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March 20 NEWS



REPORT - March 19, 2005

Michigan Capitol Lansing

Second Anniversary of the Invasion of Iraq

CHECK OUT PHOTOS (click on photos in sidebar)


 DID YOU SEE THAT? Did you see that?  That photo of someone you know, probably?  Her face hidden partially by the sign she was carryiing?  "US Troops OUT NOW"?  On the front page of the Sunday LSJ? Wearing a hood in the cold rainy snow?  Looking resolute?
     Of course you did.  More than likely you were among the more than 150 people at the State Capitol on Saturday protesting the 2-year Bush Fiasco War in Iraq.  Protesting for many of us who were not at the Capitol.  Standing for more than 1,000 of us who could not be with you.  The multuiplier effect. 
     Well.  We thank you.  I thank you.  All 1,000 of us thank you.  Thank you. (By Robert Rentschler)


Many thanks to the organizers, volunteers and all those who attended and supported this event!

REPORT 2nd Anniversary  -  LANSING
By Margaret Nielsen

US Troops Out Now: Rebuild Our Communities, organized by the Greater Lansing Network Against War and Injustice (GLNAWI) and the Michigan Peace Team, with a number of other local co-sponsors from peace and justice groups and faith communities.

On Saturday, March 19, 2005, the Lansing area held an event for peace and community rebuilding, in the all-day mid-Michigan cold rain and snow. The Lansing State Journal published a story on the front page of its Local section on Sunday, including photos from the rally at the Capitol. The Lansing State Journal estimated the Capitol crowd at 100. Over the full time of the rally, probably 150 to 200 people were at the Michigan Capitol.

Marchers approached the Capitol from Lansing Community College a few blocks away, with drumming, chants, and peace signs. Pat Madden's strong alto voice began the program on the Michigan Capitol steps. After Jack Smith's introduction of the day's events, Adam Shapiro and Huwaida Arraf presented clear pictures of the tragic reality of war and occupation. Then a "Round Robin Rap" presented the costs of war to communities. (Thanks to the  rappers: Ann, Sayrah, Kathie, Fatima, and Michael)

Finally, people had a chance to take action, signing petitions, sending
letters, and writing post-cards to elected officials. Rain shortened the
action segment of the program.

A separately-organized small group of elegantly dressed "Billionaires for Bush" appeared in fur coats and jewels, offering to "let them eat cake". They offered cake on their silver serving tray.

Car-top signs carried colorful messages in the Car Caravan for Peace. We decorated our cars parked around the Capitol, then drove slowly through busy areas of Lansing and East Lansing to Michigan state University (MSU). About fifty cars joined the caravan.

Thirteen intrepid cyclists did a Critical Mass Bike Ride to Michigan State University's Wells Hall in the rain and snow. The State News published a front-page story on March 21st, including a photo of the snowy cyclists.

The MSU afternoon peace rally moved indoors out of the snow, to the campus building reserved for a film, "About Baghdad". A discussion followed with the film-maker, Adam Shapiro.  About 150 people attended the film and discussion. Thanks to Adam, to the Michigan Peace Team, and to the ASMSU Great Issues Program for bringing "About Baghdad," Adam, and Huwaida to East Lansing.

The events in the Lansing area this weekend were a powerful, informative, and inspiring commemoration of the tragedies of war and occupation and of our deep community losses after 2 years of war.