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Troops Home Now! Rally Will Demand Immediate Withdrawal

A rally demanding the immediate return of all coalition forces from Iraq will begin at 3:00 pm on Sunday, April 24 in the Sunken Garden at the College of William and Mary.

Billed as the Troops Home Now! Rally and widely expected to be the largest anti-war demonstration on the Peninsula since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, the rally will feature prominent speakers from several anti-war organizations, including Larry Syverson of Richmond, a member of Military Families Speak Out.
"Too many people seem to have moved on, and consequently put the war 'on the back burner.' Regardless of what the administration is telling us, there is still a war going on in Iraq," said Syverson.

"In my oldest son’s opinion, 'we are at war each day that a soldier is killed,'" added Syverson in reference to Branden Syverson, one of his two sons who have served in Iraq.

Other speakers will include Tom Palumbo of Veterans for Peace and Saladin Muhammad of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), as well as Hans Tiefel, a popular professor retiring this semester from the College’s Department of Religious Studies. Bands will include Dr. Thunder, the Human Genome Project, the Merry Gypsies, and the College’s Middle Eastern Music Ensemble.

The rally was initiated by the Tidewater Labor Support Committee, a campus organization which led the successful Living Campaign, winning substantial raises for College workers in April 2001. The Committee currently leads a campaign demanding that the College adopt of a code of conduct for labor standards in the manufacture of its licensed apparel and affiliate with the Worker Rights Consortium, an independent monitoring agency.

"The Tidewater Labor Support Committee is organizing against the war in Iraq because this war, like so many others, is a war perpetrated by moneyed interests against the working class," said Committee member Thom Silverstein

"We would like to see the immediate withdrawal of all coalition forces from occupied Iraq."

Other campus organizations supporting the rally include the Middle Eastern Cultural Association and the Humans for Animal Liberation and Vegetarian Alliance, as well as the College chapters of the ACLU, Amnesty International, the NAACP, and the Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

Statewide organizations lending their support include the Virginia Public Service Workers Union (UE Local 160), which organizes College workers, and the Virginia Anti-War Network.


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