MARCH AND RALLY IN PORTLAND:
(March 22, 2006)
BIGGEST IN THE COUNTRY?
Sunday's Event Brings Thousands Together Against War, For Peace
The "End the War, Begin the Peace" march and rally held in Portland on Sunday, March 19
exceeded all expectations. Organizers told those issuing permits we were expecting 5,000-10,000
people, yet somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 attended.*
The rally made the New York Times and allegedly had a larger crowd than Chicago, a city 5 times
our size. Due to the numbers reported by the Associated Press, KOIN TV reports that our rally was
the second largest in the world. We also made the front of the Oregonian.[A "media round-up" with
links is posted at the bottom of this email.]
One of the strongest things to come out of organizing the rally was to bring together the various
communities struggling for social justice, veterans-labor-faith-environmental-peace and more, and
send a message to the public, elected officials and the media that the movement is growing strong.
Of the 158 organizations who cosponsored or endorsed (159 actually, with a last-minute addition)
roughly 50 showed up to give out information at the canopies.
The wonderful weather and positive vibes continued throughout the day.
From the rocking opening of Marilyn Keller and Tom Grant, to the spiritually uplifting Peace
Singers and the rousing vibe of Suckapunch, the lively sounds of Marimba di Guatemala, the
humorous intonations of the Raging Grannies, and the folk-and-roll resonance of Samusson and
Tomassi, the music helped carry the day.
And the speakers--Steve DeFord speaking of the loss of his son and turning that passion to action,
Alfredo Cano expressing the concerns of young people targeted by recruiters, Zaha Hassan and
Steve Goldberg showing that Jews and Palestinians can agree with regards to the Israeli occupation,
Jamila Wahab sharing the pain caused by the U.S. war in Afghanistan, Luis Primo calling for a
change in the way we do things here following the models sweeping South America, Eman Ahmed
Khamas bringing her first-hand accounts of the occupation of Iraq, Ramon Ramirez tying in social
justice issues to peace issues, and the rousing crowd-pleasing warning that 9-11 is being used as an
excuse to take away our civil liberties and launch illegal wars from Rev. LeRoy Haynes.
The spirited march took off up Front Avenue and looped around Broadway, at one point reporting
back at 25 blocks in length. It took nearly 40 minutes to get all the marchers out of the park and
into the streets.
Thanks to all who helped make this rally possible and for all the great work going into it leading up
to and, we hope, in the wake of its incredible success.
It was Portland's largest rally since the invasion in 2003.
Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group
*-Taking into account a packed area of the park roughly 90,000 sq feet (figuring a generous 6
square feet per person) and the agreed-upon figure that the march took up 25 blocks (250 feet x 20
feet minimum, 5000 sq feet would fit at least 600 people loosely packed with 8 sq feet per person)
the minimum number of people present was 15,000.
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MEDIA ADVISORY/Calendar Listing
For immediate release February 20, 2006
Contacts: Dan Handelman, Peace and Justice Works
Event: Peace rally and march planned for third anniversary of war on Iraq.
Will Seaman, Portland Peaceful Response Coalition (503) 344-5078
Date: Sunday, March 19th, 2006
Time: 1:30 PM gathering, 2:00 PM rally, 2:30 PM peace march.
Place: Waterfront Park, north of the Morrison Bridge, downtown Portland
PEACE RALLY AND MARCH PLANNED
FOR THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF WAR ON IRAQ
Calls for bringing the troops home and funding human services
Over 100 organizations mobilizing for March 19 at Waterfront Park
As the third anniversary of the US war and occupation of Iraq approaches, local
Oregon/Washington peace and social justice organizations are firming up plans for a large-scale
rally and march calling for withdrawal of US troops. This latest mobilization opposing the US
policies in Iraq has the overall theme "End the War, Begin the Peace" and is set for Sunday, March
19th, at Waterfront Park, north of the Morrison Bridge, in downtown Portland. Organizers say that
there will be literature tables and music, and that folks are invited to gather at 1:30 PM for a rally set
to begin at 2:00 PM. A peace march through downtown Portland will begin at 2:30 PM.
