More on Sept. 24


"It’s becoming clear to everyone that not only was this war based on a false pretext, it is not winnable," said Brian Becker, national coordinator for the ANSWER Coalition, one of two umbrella groups organizing the rally. "The anti-war sentiment is now the majority."

The NY Times not only understands the differences between ANSWER and UFP, it also sums them up well and fairly.

The protests here and elsewhere were largely sponsored by two groups, the Answer Coalition, which embodies a wide range of progressive political objectives, and United for Peace and Justice, which has a more narrow, antiwar focus.

"To me, there is an ideological connection," said Sheri Leafgren, a professor of education at Kent State University in Ohio who held a sign that said, "From New Orleans to Iraq: Stop the war on the poor." "If you care about people losing lives and being devastated by grief, it’s all human suffering."

Nationwide, the coverage of Sept. 24 was extensive and favorable, quite a change from the early protests a few years back where we’d have a major demo and get either snide coverage or none at all. That’s all changed. As Brian Becker (who I know and have podcasted here) said, anti-war sentiment is the majority. What once was a radical stance is now mainstream.

During the Vietnam protests, when one million people protested in DC, Nixon publicly said ho hum, I watched a football game. Decades later the truth came out. He looked out a White House window, saw one million people, and knew that both he, and his war, were in trouble.

Mass protest in the streets works. It’s how most major social change has started and grown in this country. Voting for women, the labor struggles of the 30’s which brought us the 40 hour work week among other benefits, the civil rights and anti-Vietnam marches and protests of the 60’s – all of these began with people in the streets. At first there were just a few, then more, then many. Finally there were too many and the demands too mainstream for the rulers to continue ignore and obstruct, and they were forced to bend to the will of the people.

We will end the war. Keep mobilizing.

(Photo by Stacey Stich)