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News :: International
Bring the troops home now!; Hundreds from the Northeast participate in Sept. 24 anti-war actions
24 Sep 2005
Modified: 02:20:02 PM
Dozens of buses, vans and car pools from across the Northeastern United States traveled to Washington D.C. for the massive Sept. 24 march and rally where a reported 100,000 people demanded: “Money for people’s needs not the war machine: Bring the troops home now.”
TroopsO-NbNT.jpg
‘Bring the troops home now!’
Hundreds from the Northeast participate in Sept. 24 anti-war actions

By Bryan G. Pfeifer

Dozens of buses, vans and car pools from across the Northeastern United States traveled to Washington D.C. for the massive Sept. 24 march and rally where a reported 100,000 people demanded: “Money for people’s needs not the war machine: Bring the troops home now.”

Other demands included ending the U.S.’ colonial occupations of Haiti and Palestine, stopping the anti-immigrant and anti-labor offensive domestically, and ending military recruitment in schools and communities.

The D.C. action was co-sponsored by International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) and United for Peace and Justice and endorsed by thousands of individuals and organizations across North America (www.internationalanswer.org) (www.unitedforpeace.org).

Demonstrations also took place in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and over 200 U.S. cities.
International protests were held in Paris, Rome, Madrid, Oslo and many other cities. In London thousands came out, many brandishing the popular placard “Bush: World No. 1 Terrorist.”

Anti-war sentiment widespread

Over one thousand people, many low-wager earners, from the Northeast traveled between 8-18 hours one way to make their voices heard. They included elders, immigrants, organized and unorganized workers, parents, and students.

Sixty-seven percent of those questioned in a USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll conducted Sept. 16-18 said they disapproved of George W. Bush's handling of the war, the most since the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

“It’s been unbelievable the response,” said Catherine Donaghy of the Western Massachusetts International Action Center/Troops Out Now Coalition, a member of the ad-hoc “Western Mass Sept. 24 Mobilization committee.” This all-volunteer committee organized four buses with over 200 people in just a few weeks with minimal financial resources.

The WMass committee members, like many similar ones across the country, represented a wide array of anti-war, student, labor and community organizations including the American Friends Service Committee, Arise for Social Justice, the International Socialist Organization, North Quabbin Women in Black, Northampton Committee to Stop the War, Progressive Democrats of America, Students Against War at UMass-Amherst, Traprock Peace Center, SAGE and many individuals from area colleges and universities as well as surrounding communities.

September 24 organizers were often scrambling to accommodate all those who wanted to travel to D.C.

“We’ve been overwhelmed with hundreds of people calling and emailing who wanted to go to D.C. to express their outrage against the occupation of Iraq as well as the government’s criminal, racist negligence in New Orleans and the Delta region in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina,” said Donaghy.

The Boston International Action Center/Troops Out Now coalition organized two buses and, like the Western Mass committee, helped many more secure transportation to D.C. through ride boards on the United for Peace & Justice website and other means (www.iacboston.org).

“Many were desperate to get on the bus. There’s so many people who have said ‘this is my first time going’,” said Carole of Central Vermont Peace & Justice. Vermont departure points included Berlin, Brattleboro, Burlington, Middlebury, Montpelier, Rutland, Springfield and White River Junction. A mass rally at the Montpelier City Hall and march to the statehouse also took place Sept. 24.

In Albany, New York four buses organized by the ad-hoc Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace traveled to D.C.

The Rhode Island Community Coalition for Peace organized transportation.

New Hampshire Peace Action organized at least two buses that picked people up in Concord, Keene, Manchester, Nashua, Peterborough, Portsmouth, Windham and other cities. Sept. 24 anti-war actions also took place in Nashua, Northwood and elsewhere (www.nhpeaceaction.org).

The Connecticut Coalition for Peace & Justice organized buses leaving from Cromwell, Hartford, New Haven and Stamford.

In Maine the Bowdoin Students for Peace and the Midcoast Peace and Justice group organized two buses. The weekend of Sept. 24-26 groups like Bridges for Peace and the Freedom Rousers held silent vigils and demonstrations across Maine to oppose the war (www.peaceactionme.org).

Donaghy said a confluence of factors over the past few weeks including Cindy Sheehan galvanizing the anti-war movement, Hurricane Katrina, and a depressed economy have been sparks for the resurgence of the anti-war movement best represented by the widespread support for the Sept. 24 actions.

