US protests against Iraq war

 

Tens of thousands of anti-war demonstrators marched in a dozen US cities yesterday to call for an immediate end to the war in Iraq.

The "national day of action," sponsored by the United for Peace and Justice coalition, attracted throngs of protesters in cities from Boston and New Orleans to Chicago and Los Angeles on the fifth anniversary of the US Senate's vote authorizing the invasion of Iraq.

Wet weather dampened the turnout in New York, but thousands braved the rain for the anti-war event in Manhattan, where protesters carried signs reading "End the war now," demanding a cutoff of its funding; "Healthcare, not warfare;" and calling for the impeachment of President Bush for "war crimes."

One contingent began its trek in New Jersey, marching across the George Washington Bridge en route to a rally in Manhattan's Union Square, where speakers included anti-war veterans and families of servicemen in Iraq.

The demonstrators, who included trade union activists, also spoke out on issues including nuclear weapons and what some see as the increasing likelihood of US military intervention in Iran over its escalating nuclear program.

In Chicago, an estimated 10,000 people gathered at Union Park for the march to Federal Plaza. Democratic Reps. Danny Davis and Rep. Jan Schakowsky both told a rally before the march they would oppose any further funding for the war in Iraq without a formal withdrawal date.

Protests were also slated for Seattle, Salt Lake City, Orlando, Philadelphia and even Jonesborough, Tennessee, home to a company that is the largest producer of weapons that use depleted uranium.