Media Downplay Historic Day of Anit-War Protests
Media Downplay Historic Day of Protests
By Scott Galindez
t r u t h o u t | Report
Sunday 20 March 2005
Fayetteville, NC -- The second anniversary of the war was the impetus for major demonstrations throughout the world. In the United States, over 800 communities held events calling for an end to the occupation.
CNN, however, reported that in the United States "barely a ripple was made while large protests took place in Europe." The New York Times reported that protests in the United States ranged from 350 people in Times Square to thousands in San Francisco. Later in the same story, the Times reported that several thousand marched from Harlem to Central Park. If thousands marched in New York, why did the Times highlight the 350 in Times Square?
CNN's report was worse … nothing about US protests. While they only saw a ripple, a huge wave passed them by. If CNN had been in Fayetteville, North Carolina, they would have seen what could be a major turning point in the anti-war movement. The largest Anti-war protest ever in this heavily military town took place.
The march was led by two banners carried by family members of soldiers who died or served in Iraq. The first banner said "The World Still Says No to War" and the second banner was "Bring the Troops Home Now." A few feet behind was a banner carried by Veterans of the Iraq War. One of those veterans, Sergeant Camillo Mejia, recently served 9 months in jail for refusing to return to Iraq after leave. Mejia told the crowd: "After going to war and seeing its ugly face, I could no longer be a part of it."
Following the Iraq Veterans was Military Families Speak Out. "I can't remain silent on these issues, slap a yellow ribbon on my car and call it supporting our troops," said Kara Hollingsworth, the wife of a soldier serving his second tour of duty in Iraq. "I support our troops by making sure they are not put in harm's way unless absolutely necessary."
Many veterans of past wars were also among the ranks. Sections of the march resembled army units marching in formation calling cadence.
Speaker after speaker told stories of loved ones they had lost during the war and the now 2-year-old occupation of Iraq. Flag-draped mock coffins were carried by many.
Congresswoman Lynn Woosley of California called on the crowd to lobby Congress in support of House Concurrent Resolution 35, calling on the President to bring U.S. troops home.
The March was part of a series of events aimed at breathing new life into the anti-war movement. The first-ever Iraq Veterans Against the War national conference is also taking place, along with a Conference of Military Families Speak Out. A third major conference of Southern anti-war organizers is also taking place in Fayetteville.
CNN missed the boat … perhaps a good thing for them, since they were only prepared for a ripple and not the giant wave that formed in Fayetteville.