"Thousands of our soldiers have lost their lives and limbs, and billions of dollars have been wasted
in this unconscionable war, along with a hundred times that loss to the Iraqi people," explained
Betsy Toll of Living Earth, one of over one hundred local and regional organizations that are co-
sponsoring or endorsing the rally and march. "All this has accomplished is to drastically escalate
the levels of hatred and terror in the world," said Toll. "We need to end this war, end this corrupt
occupation, and bring our troops home."
The groups involved in planning and supporting the rally encompass the broad diversity of
opposition to the Iraq war. Many social justice organizations are active in the planning including
military families and veterans groups, organized labor, environmentalists, local businesses, the
familiar peace and human rights groups, and groups from various spiritual faiths.
Martina Rutledge of the Justice & Witness Team of Bridgeport United Church of Christ expressed
her group's involvement in terms of their religious commitments. "As people of faith, we believe that
all humanity is connected through bonds of brother- and sisterhood that transcend race, religion and
nationality," explained Rutledge. "We mourn the human rights violations and loss of life that have
come about as a direct result of this war. Violence only begets more violence. It is not through war,
but through the teachings of compassion and non-violence espoused by Jesus and the world's other
great spiritual teachers that our world will begin to heal and live peacefully."
As in the past, this rally and march blends the themes of opposition to wars and occupations abroad
with concerns for social justice and human needs at home. "While the devastation and suffering
caused by the wars and occupations are foremost in our hearts, we are also deeply concerned with
the attacks on the Bill of Rights, the warrantless wiretaps and detentions without trial, the cutbacks
in urgently needed social programs and education spending," said William Seaman, of the Portland
Peaceful Response Coalition. "Our nation's priorities have been hijacked by the rich and powerful
at the expense of ordinary working people, as shown by the hurricane Katrina catastrophe, the
retaliation against intelligence whistleblower Joseph Wilson, and the outrageous big-money
lobbying scandals that have recently come to light," said Seaman. "We know that opposition to our
country's current domestic and foreign policies has increased and deepened in the past year, and we
hope that those who feel the same will join us on March 19th to be a strong voice for change."
"We're very excited about the variety of organizations coming together to oppose the ongoing war
on the Iraqi people," said Dan Handelman of the Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group.
"This war really began over 15 years ago and continued in the form of bombings and sanctions,
with the March, 2003 invasion marking a direct siege of Iraq by the U.S.," said Handelman. "The
rally will connect for ordinary Oregonians the high price of gas which has led to record profits with
the war, which serves to secure U.S. control of oil flow and permanent military bases in the region."
One of those involved in the planning for the March 19th mobilization explained some of the
thinking behind the overall theme for the event. "The theme of 'End the War, Begin the Peace'
reminds us that we are not just calling for the end to an immoral, illegal, and dangerous war," said
Curt Bell of People of Faith for Peace and Oregonians Against the War. "We are also affirming the
possibility of the wonderful world we could have if we gave our resources and energy to building
that world instead of to war."
The subthemes of the rally, which tie together many of these ideas, are:
_Bring All the Troops Home now--No More Blood for Oil
_End the Occupations of Iraq, Afghanistan, the West Bank and Gaza
_Fund Education, Health Care, Jobs and the Environment, Not War
_Military Recruiters Out of Schools; and
_Respect Human Rights and International Law--Stop the Torture & Spying.
