Peace protests nationwide... tens to hundreds of thousands participate
Bloggers on the scene in D.C., like Timroff (Kos diarist) report a crowd that is an order of magnitude above what the Mainstream Media reports.
The D.C. police apparently no longer provide official crowd estimates of events like this march.
On the opposite coast, peace-related events continue into this evening, and one busy Congressman and presidential candidate intends to participate in events in both places, no doubt overflying dozens of similar, smaller protests in places in between. The media already reports protests simultaneously occurred in places like Austin, TX, Champaign/Urbana, IL, and here in Minnesota.
Today's going to be a very long day for Dennis Kucinich.
The Ohio congressman, Democratic presidential candidate and firebrand liberal hero will speak at a midday anti-war rally in Washington, D.C., then will hop a transcontinental flight so he can speak at 7 p.m. in the First Unitarian Universalist Church at 1187 Franklin St. in San Francisco.
"It's like a second home — I'm just really excited about coming out there," he said Friday of the Bay Area. "We're going to organize the entire Bay Area for peace and for a new direction, not just in Iraq but for policies which take us away from war.
"This isn't about just challenging the war in Iraq," he added. "It's about challenging the idea that war is a legitimate instrument of policy. With the president ramping up for a war against Iran, it just becomes so urgent that in the city of St. Francis, we all become channels of peace."
He also took a dig at some of his fellow congressional Democrats and presidential contenders, insisting "it's not credible for anyone to say that they oppose the war and continue to fund it."
On his campaign Web site, kucinich.us, he outlines a
12-point Iraq strategy that includes withdrawing all U.S. troops and contractors; convening a regional conference to develop a security and stabilization force; staring an Iraqi national reconciliation program; and having the U.S. and Great Britain pay reparations to Iraqis for loss of lives and property.The fomer Cleveland mayor, first elected to Congress in 1997, sought the Democrats' presidential nomination in 2004, staking out the contenders' left edge and giving a fiery speech at the party's national convention in Boston.
Since 2001, Kucinich, 60, has repeatedly introduced legislation to create a federal cabinet-level Department of Peace and Nonviolence to promote peace, justice, human rights and democratic principles worldwide while also addressing domestic violence, gangs, child abuse, hate crimes and other domestic issues.
And, he said Friday he was utterly disappointed with President Bush's State of the Union address on Tuesday.
: "The state of the union could be summed up in this way — our country is dedicated to war instead of being devoted to health care, the education of our children, the retirement security of our seniors, the job security of our workers."
Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, will introduce Kucinich at the San Francisco event; also speaking will be Carolyn Ho, the mother of U.S. Army Lt. Ehren Watada, the first military officer to be court-martialed for refusing to deploy to Iraq. A $5-to-$10 sliding-scale donation is requested at the door, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.
I attended an event here in Minnesota that I will write about at length in the next few days.