Bush confronted by antiwar protesters in New London, CT
as Congress votes to continue the war
Congratulations to everyone in cities and towns throughout Connecticut, New England and the Mid-Atlantic who mobilized for the May 23 Protest Bush Rally in New London, Connecticut. Together, we made it an incredible success! Without your help it could not have been done.
As the New Haven Register and many other news outlets reported, 1,000 antiwar demonstrators gathered at the main gate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy to protest the visit of George W. Bush and demand an immediate end to the U.S. war in Iraq. CBS television news reported that the antiwar rally was the largest demonstration in New London, CT in over twenty years.
People came by van and car caravan from Hartford, New Haven, New York City, Willimantic, Mystic, Boston, Cape Cod, Westerly, RI, New Paltz, NY, Portland, ME, and many other cities and towns.
The large turnout of the demonstration was particularly impressive given the fact that the demonstration happened at 9:00 am on a weekday.
It was initiated by the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition. A wide array of social justice and veterans organizations co-sponsored and mobilized. The rally was co-chaired by Eugene Puryear, Coordinator of Youth & Student A.N.S.W.E.R. and student at Howard University, and Tahnee Stair, Coordinator of A.N.S.W.E.R. - Connecticut.
Veterans and families speak out
The event was noteworthy for the involvement of many veterans, families of soldiers and marines, and active duty military personnel who came to speak out. Speakers included Carlos and Melida Arredondo, whose son Alex was killed in Iraq in 2004; Elliot Adams, President of Veterans for Peace; Ted Goodnight, an Afghanistan War Veteran who served from 2003 to 2004; and Priscilla Lounds, Army veteran and New London activist with the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition.
Students and faculty attended from Connecticut College, University of Connecticut, Central Connecticut State University, Eastern CSU, Western CSU, Southern CSU, Wesleyan University, Yale University, Northern Virginia Community College, Columbia University, Howard University and elsewhere. A contingent of high school students from The Williams School, located across the street from the USCGA, also attended.
In the weeks and days leading up to the demonstration, on the day of and afterward, the demonstration was covered by a many media outlets, including The New Haven Register, The New London Day, The Hartford Courant, The Norwich Bulletin, The Pacifica Network, NPR, The Connecticut Post, New England CBS and ABC television news broadcasts, and more.
The Protest Bush Rally at the USCGA was part of a nationwide campaign initiated by the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition called "Turn up the Heat in 2007." Antiwar activists and organizers around the country are joining together to guarantee that wherever and whenever Bush, Cheney, and other government officials and members of Congress step out in public they will be met by antiwar protestors.
Next stop: West Point - Turn up the Heat
On Saturday, May 26, there will be another demonstration at West Point, New York where Dick Cheney will be the keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony. Activists are assembling at Veteran's Park in nearby Highland falls at 8:30 a.m. for a march to the Thayer Gate into West Point. The protest is sponsored by the ad hoc West Point May 26 Organizing Committee, a coalition of 47 regional and national antiwar organizations.
The Two Parties of Militarism, War and Occupation
The Turn up the Heat in 2007 campaign comes at a critical time. The day after his speech at the Coast Guard Academy - at which he labeled the occupation of Iraq as a cornerstone in the so-called "war on terrorism" - Congress again embraced Bush's war.
By an overwhelming margin, the Senate and the House of Representatives voted to give Bush another nearly $95 billion to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Democratic Party leadership agreed to remove the non-binding language for a troop withdrawal timeline that had been included in an earlier bill that Bush vetoed. Seventy-five percent of the people in this country want a troop withdrawal and yet the Senate voted 80 -14 and the House voted 280-142 to give Bush the funds and authority to continue the aggression in Iraq.
Please make an urgently needed donation today
The power to end the war is in the people but we must step up the pressure from every direction. We can’t do this without your help. If you can help by making a financial contribution, click this link to make a tax-deductible donation or learn how to send a check.
Coverage from the New Haven Register