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News ::
1,000 People at 9/19 Peace Vigil in Copley
20 Sep 2001
On Wednesday, September 19, an estimated one thousand people turned out for a peace vigil in Copley Square. It was followed by a semi-unplanned march to Harvard Square.
September 19, 2001; Boston, MA--An amazing number of people turned out to a peace vigil in Copley Square at 6:00. Organizers estimated the crowd to be one thousand people strong. Standing at the edges of Copley Square, we formed a ring of people almost all the way around the block. Vigil participants; who included people from religious groups, the peace movement, the global justice movement, and simply concerned citizens; held lighted candles and signs reading "No New Victims--Anywhere" and "Justice Not War".

While mourning the loss of lives in September 11th's terrorist atatcks (and condemning the attacks), they were calling on the US government not to respond with more violence. As one sign read, "An eye for an eye leaves us all blind." Many advocated bringing the perpetrators of the attack to trial under international law as an alternative to war.

At about 6:30, the vigilers gathered in front of the church in Copley Square. Mark Green, who lost a close friend of the family in the terrorist attacks, spoke of the need for a nonviolent response while trying to keep from breaking down in tears. He also spoke of the need to look at how the US's violent and oppressive foreign policy has created the hatred for America that contributed to the attack. The vigil closed with the Rev. Frank Small leading the crowd in singing "Amazing Grace".

After the vigil closed, a few hundred members of the vigil, pulled together by some of the organizers, marched to Harvard Square. Although a few pedestrians heckled us, we also received honks of support from passing cars.

There are future vigils and other actions planned. On Sunday the 23rd there will be a vigil from 12:30-2:00 in Copley. There will also be vigils on Tuesday evening from 6:00-7:00 every week in Copley for the foreseeable future. (This week's vigil was held on Wednesday out of respect for Rosh Hoshannah.)

For more information on how you can help (including participating in the anti-war coalition), call the American Friends Service Committee at 617-661-6130.
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