On Sat., March 19, from 5 to 6 PM, anti-war groups will hold a protest rally at the Times Square recruiting station on Military Island, Broadway at 44th St., to demand that all troops be brought home from Iraq and Afghanistan immediately. The event, coordinated by the local chapter of Veterans for Peace and by Grandmothers Against the War, will be held on the day 8 years from the invasion of Iraq by the U.S. on March 19, 2004.
"Thousands of American military and hundreds of thousands of innocent civilian deaths later, it is past time to end these senseless and tragic wars and occupations, bring our exhausted soldiers home and deploy the billions of dollars wasted on these unconscionable interventions to our urgent domestic needs," said Bill Gilson, Vice President of Chapter 34 of Veterans for Peace NYC.
Cong. Charles Rangel will be a featured speaker, as will State Sen. Bill Perkins. After comments by other political and peace movement leaders and songs provided by the Raging Grannies, promptly at 6 PM patriotic volunteers will commit non-violent civil disobedience.
The event is considered an adjunct to a major protest planned for Washington, D.C. on the same day, at which thousands are expected, including Daniel Ellsberg. There again, non-violent civil disobedience will take place as it did on Dec. 16 at a similar event at which 131 people were arrested, including Ellsberg, Ray McGovern and Chris Hedges. We in New York City held a support rally on that day, also, at which 11 people were arrested for blocking traffic on Broadway.
The rally will be dedicated to the memory of the 9 children tragically killed by NATO helicopters on Mar. 2.
"The deplorable deaths of 9 Afghan children highlights the desperate need to conclude these occupations NOW," said Barbara Walker, Assoc. Director of Grandmothers Against the War. "What can possibly justify the United States continuing these interventions in the face of such horrendous acts?"
Participating organizations in Times Square are:
Big Apple Coffee Party; Brooklyn for Peace; Catholic Workers; Chelsea Neighbors United to End the War; Grandmothers Against the War; Granny Peace Brigade; Gray Panthers; Pax Christi of Metro New York; Peace Action Bay Ridge Interfaith Peace Coalition; Peace Action Manhattan; Peace Action New York State; Raging Grannies; THAW (Theatres Against the War); Veterans for Peace Chapter 34 (NYC); War Resisters League; World Can't Wait
DATE AND TIME: Saturday, March 19, 5 - 6 p.m.
PLACE: Military Island, Broadway at 44th St.