War protests planned

Veterans, hurricane survivors walkin’ to New Orleans

Taking a line from New Orleans-based music legend Fats Domino’s “I’m walkin’ to New Orleans,” veterans and Hurricane Katrina and Rita survivors are walkin’ from Mobile, Ala., to New Orleans to demand the federal government end the Iraq war and meet the needs of people here at home, especially on the Gulf Coast. The six-day march that begins March 14 will culminate on March 19, the third anniversary of the Iraq invasion.

Veterans For Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out and Gold Star Families for Peace are co-sponsoring the march under the slogan, “Every bomb dropped in Iraq explodes over New Orleans.”

“The government’s negligent and often hostile response to hurricane survivors is mirrored by that same government’s continued commitment to an illegal, immoral war fought at a staggering cost,” march organizers said in a statement. “These are twin disasters.”

For a full schedule of events, go to vetgulfmarch.org.

Four men, 241 miles and a call to end bloodshed

Four Latinos, Fernando Suárez del Solar, Pablo Paredes, Camilo Mejia and Aidan Delgado, will lead a 241-mile march starting March 12 in Tijuana, Mexico, and ending in San Francisco, to protest the war in Iraq.

Suárez del Solar is the father of Jesús Suárez del Solar, one of the first Latinos to die in Iraq, a victim of an illegal U.S. cluster bomb. Paredes, a Navy war resister, refused to board an Iraq-bound ship on Dec. 6, 2004. Mejia, a National Guardsman, served one tour in Iraq and refused to return. Delgado, who served at Abu Ghraib, is a conscientious objector. The four are different ages and nationalities, yet they are united in their call to end the war.

The march is full of symbolism. Organizers were inspired by the great Indian anti-colonialist and nonviolence leader Mahatma Gandhi, who led the 241-mile “Salt March” in 1930. Such a legacy has been “vibrant” in Latino social justice movements, a Citizens for Pablo press release said.

Latinos represent 15 percent of the U.S. population, 11 percent of the military and 20 percent of the fallen in Iraq. For more information, go to swiftsmartveterans.com.

Hundreds of other protests will take place March 12-19, and a big national march is set for April 29 in New York City. Go to unitedforpeace.org to advertise or sign up for an event.

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