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Fighting for Peace--UPDATED | The Nation

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Peter Rothberg

Peter Rothberg

Opposing war, racism, sexism, climate change, economic injustice and high-stakes testing.

Fighting for Peace--UPDATED

****HELP GREET BUSH IN FLORIDA****

George W. Bush is going to Florida tomorrow. Help the local progresive community give him a proper greeting. He'll be at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa to rally the troops and meet with leaders of the military's Central Command. In response, there will be a Peace Rally at 10:00 am at Bayshore Blvd. and Bay-to-Bay in Tampa, Florida. For more information, please contact Penny at Reparations@aol.com or call 727-894-6997.

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As the United States unleashes a brutal fusillade of bombs on Baghdad and other Iraqi cities for the third straight day, hundreds of thousands of people around the world continue to demonstrate against the US/British attack.

Yesterday, an estimated 150,000 people came out in New York City; 200,000 in London; 75,000 in San Francisco --which has been at the forefront of US antiwar activism since Thursday with 2,150 arrests for nonviolent civil disobedience; 50,000 in Lahore, Pakistan; 30,000 in Sydney; 15,000 in Calcutta; 10,000 in the Italian city of Naples, in a protest that ended at a NATO base; 2,000 in the South Korean capital, Seoul, where Buddhist monks struck giant drums at a rally; even 1,000 in Metalam, Afghanistan, the capital of Lagman province in the south.

In Spain, police fired rubber bullets to disperse protesters in Madrid, for the second day running. In Barcelona, police said 150,000 protested, while town hall officials, along with organizers, put the crowd at 500,000. Tens of thousands of people also hit the streets in cities in France, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Norway, Denmark, and Portugal, among many other European countries.

Meanwhile, in Bangladesh, a general strike closed down most businesses and mosques; in Japan, protesters rallied near a US naval base as well as outside a US air base on the southern island of Okinawa, and in the southern, mainly Muslim provinces of Thailand, there were numerous mass prayers for peace.

In the Middle East itself, the protests have been predictably far more angry and militant. Cairo, Sanaa in Yemen, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon and the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott have all seen violent, in some cases deadly, clashes between riot police and citizens enraged by what the US is doing in Iraq.

In the US, United for Peace and Justice is doing all it can to keep up the antiwar pressure. Check out the site, make a donation, and help volunteer in a UFPJ office. And, if you're in the New York area, join a UFPJ peace rally in Brooklyn this Thursday, March 27, at the residence of New York Senator Chuck Schumer to protest his pro-war stance.

The Pledge of Resistance is urgently organizing the sort of militant nonviolent direct action that has been so successful in underlining antiwar sentiment in San Francisco in recent days. Click here for info on civil disobedience and how you can participate.

Student walkouts have been frequent since the war was launched, and students around the world are at the forefront of antiwar activism. In the US, the Campus Antiwar Network is sponsoring national emergency student mobilizations on April 5, while The National Youth and Student Coalition is promoting an Emergency Campaign of Lobbying and Nonviolent Direct Action to Stop the War and Fund the Schools.

As Desmond Tutu argued in the Christian Science Monitor on Friday, it's critical to recognize and continue the historic gains of the global antiwar movement, despite the despair fostered by the reality of the conflict:

"Never in history has there been such an outpouring of resistance from average people all around the world before a war had even begun. Millions took a stand. This doctrine of moral and popular preemption must be sustained."

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