As demonstrations took place across the country to mark the eighth anniversary of the "shock and awe" invasion of Iraq, bombs and missiles began raining down on the people of Libya. The ANSWER Coalition immediately put out a call for protests to take place across the country to demand "Stop the bombing of Libya." Boston was among the many cities that mobilized for the emergency actions.
Local anti-war activists and students gathered at Boston's Park St. Station in the heart of downtown on March 26 for a speak-out and protest against the U.S.-led war and bombing of Libya. Demonstrators held signs reading "No U.S./U.N. War on Libya" and "Money for jobs and schools, not war on Libya!" Popular chants included "Libya is under attack—What do we do? Stand up, Fight Back!"
ANSWER organizers handed out hundreds of leaflets and collected signatures on a petition calling for an end to the bombing of Libya. Many people passing by stopped to talk to organizers and some picked up a sign and joined the protest in support.
Chris Gonsalves, an organizer with ANSWER Boston who chaired the rally, said: "The same U.S. government and military that is now bombing Libya for so-called ’humanitarian‘ reasons has waged criminal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, continued to bomb villages in Pakistan and is actively supporting the violent repression of peaceful protesters in Bahrain and Yemen. The U.S. war in Iraq has led to one in three Iraqis being killed, wounded or displaced from their homes. The U.S. government is not capable of ‘humanitarian intervention’–this is a war for profit and is being waged in the interests of the super rich.”
High school student organizers Pedro Montanez and Sackona Fitts with El Movimiento drew the important connection between the cost of U.S. wars and the budget cuts in the public school system. Lynn Meza with Chelsea Uniting Against the War (Chelsea Uniéndose En Contra de la Guerra) noted that each of the hundreds of cruise missiles being dropped on Libya costs $1 million each, and yet we are told there is no money for jobs and schools. Other speakers included Sergio Reyes of the Boston May Day Committee, Susan McLucas of the Committee for Peace and Human Rights, and Frank Neisser with the International Action Center.
Several local media outlets were present to cover the action, including the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, New England Cable Network (NECN), local NBC affiliate WHDH Channel 7 and Emerson College.
Demonstrations alos took place in other cities and towns nationwide, including Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles and San Francisco, California; New Haven, Connecticut; Naples, Florida; Chicago, Illinois; Baltimore, Maryland; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Albuquerque, New Mexico; New York City, New York; Cleveland, Ohio; Greenville and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina; Austin, Texas; Seattle, Washington; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin; as well as internationally, including in El Salvador and Canada.
Please make an urgently needed donation to help ANSWER Boston cover the costs of the "Stop Bombing Libya" demonstration, including posters, flyers and placards, and so that we may continue to organize anti-war actions in Boston.