Fifth Estate Collective

Anti-War Momentum Builds

In the face of a seemingly inevitable campaign driven by the capitalists and their warmongering politicians, anti-war sentiment around the globe continues to grow. As resistance diversifies and broadens in political scope, fresh faces appear in the streets, voicing a firm rejection of the rulers’ policies.

In late September, some half million persons converged in London to oppose the push for war with Iraq. In Florence, Italy, one million people took to the streets against the war and corporate globalization during the European Social Forum.

On October 6, the first anniversary of the bombing of Afghanistan, Not In Our Name organized nationwide protests against the “war on the world,” political detentions, and civil liberties restrictions. The actions across the US marked the growing breadth and depth of opposition to war in Iraq. Demonstrations were seen in communities large and small, ranging from tens of thousands of persons in Central Park, NYC, to one hundred people rallying in Sandpoint, Idaho.

In a preemptive strike for peace, hundreds of thousands marched throughout the world on October 26 to protest George Bush’s ill-conceived war against the people of Iraq. Almost two hundred thousand marched and surrounded the White House in Washington, DC (Bush refused to surrender), while on the opposite coast in San Francisco 80,000 marched in the streets. Also in San Francisco, a breakaway contingent of 500+ anti-capitalists laid siege to the local Armed Forces recruiting station. In St. Paul, Minnesota, over 10,000 people protested against a possible war. More than 600 rallied in Nashville, TN. In Portland, OR, where hundreds marched, several dozen protesters entered a downtown mall and chanted “While you’re shopping, bombs are dropping”. At a military recruiting station, the literature was rearranged, and some military posters were redecorated with anti-war messages. 2500 plus marched to the house of Secretary of War Donald “Aspartame” Rumsfeld’s in Taos, NM.

Other protests, rallies and marches occurred in dozens of US cities. In Europe, demonstrations were held in Berlin, as well as Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Belgium, Barcelona, Zaragoza, Sevilla and several cities in Italy. In Baghdad, a handful of Americans from the Iraq Peace Team (IPT), a project of the Chicago-based anti-sanctions movement Voices in the Wilderness demonstrated outside the main United Nations compound.

On November 12, 50 women spelled out the word “Peace” in Marin County, CA with their naked bodies, hoping to draw attention to the threat of war in Iraq.


Fifth Estate #359, Winter, 2002–2003