Continuing the coverage from last week, here are more reports from Feb. 15 and other peace actions throughout the U.S.

SOUTH BEND, Ind.: Civil rights activist leads peace march

The Rev. C.T. Vivian, a prominent leader in the civil rights movement, led hundreds on a march through South Bend, Feb. 15, to protest a war with Iraq. “All over the world people are saying we’re tired of war,” Vivian said.

Vivian drew on his experiences in the civil rights movement to draw parallels between the fight against racism and the nonviolent fight for peace.

“This war is not about Hussein. This war is about oil, power and globalization,” he said.

DETROIT, Mich.: 5,000 say peace and solidarity forever

As many as 5,000 Detroiters braved zero degree weather to demand no war on Iraq, Feb. 15, in the largest antiwar march many here had seen since the 1960s.

A short rally before the march included former congressional representative David Bonior, Rev. Ed Rowe of Central United Methodist, and a message from Bishop Ed Gumbleton.

United Auto Workers Executive Vice President Elizabeth Bunn quoted Abraham Lincoln: “it is a sin to sit silent when it is your duty to protest.” She said “there are no sinners here today.” She told the post-march crowd in Cobo Hall that the war was “a war being waged against the will of the American people.” Iraq “is no threat against our country,” she said concluding that “this drumbeat to war must end and it is our duty and our responsibility to end it. Peace and solidarity forever.”

CLEVELAND, Ohio: 1,200 protest against war

Twelve hundred people, from all walks of life, gathered for a militant march and rally against a war on Iraq, Feb. 15. Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) drew a standing ovation when he called the audience the “most patriotic of Americans,” and urged them to continue to oppose the war and to pressure Ohio Senators Voinovich and DeWine.

Cleveland City Councilman Jay Westbrook told the audience he had just returned from Washington, D.C. where he and others attempted to deliver anti-war resolutions from 90 cities to Pres. Bush. He said, our voice is moving the “middle ground” in Congress. Westbrook urged the audience to pass similar anti-war resolutions in surrounding suburbs.

Executive Secretary of the Cleveland AFL-CIO John Ryan said the Bush administration is trying to confuse people by linking the war on Iraq to what happened on Sept. 11. This war, he said, has nothing to do with Sept. 11 or with the war on terrorism. If we go to war, he warned, it will not be a short war neither in terms of dollars nor loss of lives.

PHILADELPHIA, Pa.: 10,000 in the streets

Over 10,000 marched Feb. 15 against a U.S. war in Iraq. Thousands came from the surrounding suburbs and included many high school and college students. Frank Holmes, a retired Phila. firefighter, said “It’s time to deal with the schools and the problems we have right here, not policing the world.”

Andre Johnson, an unemployed worker said Bush has ulterior motives – power and oil money. Isaac Segal, a communications union member, supports getting rid of Saddam Hussein but only with the UN. David Cohen, a Temple University student worries about his brother in the Navy. Mark and Wendy Wiegand called themselves wealthy, yuppies and said, “We boarded the bus at the West Goshen Shopping Center. We want to show Bush that it’s not just the radicals who are here.” Creative, homemade signs could be seen everywhere, like, “Peace Is Patriotic” and “Duct Tape Bush.”

PHILADELPHIA, Pa.: Unions host Town Meeting

An enthusiastic and standing-room-only crowd packed the 1199C union hall, Feb. 8, for a Town Meeting on “The Iraq War Versus Human Priorities” called by Human Rights Activists Against War in Iraq, a group of trade unionists and community leaders. Thomas Paine Cronin, president of AFSCME District Council 47 welcomed the crowd and introduced Minister Rodney Muhammad, who moderated the program. Panelists and commentators included Pat Eiding, President, AFL-CIO Central Labor Council, Vicky Milhouse, Co-President, United Child Care Union, congressional, state and city elected officials.

Speaker after speaker criticized the Bush administration for ignoring human needs and attacking civil liberties, while preparing to go to war for its own oil interests. Milhouse said that she sees a war right here when her members can’t go to the doctor because they don’t have health care. City Councilman Angel Ortiz called the Patriot Act the most subversive act ever. “We have a political climate of fear,” he said.

Milwaukee, Wisc.: Labor, community say no war

A spirited throng of patriots here took part in the Feb. 15 anti-war mobilization. Crowd estimates varied from one thousand to over three thousand, making it the largest antiwar demonstration in decades. The protest combined a march, music, poetry and speakers including Secretary-Treasurer John Goldsmith of the Milwaukee County Labor Council, decorated combat veteran John Gilman, and the Milwaukee Islamic Center’s Othman Atta. George Martin of Peace Action noted statements of support from a variety of political leaders, but singled out Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.) as an opponent.

Terrie Albano, Gary Grass, Rosita Johnson and Denise Winebrenner Edwards contributed to this round-up.

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