrested
while shouting, "Arrest Bush, not Vets" - the group had tried to
subpoena Bush and Cheney for alleged war crimes. Thousands more gathered
outside the White House calling for impeachment of Bush and Cheney for
lying and manipulating the U.S. public into invading Iraq, and
continuing the assault for five years straight.
In Richmond, California, a suburb of San Francisco, activists and
community members protested the war in Iraq, environmental racism and
global warming by blockading the Chevron oil refinery. A coalition
including health, environmental and anti-war groups had called for
people to shut down the Chevron refinery for the day of Saturday, March
15th in support of community efforts to stop Chevron from expanding its
Richmond refinery. 25 activists were arrested for taking part in the
Most of the protests around the country had a 'Free Palestine'
contingent, who called for an end to both the U.S. occupation of Iraq
and the Israeli occupation of Palestine. People of all backgrounds and
ethnicities joined together at a march in Portland, Oregon, shouting
"Free Free Palestine!", and holding banners and flags to that effect.
The Portland rally included music by David Rovics, and speakers who
addressed the Israeli occupation of Palestine. The crowd of around 4,000
people let out a big cheer when Rovics sang his famous song "They're
Building a Wall", about the Israeli Annexation Wall currently being
constructed deep inside the West Bank.
Torrential rain and hail did not dampen the spirits of the crowd, who
continued to march through the downpour, demanding an end to both the
occupation of Iraq and the occupation of Palestine. Palestinians,
Iraqis, Tibetans, and refugees from oppression worldwide stood beside
and in support of the Immigrant and the beleaguered American worker,
with banners connecting the issues of war and global capitalism and
Corporate greed. Young people led the march, and have been planning a
national student walkout that will take place on Wednesday March 19th.
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