Worldwide Day of Protest against the Iraq War

March 12, 2005

Today is a special day. It’s the 75-year anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s famous “salt march.” On March 12, 1930, Gandhi began a 240-mile march to nonviolently resist the British tax on salt and move India closer to independence from British rule. Gandhi changed India and the world, with his relentless, nonviolent struggle for peace and justice. (For more on Gandhi’s life, click here .)

Today is also important because it begins our 7-day countdown to the March 19 worldwide day of protest against the Iraq war. Next Saturday, people throughout the world will raise our voices on the two-year anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq to say NO to war, torture and occupation, and YES to international law, human rights, and respect our planet and its inhabitants!

We hope the life and philosophy of Gandhi will inspire you to join CODEPINK out on the streets on March 19. And if that's not enough inspiration, below we’ve provided some of our top reasons for opposing the Iraq war and occupation (below.) These are available as a flyer in PDF format on the website of our good friends at Global Exchange:

And here’s one more reminder of where CODE PINK will be focusing our energies on March 19:

Fayetteville, NC ­ Home of Fort Bragg, 82nd Airborne, Special Forces
March 19 march and rally at Rowan Street Park, 11 AM ­ 4 PM, with military families, veterans, and others. Click here for more information about CODEPINK’s plans:

San Diego, CA ­ Home of Camp Pendleton
On Thursday, March 17, CODEPINK members and supporters begin a 40-mile peace procession from Oceanside Pier. The procession ends at the March 19 rally at Balboa Park, 2 PM. For more info check out our March 19 action page:

Peace Ribbon Project
CODEPINK is creating a peace “ribbon” with panels representing each life that has been claimed by the war in Iraq. This beautiful memorial will first be displayed on March 19 in Fayetteville. Please consider making a panel. Go to the Peace Ribbon page for more details:

Local Protests
See http://www.unitedforpeace.org to find out about March 19 protests planned in your city or town.

Let's join with the majority of the people in the world on March 19 and let them know we stand with them for peace! As Gandhi said, “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall -- think of it, ALWAYS.”

See you in the streets,
Andrea, Dana, Gael, Jodie, Medea, Nancy and Tiffany

Why It's Time to End the US Military Occupation of Iraq

Occupation Puts US Soldiers At Risk
With more than 1,500 US troops killed and over 25,000 wounded, it's clear that even though the big battles are over, the fighting in Iraq has not stopped. US soldiers are at grave risk in Iraq, and continue to suffer even after they come home. Troops returning to the U.S. are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and are even turning up in homeless shelters in cities through the country.

Iraq is in Chaos, and the Occupation is Making Things Worse
According to a study published in the respected medical journal The Lancet, some 100,000 Iraqis have lost their lives in the war and occupation, and most of those deaths are due to the U.S. military campaign. Iraqis are afraid to leave their homes, because they could be killed by U.S. soldiers or suicide bombers. Fear of violence, abduction and rape has emptied the streets of women.

Occupying Iraq Makes Us Less Safe
The ongoing US military presence in Iraq - and plans to build 14 permanent military bases there - is inflaming anti-American sentiment throughout the Middle East and around the world. According to the US National Intelligence Council, the war in Iraq has created "a training and recruitment ground (for terrorists), and an opportunity for terrorists to enhance their technical skills."

The Iraqis Don't Want Us There
An overwhelming majority Iraqis (82% of Sunnis and 69% of Shiites) want the U.S. military to leave after an elected Iraqi government is in place. If we really believe in democracy, then we should listen to the demands of the Iraqi people and leave their country. There can be no liberation in the midst of a military occupation, and the Iraqi election didn't change that reality.

Occupation Takes Resources Away From Priorities At Home
The invasion and occupation of Iraq has already cost more than $153 billion, and the Bush administration has just asked Congress for another $82 billion for 2005. At the same time, community programs are being cut in every state in the country - from public libraries to schools to hospitals to train service - and the deficit is reaching record levels. Our social and homeland security needs should not become part of the war's "collateral damage."


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