For more information, or to find out how your organization can add its name to the list of co-
sponsors or endorsers for this rally and march, please call Peace & Justice Works at (503) 236-
3065 or <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Cosponsors of the event include: Peace & Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group (503-236-3065), Portland Peaceful Response Coalition (503-344-5078), Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, East Timor
Action Network/Portland (503-235-4986), Sisters of the Road, American Friends Service
Committee, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, Veterans for Peace Chapter 72,
Palestine Arab-American Association , Portland Labor for Peace and Justice, People of Faith for
Peace, Peace Action Group - First Unitarian Church Portland, Oregonians Against the War, Peace
Justice and Environment Committee-Mennonite Church, Families for Peace, Code Pink Portland,
White Feather House (Catholic Worker), Christ the Healer - United Church of Christ, Living Earth,
Oregon Peace Institute, Pax Christi Portland, Alliance for Democracy - Portland Chapter, Metanoia
Peace Community-United Methodist Church, Portland Rainbow Coalition, Vancouver For Peace,
Portland Buddhist Peace Fellowship, West Hills Friends Church, St. Philip Neri Catholic Church
Peace and Justice Commission, Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights, Women's
International League for Peace and Freedom-Portland Branch, War Resisters League-Portland
(503-238-0605), Cascadia Magical Activists, Women in Black, East Side Democratic Club, School
of the Americas Watch Oregon (SOA Watch), Portland Solidarity (email@example.com),
Friends of Sabeel-North America, Friends of Voices in the Wilderness/Portland, NW VEG
(Northwest Vegetarian Education and Empowerment Group), Portland International Socialist
Organization , JubileeUSA Oregon, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church,
Voz (Worker Rights Education Project ), Oregon PeaceWorks (503-585-2767-Salem), Board of
Peace and Social Concerns of Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends, Justice & Witness Team of
Bridgeport United Church of Christ, Department of Peace Campaign, Portland Alliance (media
cosponsor), Albany/Corvallis Women in Black, Oregon Fellowship of Reconciliation, Latino
Network, Justice and Peace Commission of St Ignatius Catholic Church, DemocracyforAmerica -
Old Friends Coffeehouse Meetup, Rural Organizing Project, Portland Central America Solidarity
Committee (PCASC), Christ the Reconciler-United Methodist Church, Episcopal Peace Fellowship,
Multnomah Monthly Meeting of Friends (Quakers), Center for Intercultural Organizing, Women's
International League for Peace and Freedom-Washington County, Portland Area Rethinking
Schools, AFSCME local 88, Amnesty International Group 48, Democracy for Oregon, Augustana
Lutheran Church, Oregon Bolivarian Circle, and others.
Endorsers include: Northwest Veterans for Peace, PSU Progressive Student Union, PSU Socialist
Party, Concerned Students of PSU , SUSTAIN (Stop US Tax-funded Aid to Israel Now), Friends
of Lucinda Tate for City Council, No War Drum Corps -
Portland Drum Collective, Portland Anti-Military Recruitment Coalition, Furniture Craft,
Environmental Justice Action Group, Ash Creek Press, People's Activist Cafe, Bumberlam, Oregon Wildlife Federation, Back 2 the WALL,
Northwest Progressive Community, Jews for Global Justice, Reedwood Friends Church , Black
Monday Committee, Virginia Lopez and the Mambo Queens , Dones X Dones (Barcelona-Spain),
Shelly's Garden-Honkin' Huge Burritos, Freedom Socialist Party, Love Makes a Family Inc,
WILPF/Ann Arbor-Michigan, Lane County Taxes for Peace Not War, Portland Jobs with Justice
(503-236-5573), Corvallis Alternatives 2 War, West Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Social
Action Committee, Lesbian Community Project, Tienda Tikal, Centro Proceso Social (Lima-Peru),
Eugene Justice Not War Coalition, Portland Nurses For Peace, Women in Black-London, Mirador,
Portland Industrial Workers of the World-General Membership Branch, Central Coast Patriots for
Peace, Coastal Progressives, Oregon Coast Peace Wave, Flying Focus Video Collective (media
endorser), Socialist Equality Party, It's a Beautiful Pizza, Portland Insight Meditation Community
Social Action Committee, PCUN (Northwest Tree Planters and Farm Workers Union), Radical
Women, Portland International Women's Day, In Other Words-Women's Books and Resources,
Laughing Horse Books, Red and Black Cafe, SisterSpirit, Samusson & Tomassi, and others.
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