Peace Voices

Bridget Palmatier, carrying a photograph of her husband Cpl. Jacob Palmatier, who was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq, Feb. 24, 2005

He was the best husband you could have ever asked for and Bush got him killed. He was the smartest guy I ever met. … He was bright and funny and warm and kind.

This war needs to end now. Nobody else should have to go through what we’ve gone through. I’m not naïve enough to think that this is going to end the war, but it would be nice if certain legislators would wake up and realize that it needs to end, and that they have the power to do something about it.

Anna Crafton, elementary school teacher, Brooklyn, N.Y.

I’m here because I love my country and I love peace. I think we’ve made a lot of mistakes there, and we’re not serving the people well there. We’re not serving the country in the way that we promised that we would. I hope this demonstration raises awareness that lots of people care and lots of people are thinking that this war is not OK.

Eden Shulz, Graduate Student Organizing Committee/Local 2110

I really think this war is a waste of human beings, a waste of money and it seems like a personal vendetta for the president. He doesn’t even have the guts to send his own kids there. Our region of the UAW has endorsed the rally. We’re all on the same page, the labor movement and the peace movement, on wanting the focus to be on problems in this country. Immigrants’ rights are being violated here; unions are being crushed at NYU and all over the place. There is definitely a connection.

Cathy Scott, president of AFSCME Local 2187, Philadelphia, with delegation from the Philadelphia Central Labor Council

We passed a resolution in Philadelphia against the war, and we wanted to be here in support. We have about 200 people, four buses. The war affects all the services that our workers provide. The public sector workers — their budgets are getting cut; they can’t provide service to the public because it’s all going to Iraq. In the private sector, we’re losing jobs — they’re going overseas — and there’s no support to try to create jobs in the United States.

Ed Bloch, Albany, N.Y., World War II veteran, 1st Marine Division, Okinawa

I’m for peace. In a nuclear age, there is just plain no substitute for peace if the world is to continue.

Roberto Diaz, Urban Farming Agricultural Academy, Worcester, Mass.

I’m here to support antiwar efforts and to support family farms. … We have a farm project that involves about 200 youth from inner-city Worcester. We bring them out to Vermont to teach them organic farming, to bring them home to do some good stuff. We want to get 10,000 farmers signed up for “Farms not Arms” before the year ends to support antiwar efforts, healthy living, eating the right foods.
— Dan Margolis