Boston Peace March on the Iraq War Anniversary

DSCF1350.JPGBy Alex Yoh — 03/19/11
The Iraq War started 8 years ago today. And that anniversary brought protestors to a peace march in Boston.
About 60 people came together at Southwest Corridor Park.
The protest started as a rally near the Ruggles MBTA station. The group then marched over a mile, ending at the V.A. Medical Center. The speakers addressed a variety of topics including opposition to the wars in the Middle East and a potential U.S. intervention in Libya.
“We want to stop the war for the trauma of people in Iraq and Afghanistan who’ve done nothing to deserve this and our own troops. They should be defending us. They call it the defense department but they should just call it the war department like they used to,” said Susan McLucas from Somerville.
Some said the government is directing its spending to the wrong places. A banner hanging from the the front stage read “Money for Jobs and Education, Not for Wars and Occupation.” The crowd also chanted this phrase during the protest.
Jennifer Zaldana, an organizer with the ANSWER Coalition, said, “they say we have no money for basic rights such as health care and education yet the U.S. spends billions of dollars a year on wars and occupations across the globe.”
One of the groups in attendance was Veterans for Peace. It is a non-profit organization of war veterans with a goal to educate the public on the different costs of war. Its members and others at the rally stressed the importance of caring for veterans when they return from combat.
Pat Scanlon, the coordinator of the Smedley Butler Brigade for Veterans for Peace, was a featured speaker. He said his goal is to lend support to groups for peace, and to all those who want to end U.S. wars. “I look at all the progressive movements in the country as individual fibers floating around…and it’s only when you can interweave those fibers into a cloth that’s strong do you have strength,” said Scanlon.
The Boston chapter of the ANSWER Coalition organized this peace rally.
ANSWER stands for “Act Now to Stop War and End Racism.” It has chapters in cities across the country, including Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. Its national headquarters is located in Washington D.C.