Seattle Report from March 18

Report from March 18: 2,000 Protest in Seattle

More than 2,000 protestors marched and rallied at the Henry Jackson Federal Building in Seattle on Saturday, March 18 to protest the 3rd Anniversary of the US Invasion of Iraq. The action was sponsored by ANSWER.

The rally featured a diverse group of speakers representing different communities. Mike Hastie, a former Army medic and Vietnam War veteran. spoke first hand of the horrors of war and the impact on civilians.

Eman Khammas, an Iraqi journalist, human rights and women's rights activist, thanked the demonstrators for their efforts to end the US occupation of Iraq. She decried the brutal bombing of her country by the US and described the impact of human rights abuses by the US on the lives of everyday Iraqi people.

Celso Tolman, a member of International Longshoreman and Wharehouseman's Union and the Alliance for a Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines, roused the crowd with his denunciation of human rights abuses by the US supported Arroyo regime in the Philippines.

Jane Cutter of ANSWER Seattle co-mc'ed the rally with Angelica Amesqita, a 10th grader from West Seattle High School and member of Youth Against War and Racism. Cutter also spoke on behalf of ANSWER, "Iraq is not an isolated "bad policy." Right now The U.S. is actively attempting to destroy every government or peoples movement that resists the Empire: Iraq, Palestine, Haiti, Venezuela, Cuba, the Philippines. the resistance of our brothers and sisters in these countries reflects the universal aspiration to live free from foreign domination. "

Other speakers included Rev. Tim Philipps of the University Baptist Church, Rev. Gwen Hall of Sojourner Truth Ministries, Jeff Siddiqi of American Muslims of the Puget Sound, Jorge Torres of the College Not Combat initiative. Music was provided by folksinger Jim Page and the Seattle Peace Chorus.

The march through downtown Seattle was warmly recieved by people in the  shopping district.

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