Washington DC Press Conference
Announces Plans for
September 24 Mass March in Washington DC
See below for video, press coverage & photos
Today (Wednesday, June 1), a diverse group of antiwar, civil rights, religious and community leaders held a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC to announce plans for the September 24, 2005, Mass March in Washington DC announced on May 12 by the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition.
Speakers at the press conference included Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, attorney and co-founder, Partnership for Civil Justice; Mahdi Bray, Executive Director, Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation; Rev. Graylan Hagler, Senior Minister, Plymouth Congregational Church; Brian Becker, National Coordinator, A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition; Vanessa Dixon, DC Healthcare Coalition; Macrina Cardenas, Mexico Solidarity Network; Chuck Kaufman, Nicaragua Network; and Sarah Sloan, National Staff Coordinator, A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition. Messages of support were sent from Ramsey Clark, former U.S. attorney general; Michael Berg, father of Nicholas Berg; Ben Dupuy, General Secretary, National Popular Party of Haiti (PPN); and Kathy Boylan, Dorothy Day Catholic Worker in Washington DC.
See below for the Agence France-Presse (AFP) and Associated Press (AP) articles.
From AFP - Agence France-Presse
US anti-war group vows sea
of demonstrators at White House
June 1, 2005
WASHINGTON (AFP) - A US anti-war group vowed to surround the White House in a sea of demonstrators during coordinated protests scheduled to take place in Washington, as well as Los Angeles and San Francisco on September 24.
The ANSWER Coalition expects more than 100,000 people, from families of US soldiers to trade unions and diverse religious groups, to take part in the demonstrations against the war in Iraq.
This "will be the largest anti-war demonstrations to take place since the second election, or selection, of George W. Bush" in November, Brian Becker, ANSWER's national coordinator, said at a news conference.
"This will be representative of a changed mood inside the United States," Becker said. "At this point we believe the majority sentiment in the country not only disapproves to George Bush's handling of the White House but has turned decisively against the war in Iraq."
"We will, on September 24, surround the White House with a sea of anti-war demonstrators," he said.
"And this will be a graphic demonstration ... that the White House is surrounded by opposition all around the country and this opposition grows day in and day out."
The demonstrations will also demand an end to US "threats" against North Korea, Iran, Venezuela and Cuba and an to the "colonial-style occupation in Palestine and in Haiti," the group said.
From the Associated Press
Anti-War Coalition Planning Major Protests
June 1, 2005
By Siobhan McDonough, Associated Press Writer
Anti-war activists upset by the continuing violence in Iraq are planning demonstrations in Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco this fall to urge the administration to bring U.S. troops home.
Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) has seen turnout in its demonstrations wane as the war has dragged on. The group hopes a long lead-up to the Sept. 24 protests will generate more interest.
Brian Becker is national coordinator of the Washington-based coalition, which has more than 500 anti-war groups as members. He said the public is growing weary of the war.
"It seems as if there is no light at the end of the tunnel," he said.
Becker pointed to opinion polls showing growing dissatisfaction with the war and with President Bush. An Associated Press-Ipsos poll released last month had Bush's job approval at 47 percent, with support on areas such as his handling of Iraq, the economy and assorted domestic issues in the low 40s.
The Bush administration has not set a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops, although Vice President Dick Cheney predicted last weekend that fighting in Iraq will end before the Bush administration leaves office in 2009.
Becker wants the troops home much sooner, even at the risk of further destabilizing the Iraqi government.
"I think the Iraqi government will collapse anyway," he said. "Any Iraqi political entity has to be able to stand on its own to have any legitimacy in Iraq."
ANSWER is reaching out to churches, mosques, youth and student organizations and others, providing them with logistical information on the demonstrations. It will hold teach-ins this summer that aim to bring together organizers, religious and academic leaders, and elected officials to discuss U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.
DVDs of the
This approximately 75 minute video can serve as an exciting tool to build for the demonstration, including opening statements by each speaker, a question and answer period, and several one-on-one interviews.
Order the DVD today to show at an organizing meeting, in a classroom, at a house party, or on public access television. To place your order, email firstname.lastname@example.org with "Sept. 24 DVD" as your subject line. Please include your name, address, phone number and the number of DVDs you would like in the message. You can also place your order by calling 202-544-3389.
DVDs are free, though a donation is requested to cover the cost of the reproduction and mailing.
>>> View photographs from the June 1 Press Conference
For details on the September 24 Mass March in Washington DC, and coordinated actions in San Francisco and Los Angeles - including the Call to Action, the demands of the demonstration, an endorsers list and endorsement form, a form to list transportation plans from around the country, downloadable flyers and more >>> click here!
Act Now to Stop War & End Racism
National Office in Washington DC: 202-544-3389
New York City: 212-533-0417
Los Angeles: 323-464-1636
San Francisco: 415-821-6545
For media inquiries, call 202-544-3389.