NEW YORK — “I’m traveling by car from Ohio,” said Janice, a mother of three. “I’m going with a few friends and one of my kids, because we have to stand up to Bush and his friends. I would come even if the demonstration was in Alaska.”

Across the nation, thousands of people mobilized to be in New York City Aug. 29 to march against the policies of the Bush administration. The protest, organized by United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), was expected to draw at least a quarter of a million people from as far away as California. It includes a march past Madison Square Garden the day before the convention begins.

Although the New York City labor movement is focusing on its own mobilization Sept. 1, a number of unions are supporting the UFPJ demonstration as well. Among the list of hundreds of groups that endorsed the Aug. 29 demonstration, called “No to the Bush Agenda,” is American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees District Council 37, the largest public employee union in New York City with over 117,000 members. Also on the list is the Professional Staff Congress (PSC), the union that represents staff and professors at the City University of New York

“Our lives are being eliminated and hurt by the Republican administration, and we have to turn that around for all working people,” said Nancy Romer, a psychology professor at Brooklyn College and Senior College Officer of the PSC.

“He’s coming to New York as a ploy to use 9/11. We want the world to know that he’s not welcome,” she said. “He’s hurt New York, made us less secure, not more secure. We’re the targets. We don’t feel safe with him in office.”

The war and the economy are two major issues that are mobilizing people. “The economy is tanking,” continued Romer, “and more and more people are unemployed; our real incomes are plummeting. The war is a moral outrage. It’s a huge economic drain, killing tens of thousands of people in Iraq, and up to almost 1,000 American soldiers, for no reason. Our grandchildren will be paying for it.”

Community groups and individuals from all over the country have been getting involved. According to UFPJ, buses were coming from as far away as Chicago, Akron, Ohio, and California.

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