The March 18-20 weekend marked the two-year anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. At least 765 towns and cities, in all 50 states, held antiwar actions. Last week’s PWW reported from a national action in Fayetteville, N.C., and other cities. Here are a few more reports.

Indy unionists meet in capital
Marching, banging homemade drums and chanting slogans, Service Employees International Union Local 73 members from Gary, Ind., along with Steelworkers, joined several hundred people from around the Midwest in an Indianapolis rally demanding an end to the war in Iraq.

The March 20 protest on Monument Circle here was the culmination of a three-day Midwest Peace Summit on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus that included a keynote speech by author Michael Parenti titled “Democracy vs. Empire.”

Texans for peace
In Ft. Worth, Texas, state Rep. Lon Burnam was among the protesters. Burnam has recently sponsored a minimum wage increase and backed a coalition supporting the United Farm Workers within the Texas House. About 100 people took part in the action.

In San Antonio, columnist and Gulf War veteran Susan Ives cited a recent poll indicating that 59 percent of the American public believe the “war is being mismanaged.” Ives said, “They know this is not a war to find weapons of mass destruction or to bring democracy, but to bring empire and domination.”

She urged more domestic spending on social problems such as providing jobs, “so that young men and women don’t have to enlist just to get work, on education so they won’t have to enlist just to go to school, and on health care so they won’t have to enlist just to have medical coverage.”

Many march to recruiting centers
On March 19 in Baltimore, protesters marched for two miles from St. Peter Claver Church to a U.S. Navy recruiting station.

Fred Mason, Maryland AFL-CIO president and a leader of U.S. Labor Against the War, told the crowd, “The Bush administration wants an empire, wants to control the world. We, the people, don’t want to control the world. We just want safe communities in Baltimore.”

Veterans for Peace organizer John Oliver pointed out that St. Peter Claver Church was where the late Rev. Philip Berrigan organized protests against the Vietnam War. The banner carried in the march saying, “They shall beat their swords into plowshares,” was sewn from Berrigan’s clothing.

“Veterans for Peace is going to start counter-recruiting in the schools,” Oliver said, “telling students the other side of ‘Be all you can be.’”

Despite pouring rain, more than 300 people turned out in Tucson, Ariz., March 19 for a march to local military recruiting office. There were also actions in Phoenix, Tempe, Flagstaff, Bisbee and Prescott.

Also on March 19, in New York City, two dozen antiwar groups organized demonstrations at recruitment centers in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx.

By 10 a.m., more than 1,000 demonstrators had gathered in Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem, while about 350 arrived at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, across from the United Nations.

Bound for the Times Square Army Recruitment Center, the marchers carried cardboard coffins to honor the American military personnel killed in Iraq and Iraqi casualties.

Eric Brooks, Margaret Baldridge, Joyce Wheeler, Roberto Botello, Jim Lane and C.F. Niles contributed to these briefs.

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