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BTL:Protesters Once Again Fill the Streets to Oppose Bush Iraq War...

...and Occupation. Interview with Leslie Cagan, national coordinator of United for Peace and Justice, conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
Protesters Once Again Fill the Streets to Oppose Bush Iraq War and Occupation

Interview with Leslie Cagan, national coordinator of United for Peace and Justice, conducted by Scott Harris

After an absence of more than seven months from the nation's streets, opponents of the Bush administration's war on Iraq came together again by the tens of thousands on Oct. 25 in Washington D.C., San Francisco and dozens of other communities around the U.S. The rallies, jointly sponsored by two major coalitions which had organized a series of powerful protests before the start of the war earlier this year, called for an end to the occupation of Iraq and to bring the troops home now. Organizers of the largest protest in the nation's capital said that 100,000 demonstrators attended the event, while park police estimated the crowd at half that number.

While the size of these protests clearly did not match those of several giant pre-war rallies in New York and Washington, organizers said they had exceeded their expectations and predict that the movement opposing the occupation would continue to grow. The diversity of the crowd reflected concern about the ongoing conflict in Iraq across generations, with both young people and those who had participated in Vietnam War era protests marching side by side.

The presence at the protest of military veterans and family members of soldiers now serving in Iraq indicated growing alarm at the numbers of U.S. casualties in the war that was launched last March. Since the conflict began, 350 U.S. soldiers have been killed -- with 211 dying after the president declared an end to major hostilities in May -- and thousands more wounded. Receiving less publicity are the large numbers -- possibly more than 10,000 Iraqis -- who have been killed in the war thus far. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Leslie Cagan, national coordinator of United for Peace and Justice, a co-sponsor of the Oct. 25 protest. She describes the recent rallies for peace and renewed activism opposing the U.S. military occupation of Iraq.

To contact United for Peace and Justice, call (212) 868-5545 or visit their website at www.unitedforpeace.org

Related links: Independent Progressive Politics Network: www.ippn.org International ANSWER website: www.internationalanswer.org


"In D.C., A Diverse Mix Rouses War Protest," By Manny Fernandez, Washington Post, Oct. 26, 2003

"The Axis of Oil: How a Plan for the World's Biggest Pipeline Threatens to Wreak Havoc," by Philip Thornton and Charles Arthur, The Independent UK, Oct. 28, 2003

"Why Are We Back in Vietnam?" by Frank Rich, The New York Times, Oct. 26, 2003

"Iraq Resistance Lasting Longer Than Expected, Powell Concedes," by Brian Knowlton, The International Herald Tribune, Oct. 26, 2003

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"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit: www.btlonline.org
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