More than 100 peace activists gathered on the west side of Philadelphia's City Hall to demand an end to the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq. The demonstration, which took place on Saturday, October 16, was vigorous, militant and enlightening.
The demonstration by United Anti-War Committee was a true cross-section of Philadelphia, both old and young, black and white were present. Several organizers spoke prior to the parade downMarket Street to Independence Mall.
Nancy Mitchell, an organizer from ANSWER, denounced the U.S. occupation of the two Southeast Asian nations, saying that it had caused the current depression, unemployment, and foreclosures. She said, "We are in a class war in which the rich are attacking working people in Afghanistan, Iraq and the United States. Their goal is "Profits first, People last!'" Mitchell called for the demonstrators to fight back for "Justice not Greed!"
John Braxton, a leader of Labor Against the War, assured the militants that they could greatly enlarge their numbers if they reached out to co-workers and neighbors. "Be patient," he said, "Educate your friends. Talk with people, don't yell at them."
At the end of the march, the parade was met by almost 100 demonstrators waiting for them at Independence Mall, where Bob Smith of the Brandywine Peace Community called for "Jobs not War" and "Bring the Troops Home Now!" Smith served as master of ceremony, and he read the list of endorsing organizations including Northwest Greens, www.groups.yahoo.com/group/nwgreens/, which had 15 members present. Some of the other well-know organizations which endorsed the demonstration included Philadelphia Regional Anti-War Network, www.prawnworks.net/, Philly against War, www.phillyagainstwar.wordpress.com/, Socialist Action, and United for Peace and Justice.