L.A.: Over 25,000 March Against the War

Revolutionary Worker #1183, January 19, 2003, posted at http://rwor.org

L.A.: Over 25,000 March Against the War

Los Angeles, January 11--Downtown Los Angeles was vibrant with the spirit of opposition and resistance in the face of the U.S. government's escalating war preparations and the arrests and detention of hundreds of men from the Middle East. 25,000 to 30,000 people filled over nine city blocks in a march against the war. Giant puppets, balloons and signs of every color danced above the crowd. Banners stretched across the street: No War on Iraq! Stop the War on Immigrants! Healthcare not Warfare! Peace Now! Not In Our Name!

ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), the Coalition for World Peace, Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace (ICUJP), and Not In Our Name came together to initiate the action, which was also sponsored by the KPFK Pacifica Radio station.To the beat of Aztec and Korean drummers and a Dixieland brass band, the protesters marched to the downtown Immigration and Naturalization Service building.

The protest reflected the beautiful diversity of southern California. There were people from many different areas and neighborhoods, and immigrants from Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. A broad array of Middle Eastern and other immigrant rights advocates marched behind a banner reading "Stop the Detentions/Stop Attacks on Immigrants' Rights." There were contingents of unionized workers, including teachers, day laborers and service and government workers, as well as many churches and religious groups.

At the end of the march, the demonstrators were greeted by an all-star group of veteran rockers, including Slash, David Paich, and Glenn Hughes. Jackson Browne joined them for several songs. Speakers and participants included actors Martin Sheen, David Clennon, and Ed Asner; Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic and Persian Gulf resister Jeff Paterson; artist Saul Williams; and Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

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