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Huge Antiwar Demonstration in DC

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Rob Kall       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   21 comments

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Yesterday, tens of thousands, perhaps 100,000 plus demonstrators protested the war, Bush, and the possible war looming in Iran. Speakers and participants included Jesse Jackson, Jane Fonda, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Mimi Kennedy, Code Pink's Medea Benjamin, Dennis and Elizabeth Kucinich, John Conyers, Maxine Waters, Salt Lake City's liberal mayor, Rocky Anderson, Tikkun Editor Michael Lerner, actress Rhea Perlman... many Iraq and Viet Nam veterans and their families and literally hundreds of leaders of other organizations, like PDA, Progressive Majority, Code Pink, etc...


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While media estimated the crowd at thousands or tens of thousands, it looked more like at least a hundred thousand plus to me.

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This poignant photo of Dick Gregory and Jesse Jackson captures Rev. Jackson getting ready to speak. One of the great living speakers, I was standing next to him as he told his aide that there were one or two pages missing from his prepared text. Ever the pro, he went on to give a great, rousing talk, with perhaps a few extra "keep hope alives" that he got the crowd chanting.



A few feet away from Gregory and Jackson, Jane Fonda was waiting to on stage, where she revealed this was the first antiwar rally she'd attended in 34 years.


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She said, "We didn't learn lessons from the Viet Nam war," and "Silence is no longer an option."
She was pleased to see that there were many Iraq veterans who were already opposing the war, while "it took six years for members of the military to oppose the Viet Nam War."

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There were some very creative signs and costumes among the war protesters.


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Liberal Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson gave a strong speech that really got the crowd cheering. He excoriated the mainstream media for failing to do their job. After meeting him and chatting with him, it got me thinking-- strong, tough talking leader of a major city in a western red state... He might make a strong president 2008 presidential candidate.


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Rocky Anderson, Rhea Perlman (face turned away, wife of Danny DeVito and acress who played the cynical waitress in Cheers) Mimi Kennedy (board member of PDA and actress who played Dharma's hippy mother in Dharma and Greg) and Rev. Jesse Jackson.




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Medea Benjamin's Code Pink organization was there in force, with



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Some people raise the question of whether large demonstrations like this do any good. Do legislators pay attention? Do they stir the grassroots. One thing is sure-- the people who showed up had a great time and felt VERY good about being with so many other citizens who felt the same way about the war, Bush and the last six years of failed leadership combined with corruption.

I could tell, from my intereview with John conyers, that the enthusiastic turnout meant a lot to John Conyers. He's raring to go, holding hearings investigating all the things the last four years of cover-ups have hidden. That alone might make it worthwhile, but having so many military involved was also a very good thing, as Jane Fonda observed. It was disappointing that, while some from the progressive media and blogosphere were present, none were included on the stage and none were invited to speak, especially considering the role they have played in helping bring about the success of the '06 elections.

DOn't get me wrong. United for Peace did an extraordinary job-- a well organized, well managed, civilly operated, safe event with great speakers. But bloggers and progressive media leaders and pundits also deserve a voice at the lectern. Hopefully, the next time, they will be included. We need more voices in the age gap that yesterday's speaker list did not cover-- people between 12 and 50.

Here's the list, from the united for peace website, of speakers:

Speakers, in alphabetical order

Mayor Rocky Anderson, Salt Lake City, UT

Moriah Arnold, 12-year-old sixth grader from Harvard, MA

Carlos & Melida Arredondo, Gold Star Families for Peace

Medea Benjamin, founder of CodePink: Women for Peace

Clayola Brown, Vice-President, UNITE-HERE

John Brown, former State Department diplomat

Leslie Cagan, National Coordinator, United for Peace and Justice

David Cline, Veterans For Peace

Representative John Conyers (D-MI)

Felicia Eaves, Black Voices for Peace

Eve Ensler, playwright

Noura Erakat, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

Jane Fonda, actress, author

Kim Gandy, President of the National Organization for Women

Umuna Ghismay, Peoples' Hurricane Relief Fund

Danny Glover, actor/activist

Reverend Graylon Hagler, Plymouth Congregational Church, Washington, DC

Jonathon Hutto, active-duty member of the U.S. Navy

Reverend Jesse Jackson, RainbowPUSH Coalition

Raed Jarrar, Iraq Project Director at Global Exchange

Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)

Judith LeBlanc, National Co-Chair, United for Peace and Justice

Rabbi Michael Lerner, Tikkun Magazine

Liam Madden, active-duty member of the U.S. Navy

George Martin, National Co-Chair, United for Peace and Justice

Kevin Martin, Executive Director, Peace Action

Fred Mason, AFL-CIO

Andrew Murray, Stop the War Coalition UK

Michael O'Gorman, Farms Not Arms

Jesselyn Radack, former Justice Department official

Garett Reppenhagen, Iraq Veterans Against the War

 

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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites, OpEdNews.com

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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