” The sixth anniversary of the war in Iraq was acknowledged in Akron on March 20 by protesters. Approximately two dozen people organized a march, which began at Akron City Hall and ended at the Federal Building at Market and Main Streets in downtown Akron.””
The sixth anniversary of the war in Iraq was acknowledged in Akron on March 20 by protesters.
Approximately two dozen people organized a march, which began at Akron City Hall and ended at the Federal Building at Market and Main Streets in downtown Akron.
Dana Williams, an adjunct faculty member at the University of Akron who participated in the march, says he has had dozens of students in his classes who are former or active duty soldiers.
They have had a wide variety of experiences in the service and also have a wide variety of opinions about the Iraq and Afghanistan occupations, he explained.
The war in Iraq has cost the city of Akron $431,000,000 so far.
We would like to save our economy and stop funding the military, Williams said at the march.
Considering the state of the economy, it’s a sage thing to do, he added.
The march was not only about money. The United States has lost 4,865 soldiers in the war so far. 191 of these soldiers have been from Ohio.
Williams held a banner while marching that read: Rich man’s war, poor people’s blood.
Many of the protesters that participated in the march traveled to Washington D.C. later that day to participate in a demonstration that began at the Capital Mall and continued past the Pentagon and through Crystal City.
The demonstration was led by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and attracted about 10,000 protesters.
It was sponsored by the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism coalition (A.N.S.W.E.R.) and had predominantly young participators.
Some protesters carried homemade coffins with various national flags wrapped around them to symbolize the loss of lives.
Others carried banners and signs with messages such as: Support the troops- end the war, and Another veteran against this war.
Williams was not able to attend the demonstration in Washington, D.C. but hopes that other people will be motivated to attend future events.
If there is enough widespread protest, it can have an impact upon policy, he said.
He encourages students who are against the war in Iraq to consider participating in future demonstrations and marches.
It is a good way for them to have an opportunity to express their opinions in a more direct way than merely voting or complaining to their TV set, he said.
Williams pointed out that many important things, such as voting rights and the 40 hour work week, are the result of social movements. People came together and struggled for years to change the world.
It is part of a proud American tradition dating back to the American Revolution, he said.
Students who would like to take part in the anti-war movement have many options.
The Northeast Ohio Anti-war Coalition (NOAC) is a group that seeks to organize large demonstrations and rallies to end the war in Iraq.
A.N.S.W.E.R. is a coalition of hundreds of organizations and individuals that campaign against American intervention in Iraq.
It is tough to evaluate the impact of a single protest, but many people will hear about it, Williams said.
Protest has clearly shifted United States public opinion. This is a major accomplishment, he said.