Spirited Anti-War Protest in Minneapolis

Over 150 people joined an anti-war bannering and rally in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis on Saturday, February 23.

The protest, called by the Coalition Against the War, was organized under the slogan of "No New Targets - Stop U.S. War Moves Around the World."

Demonstrators lined one of the busiest intersections in the Twin Cities carrying signs and banners. Dozens of drivers and passengers gave support as they passed by the crowd, honking their horns, flashing a peace sign, clapping and raising their thumbs in solidarity. A group of students kept up spirits with homemade drums, masks and percussion instruments to accompany the frequent antiwar chants that continued for over an hour in the unseasonably warm and sunny weather.

A delegation of students from the Coalition for Peace at the College of St. Catherine brought panels of a peace quilt being made by students and others. The group Food Not Bombs provided free bread and cookies for the crowd.

Since the events of September 11, the U.S. government has attacked Afghanistan and is now drawing up a long list of countries for possible military intervention.

The Coalition issued a statement that says in part, "In his saber-rattling State of the Union address President Bush described an 'axis of evil,' identifying Iraq, Iran and North Korea as the main targets of U.S. war planners. In addition, many other countries are possible targets, including Yemen, Somalia, and Colombia. To pay for this war, the Bush administration wants to slash funding for human needs such as housing and health care to spend billions for the war drive."

The statement went on to say, "The U.S. government is using the events of September 11 as a blank check for war. These war moves have nothing to do with fighting terrorism and everything to do with imposing U.S. economic and political domination around the world."

A brief rally was held at the end of the protest.

Linda Jones, an activist in the Twin Cities, spoke for the Anti-War Committee. She said, "As the U.S. broadens its war abroad, labeling and threatening new targets -- Somalia, Philippines, Colombia, Iran, Iraq and North Korea -- keep in mind that these targets really aren’t new. The Bush administration is also waging a war here in our own country. Bush has pushed now for more tax cuts for the rich as well as corporate tax breaks. We have seen a steep increase of racial profiling and an attack on our civil liberties. Abridging the freedoms protected by our constitution will not protect us from terrorism, but rather feed terror into our own country. We are wasting our tax dollars on an expensive and murderous war, when we could be supporting education, health care and affordable housing here at home. "

Marie Braun, one of the founders of the Twin Cities Campaign to Lift Sanctions, said, "It now seems pretty clear that the U.S. will be going to war against Iraq within the next few months, possibly as early as the end of May. We are going to declare war on Iraq despite the fact that there is no evidence linking Iraq with the events of September 11."

Many signs carried in the protest focused on the war danger against Iraq. Other signs opposed U.S. threats against Somalia as well as against U.S.military aid to the government of Colombia.

Additional info, contact the Anti-War Committee at 612.879.7543.

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