On Saturday, in the largest anti-war march since the beginning of the Iraq war, an estimated 300,000 people gathered in Washington, DC. Smaller protests were held in other cities, including Los Angeles, Seattle, London and Rome, with the San Francisco event drawing an estimated 50,000.
The Washington march featured a variety of prominent activists and celebrities. Cindy Sheehan spoke to the crowd, uniting the protestors around the simple theme to “End the War in Iraq and Bring the Troops Home Now.” Leaders marching on the front line included Congresswomen Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) and Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Actor/activist Tyne Daly, labor and feminist activist Dolores Huerta, actor/activist Harry Belafonte, Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal, Melody Drnach of the National Organization for Women, Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans of CodePink, NAACP Board Chair Julian Bond, Susan Shaer of Women’s Actions for a New Direction (WAND) and United for Peace and Justice, and populist writer/activist Jim Hightower. A large women’s contingent was led by CodePink, the National Organization for Women, WAND, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, the Feminist Majority, and other women’s organizations.
The signs carried by anti-war marchers showed the great energy of the march, including, “Make Levees, Not War,” “Bush—Worst President Ever,” “College, not Combat,” “Books, not Bombs,” “Another Feminist for Peace,” “When Bush Lies, People Die,” and more.
The march coincided with many events in Washington, DC this past weekend, including WAND’s national conference on women’s leadership, the annual awards brunch and biennial convention of the National Congress of Black Women, and the Green Festival, a massive environmental and social justice conference. Ms. magazine was a media partner of the Green Festival, which featured many leaders involved in the march, including Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans of CodePink, Dolores Huerta, Cindy Sheehan, and Eleanor Smeal.