MINNESOTA: “Impeach Bush” and “Make levees not war” on banners, signs and flags sent the antiwar message swirling as 4,200 marchers made their way through downtown Minneapolis. High school student David Langree said he decided to march for the first time because of the Bush administration’s secrecy and lies. In the state’s Iron Range, an antiwar vigil made the front page of the Hibbing Daily Tribune.

PENNSYLVANIA: In Pittsburgh, as 2,000 lined up behind Veterans for Peace banners, hundreds of neighborhood residents stood on their porches flashing peace signs, holding up “Impeach Bush” posters and fists of solidarity. On their way to a military recruitment center, marchers passed several nursing homes where residents in wheelchairs braved a biting breeze to offer support for ending the war.

In the conservative heart of the state, 680 Lancaster residents, including 100 high school students, marched to a town hall meeting on the war. Afterward they held a candlelight vigil on the courthouse steps.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.: Despite blustering winds, 1,500 marched through downtown, headed by a platoon of peace bicyclists and followed by mock coffins memorializing the war’s dead and wounded. They stopped at the offices of GOP Rep. Heather Wilson to demand an end to the war, then continued to Robinson Park for a spirited rally.

Strong winds kept many organizations from putting up tables. A table that did manage to stay up was that of the New Mexico Communist Party, whose display was well received.

TAMPA, Fla.: More than 300 rallied in downtown “Cigar City.” Among the speakers was Norma Tamayo-Aviles, mother of Marine Lance Cpl. Andrew J. Aviles. Her voice breaking, she shared her last communications with her son, who was just 17 days shy of his 19th birthday when he was killed in Baghdad on April 7, 2003.

BOISE, Idaho: Five hundred people formed a human chain for peace between the offices of Idaho’s two congressmen and the Statehouse. “Uncle Sam” handed $743 million down the line and the last person in the “buck brigade” dumped the mountain of money into an “Iraq” trash can.

ARIZONA: Jobs with Justice, a labor coalition and the Green Party led 400 Tucsonians to a military recruiting center where speakers denounced Bush’s war policy. Cheers rose when representatives for congressional candidates Jeff Latas and Patty Weiss called for immediate removal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

In Phoenix, hundreds protested outside the offices of Republican Senators Jon Kyl and John McCain. Behind Veterans for Peace banners, the group marched to a military recruitment depot where they read the names of Arizonans who have died in Iraq.

HARTFORD, Conn.: For the first time in this state’s history, unions endorsed and mobilized for a demonstration to end the Iraq war, and 1,500 gathered at the Old State House, across the street from Sen. Joseph Lieberman’s office.

Juan Hernandez of SEIU Local 32 BJ spoke for the unions, saying, “Since Sept. 11, working people have gotten poorer and Halliburton has gotten richer.” State AFL-CIO President John Olson joined Rabbi Donna Berman at the podium.

RENO, Nev.: Chants and shouts from an estimated 400 peace marchers were a reversal from the confrontation three years ago when 200 pro-war demonstrators overwhelmed a small group protesting the start of the Iraq war. “The public reaction to us was all positive,” said rally organizer John Hadder. “People know something is wrong in Iraq. If their opinion hasn’t changed, they’re thinking about it.” A Republican who switched parties over Iraq, Marilyn Melton, told the crowd, “The Iraq war is not noble. It’s a war of smoke and mirrors. The fear of terror is not a justification for war. We must continue marching until this war is over.” Nearly every Nevada National Guard unit has been overseas since Sept. 11, with 32 killed.

BROOKLYN, N.Y.: A local peace group heard from neighborhood Iraq veterans. Harold Noel volunteered for the military to put food on the table and spent three years in Iraq. His family is currently living in their car. Nicole Goodwin said she considered re-enlisting because “sleeping on a rock in Iraq was better than my return to New York.” Job Mashariki of Black Voices for Social Justice commented, “Folks are spending billions to go into other countries, but vets coming home can’t even get a house.”

Contributors include Lawrence Albright, Joe Bernick, Lawrence Geller, Judith Le Blanc, Dan Margolis, Erwin Marquit, Emil Shaw, Steve Thornton and Denise Winebrenner Edwards.

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