Today two great issues — immigrant rights and ending the U.S. war and occupation in Iraq — are intertwined with every other issue the people of our country face.

The tremendous upsurge for immigrant rights, with over 2 million filling the streets this week, is showing the power of “street heat” as a form of struggle.

The April 29 March for Peace, Justice and Democracy is a chance to apply that power to the fight to end the war in Iraq and to bring the troops home now. On that day, many thousands from around the country will gather in New York City to demand an end to never-ending oil wars, protection of civil liberties and immigrant rights, rebuilding of our communities starting with the Gulf Coast, and urgent action to save the environment.

These demands show how the war holds back every effort to uphold democracy and build a better life for the vast majority of people of our country. They reflect the unprecedented breadth of the march’s initiators, including the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, National Organization for Women, Friends of the Earth, Climate Crisis Coalition and People’s Hurricane Relief Fund, U.S. Labor Against the War as well as United for Peace and Justice and other antiwar organizations.

The April 29 march comes at a time when attitudes in Congress are in flux. The most recent illustration is Sen. John Kerry’s call to set the end of this year for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.

The results of street heat, together with other forms of struggle, can be seen in the derailing of the far-right’s drive to speed draconian anti-immigrant legislation through Congress. While this battle is far from over, the continuing demonstrations help to prepare the legislative and electoral struggles to come.

This week, too, French workers and students have demonstrated the power of street heat to win elimination of a hated labor law letting employers fire new young workers at will.

The bigger the outpouring on April 29, the more the message will reverberate all the way to Congress and the White House.

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