She said increasing numbers of people are moving beyond words of protest to various forms of escalating civil disobedience and direct action to shut the war down. One of these major upcoming actions is a Dec. 1 “Nationwide strike against poverty, war and racism” with continued protests and teach-ins Dec. 2-3 as well as a mass march on Wall Street during this time (www.troopsoutnow.org).

“People are already excited about the Dec. 1-3 actions and are mobilizing for this sure-to-be historic event,” concluded Donaghy.

-- 30 --

Union labor donated
See also:
http://www.iacboston.org
http://www.troopsoutnow.org

This work is in the public domain
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Re: Bring the troops home now!; Hundreds from the Northeast participate in Sept. 24 anti-war actions
24 Sep 2005
Once in a while the vanguardists at the Workers World Party (parent organization of the IAC) unwittingly give away how they operate. The above article is a good example of WWP/iAC/ANSWER's dishonesty. This article was obviously written before the protests and states in the first sentence that 100,000 people attended. The protests are happening at this minute, so there is now way of telling how many protesters are in DC (probably many fewer than 100k).

ANSWER and the IAC have a history of lying about protest turnout, which is something that many activists are annoyed about. ANSWER always proclaims some outrageous number in advance and the turnout always matches that number, despite evidence to the contrary.

Real activists should speak up and make ANSWER and the IAC more accountable about their dishonesty. It's also time that the leadership of ANSWER and the IAC step down and allow some democracy in the movement.
Re: Bring the troops home now!; Hundreds from the Northeast participate in Sept. 24 anti-war actions
24 Sep 2005
Interesting. I've definitely noticed that IAC/WWP/ANSWER/Troops Out Now seems to overestimate crowd numbers, and the timing you picked up on here is telling. I've heard that they're now saying 250,000 (Saturday afternoon). I wish that we could know if that's an exaggeration or not. I don't really trust ANSWER to be truthful about it, but it's also possible and a reliable source would be nice.

Also notice that while they mention that ANSWER and UPJ were the organizers of the rally, the description of who went from Boston simply says that

> The Boston International Action Center/Troops
> Out Now coalition organized two buses and,
> like the Western Mass committee, helped many
> more secure transportation to D.C. through
> ride boards on the United for Peace & Justice
> website and other means (www.iacboston.org).

In truth, many local organizations organized buses, including college student groups, United for Justice with Peace and its specific affiliates like Dorchester People for Peace, and others. ANSWER/IAC did work too, but if only they could recognize others' work...
Re: Bring the troops home now!; Hundreds from the Northeast participate in Sept. 24 anti-war actions
24 Sep 2005
Anarcho, perhaps you should start reading press accounts that are all over the web right now, many of which including even the corporate Washington Post, claim in fact at least 100,000 attended the protests in D.C. today.

In regard to your facile comments regarding "WWP/IAC/ANSWER" perhaps you should maybe read a dictionary or ask a "real activist" to ascertain the defination of a party, an alliance, a coalition, an ad-hoc committee etc.

Furthermore, your attacks are quite ahistoric and wrong considering the amazing lengths all of these organizations you attack have gone to to build principled unity and solidarity in the anti-war movement, especially on an anti-racist and internationalist basis,

I'm confused as to your comments. It seems either you are a state agent or once again doing the state's dirty work for free. If you are in fact a "real" anti-war or progressive activist perhaps you could really join the movement by actually doing something to build it instead of issuing streams of unfounded, slanderous ad-hominem attacks against all-volunteer organizations that, despite great odds, actually do the hard, grueling work day in and day out to save the world from total madness.

As far as I see it, after extensive research, without these organizations you slander there would be little "democracy in the movement" to speak of and a serious anti-war movement.
Re: Bring the troops home now!; Hundreds from the Northeast participate in Sept. 24 anti-war actions
24 Sep 2005
Get it correct, reach anarcho's post again. He wrote that the protestswere happening as he wrote, and that the article had been posted earlier. I'd also suspect that Mr. Pfeiffer wrote it beforehand. And as for being "ahistorical," there are MANY examples from recent rallies where the IAC and ANSWER have inflated numbers, harming the movement's credibility. It's great that the Post and others are now reporting that there were 100,000, but earlier in the day, that was simply not being reported! And before the protests started, it couldn't have been known.

