Demonstrations across the country mark the 9th anniversary of Afghanistan war


Several hundred people rallied and marched in downtown Seattle Saturday Oct. 9  to demand an end to the Afghan war as it entered its tenth year. The protest, organized by a coalition of anti-war groups from the greater Puget Sound area, attracted protesters from up and down the I-5 corridor, from Vancouver BC to Olympia, Washington. The rally at Westlake Park was chaired by Jane Cutter of the ANSWER Coalition. Other speakers included Rev. Rich Lang of Trinity United Methodist Church, Gerry Condon,president of Veterans for Peace #92, Anne Paxton of Voices of Palestine, Janine Solanki of Mobilization Against War and Occupation, and Nate Martin of the homeless encampment Nickelsville.

lead banner, End the War Now!
Oct. 9, Seattle, Wash.
Photo: Andrew Freeman

The march was well received by the many passersby, and some people joined the march. The rally was covered by several local media outlets. Rally organizers dedicated the event to the memory of three fallen heroes of the struggle for peace with justice: Bainbridge Island anti-war activist Jerry George, Roberto Maestas,founder of El Centro de la Raza, and Rev. Lucius Walker of Pastors for Peace. Co-sponsors of today's action included ANSWER, Sound Non-violent Opponents of War, Veterans for Peace #92, Seattle Anti-Imperialist Committee, World Can't Wait and Vietnam Veterans Against the War Anti-Imperialist.

Los Angeles

In Los Angeles on Oct. 6 despite record rainfall over one hundred people, gathered at the Hollywood Recruiting Center to shut it down on the ninth anniversary of the war in Afghanistan. The protest and rally, organized by the ANSWER Coalition, was lead by veterans from March Forward! and students from Youth & Student ANSWER. Protesters chanted “Money for jobs and education—not for war and occupation!” and “Hell no, we won’t go—we won’t die for Texaco!” A contingent of students gathered around the Youth & Student ANSWER flag and members of March Forward! held a banner at the center of the entrance to the recruiting center that read, “Veterans say ‘Resist’. Refuse to fight another rich man’s war!”

Speakers included leaders of ANSWER, March Forward!, Youth & Student ANSWER, Military Families Speak Out, as well as Carlos Alvarez, the Party for Socialism and Liberation’s candidate for Governor in the current California election. Veterans and students vowed to continue the anti-war struggle until all of the troops are brought home and money is spent on education, jobs, housing, healthcare, and other basic needs instead of bombing innocent people seven thousand miles away.

San Francisco
On Oct. 6 about 150 people attended a rally and march initiated by the ANSWER Coalition to mark the ninth anniversary of the war in Afghanistan.

Organizations who participated included the ANSWER Coalition, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, Local 2, Code Pink, West County Toxics Coalition, World Can't Wait, March Forward, the FMLN and the United National Anti-War Coalition.

At a rally at Powell and Market Streets in downtown San Francisco, representatives from the different groups demanded the end to the war and occupation in Afghanistan and stopping all drone strikes in the region. Speakers expressed unity with all workers’ struggles, especially the hotel and restaurant workers of San Francisco who are currently battling the big hotel owners for a fair contract.  

Afterwards, the spirited crowd marched to the Hilton Hotel in solidarity with Local 2. En route, the marchers chanted: "Occupation is a crime—Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine!"; "Money for jobs & education—Not for war & occupation!"; "We're fired up, won't take it no more! Stop the war on the poor!" and "Boycott Hilton!"  

Marchers formed a lively picket line in front of the Hilton Hotel where they urged customers to “Check Out!” At the end of the march and rally, demonstrators promised: “We’ll be back!”

Albuquerque, NM

In Albuquerque on Oct. 7, students, faculty and staff gathered on the campus of the University of New Mexico to denounce cutbacks affecting tuition, admissions and cuts in pay for UNM staff. Members of Students Fight Back of Youth and Student A.N.S.W.E.R. participated, holding signs reading "Education is a Right" and "Fund Schools, Not War."  These signs were greeted with enthusiasm from all the participants and a large turn-out of local media outlets.

New Haven, Ct.

Activists gathered in downtown New Haven at 6pm on the anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. They were protesting the 9 years of illegal US/NATO occupation of that country, as well as over 7 years of occupation in Iraq. Demonstrators demanded that troops be brought home now, that Yale fire Stanley McCrystal and for free and quality education to be accessible to all. Protesters were outraged that Yale had hired former General Stanley McChrystal, who led Special Operation forces in Afghanistan and was responsible for the cover up of Pat Tillman’s death.

Student organizers came to honor Oct. 7 as the National Day to Defend Public Education.
Many Yale students and passers-by joined in and chanted, “We want money for jobs, Not for war”. The protest was organized by ANSWER CT.

New York City

On Thursday, Oct. 7 a rally was held in Times Square to demand an end to the criminal imperialist wars. Approximately 80 people gathered in one of the busiest intersections in the city with signs that read “Money for Jobs and Education, Not War,” and “War is Terrorism only Better Funded.” Several protesters marched around the U.S Army recruiting station blowing whistles.

Juan Perez, a Psychology and English major at the City University of New York, attended the rally. When asked why he attended the demonstration, he replied “I am here today because the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are imperialist wars that only benefit the rich, who sent millions of U.S. soldiers to die for their profits.”  To workers on their way home for the evening and passers-by taking photographs, and many in support of the action, the message was clear: U.S. out of Iraq and Afghanistan, Bring the Troops Home Now!

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