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News :: International
28 Feb 2005
March and Rally Will Be Largest Held Near Fort Bragg Since Viet Nam War
On March 19, the second anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, military families, veterans, communities, congregations and activists from around the U.S. will march in Fayetteville, North Carolina to voice their opposition to the war in Iraq. Fayetteville is home to Ft. Bragg, one of the largest military bases in the U.S, headquarters of the US Army 82nd Airborne Division and the Special Forces Command (Green Berets), and is adjacent to Pope Air Force Base.

Last year's mobilization, the biggest demonstration in Fayetteville since the Viet Nam War, drew 1500 people to the small central North Carolina city, and gained national media attention. “This year,” said Lou Plummer of Bring Them Home Now! and Fayetteville Peace With Justice, “we’re upping the ante.” The march this year is expected to be one of the largest on the East Coast and will draw participants from across the country. “Already, we have been contacted by grandparents who are driving from Texas with their three grandchildren to help end the war,” said Plummer. “Family members of deployed soldiers are coming from as far away as Vermont, Ohio and Hawaii to be in Fayetteville on the 19th.” Information about the event is posted at

The heavy involvement of veterans and military families makes the Fayetteville march and rally unique among the more than 300 demonstrations that will take place around the country on March 19. Originating sponsors for this year’s march include Bring Them Home Now!, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out, and Veterans for Peace. Other sponsors include Fayetteville Peace With Justice, North Carolina Council of Churches, North Carolina Peace & Justice Coalition, Quaker House, and United for Peace and Justice.

“Organizations of veterans and military families opposed to the war in Iraq continue to grow,” Plummer added. “More than 50 people from our community have been killed in Iraq. Many more than that have been wounded. Nearly one out of five soldiers deployed in Iraq comes from North Carolina, many from Fort Bragg and the Fayetteville area. Our government continues to kill Americans and Iraqis in the name of peace. We’re holding the march here in Fayetteville to show that military families and veterans know what others know: that we are all negatively affected by the war and occupation in Iraq, and by its consequences at home.”

Over the past three years, North Carolina has become home to one of the South’s most vibrant anti-war movements. From the 8,000 person-strong demonstration on the Old State Capitol grounds in Raleigh the month before the invasion of Iraq, to the local constituents who pushed conservative Republican Congressman Howard Coble to announce that he was calling for a return of the troops home, North Carolinians have resisted the war along with tens of millions of people worldwide.

The march and rally on March 19 form the centerpiece of a full weekend of activism in Fayetteville. A press conference on Friday the 18th will feature Lila Lipscomb, a Gold Star Mother seen in Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 911, and Michael Hoffman, co-founder of Iraq Veterans Against the War. In the evening nationally known hip-hop artists Ricanstruction and Little Brother will headline a concert at Fayetteville’s Seabrook Recreation Center. On Sunday March 20 the organizers of the event will meet with others from across the South for a one-day gathering entitled “Organizing in the South: Strengthening Our Communities, Sharpening Our Skills”. The first national meetings of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out and Gold Star Families for Peace are also scheduled for that day in Fayetteville.
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