As for your suggestions about reading a dictionary or talking with a "real activist," do you deny that ANSWER and Troops out now is a paper coalition? Would you disagree with the fact that in Boston, the IAC, Worker's World, ANSWER, the Troops Out Now Coalition, and others all operate out of the same office with the same people in charge? You can use whatever terminology you wish, but the facts speak for themselves...
Anarcho isn't an anarchist.
24 Sep 2005
Anarcho is some troll posing as an anarchist, probably a member of the Dedham Police Department.
Re: Bring the troops home now!; Hundreds from the Northeast participate in Sept. 24 anti-war actions
24 Sep 2005
Actually, I'm an anarchist and have been one for over 20 years. I've been to many protests in Washington, DC including huge ones like the Promise Keepers Rally and the Million Man March. Those events had at least 700,000 people, according to police estimates and later studies of the turnout. Both of those rallies extended from the Capitol to the Washington Monument and to the Ellipse. I've seen the aerial pictures of today's protests and there is now way that there were 100,000 people at the protests.

As I pointed out above, ANSWER has a long track record of lying about attendance figures at their protests. The above article was written BEFORE the protests and includes the number of 100,000.

I read the Washington Post articles and other accounts. They take the protester numbers at face value because the police don't provide estimates. Look at the photos of the protest. Will all of those people fit into the football stadium at Michigan which holds 100k? Do these protest organizers really know what 100,000 people look like or are they just smoking weed?

Like most veteran activists, I know all too well how ANSWER and UFPJ operate. They have divided activists, disempowered thousands and haven't done zilch to stop the war.

If the UFPJ and ANSWER organizers were participants on Survivor: Antiwar Movement, they would have been voted off the island in the first round.

Pathetic. We can do much better than this.
Re: Bring the troops home now!; Hundreds from the Northeast participate in Sept. 24 anti-war actions
25 Sep 2005
" I've been to many protests in Washington, DC including huge ones like the Promise Keepers Rally "

bwaaaah hah ha hah. and what on earth were you doing there, as an anarchist? pledging to strengthen your responsible ownership of the women in your life?

Anyway, as to the main stuff you people are talking about. I'm an anarchist and a commie. I didn't go to the marches (what exactly is the point of marching when everybody knows what's going on and more than half of the population wants to 'accelerate our withdrawal'?) We had quotes like: "Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey, noting that organizers had hoped to draw 100,000 people, said, "I think they probably hit that."" That, by the way, is from CNN. My rule of thumb, based on mass mobilizations in the past, has been to multiply police / national mainstream media reports by 1.5 - 2.5. That'd make that particular detail of this IAC story pretty fairly accurate.

There are much better reasons to be skeptical of Leninist inolvement in your movement than the chance that they're fudging figures in their propaganda.
For more great photos...
25 Sep 2005
check out the Big Muddy IMC, www.bigmuddyimc.org
How do people define Anarchy
25 Sep 2005
An organized group of anarchists marching around the streets together doesnt sound like anarchy. for what its worth i support whatever it takes to end the illiegal american occupation of islamic lands in the mid east
Re: Bring the troops home now!; Hundreds from the Northeast participate in Sept. 24 anti-war actions
25 Sep 2005
(side note to previous poster: the "anarchy" anarchists are after isn't the widely used "chaos" definition... for a good Frequently Asked Questions check out: http://www.infoshop.org/faq/ )
Re: Bring the troops home now!; Hundreds from the Northeast participate in Sept. 24 anti-war actions
25 Sep 2005
"bwaaaah hah ha hah. and what on earth were you doing there, as an anarchist? pledging to strengthen your responsible ownership of the women in your life?"

It's called researching the opposition.
Anarcho is not an anarchist.
25 Sep 2005
The more he writes, the clearer the picture gets. I smell bacon.
Re: Bring the troops home now!; Hundreds from the Northeast participate in Sept. 24 anti-war actions
26 Sep 2005
hi all,
i agree with anarcho that the above article is mighty fishy, and that answer and ufpj are exceedingly democratic and that we need to expose this. that said, i was there and there WERE far more than 100,000 people there, i think that 200,000 probably attended, while that's not as big as the march for reproductive rights which occurred last april (1.5 million, the largest EVER on washington) its nothing to snear at.
whats really a shame is that only these undemocratic groups like answer and ufpj have the resources to pull something like this off.
all in all i'd say it was good.