30
Aug
2004

MORE THAN 500,000 SAY NO TO THE BUSH AGENDA

MORE THAN 500,000 SAY NO TO THE BUSH AGENDA AT NYC MARCH

August 29, New York, NY -- In the largest protest ever held during a political convention, more than 500,000 people from all over the United States marched past Madison Square Garden, site of the Republican National Convention, to express their opposition to the Bush agenda and the war against Iraq. "This march brought together people from every sector of society and every possible background, because we all understood that we had to shine a spotlight on the issues that the Republicans won't bring to the stage at their convention - the ongoing chaos and violence in Iraq, the unprecedented roll-back of environmental protections, the assault on a woman's right to choose and so many other issues that Americans deeply care about," said Leslie Cagan, national coordinator of United for Peace and Justice, the national anti-war coalition that organized the march.

Film maker Michael Moore, Rev. Jesse Jackson, actors Rosie Perez, Marissa Tomei, and Danny Glover, musician Steve Earle, Congressman Charles Rangel and playwright Eve Ensler headed up the march along with Iraq war veterans, military families, September 11th families, and religious and community leaders. So many people participated that it took nearly six hours until marchers finished at Union Square.

After the march ended, thousands of people went to Central Park's Great Lawn, where Republican New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg had denied a permit to hold a rally. The atmosphere at the park was festive and peaceful. Despite a huge police presence during the march, there were few conflicts between the police and marchers. Later in the afternoon, however, about a hundred people were arrested during a separate protest of Republican delegates in Times Square.

The Iraq war and occupation was a main theme of the chants and signs that were held by marchers. Hundreds of marchers carried coffins draped with American flags to represent the nearly 1,000 U.S. soldiers who have been killed since the war began in March 2003. Military families, some of whom lost sons and daughters in the war, marched holding up pictures of their loved ones as they called for an immediate end to the occupation.

Fifty other cities and towns in the U.S. also held rallies to protest the Bush agenda during the Republican National Convention -- from San Diego, CA to Chicago, IL to Orlando, FL.

United for Peace and Justice is a non-partisan coalition with more than 800 groups under its umbrella. Since its founding in October 2002, UFPJ has spurred hundreds of protests and rallies around the country, including the two largest demonstrations in the U.S. against the Iraq war.

ACTION ALERT * UNITED FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE
http://www.unitedforpeace.org | 212-868-5545


Informant: Martin Greenhut
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