Protesters Gear Up for Oct. 27 March to End the War

By Judith Scherr
Friday October 26, 2007

The oft-divided anti-war movement will be marching in San Francisco under a single banner Saturday: End the War Now. “No more surges, no more study groups: BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW!”  

A pre-rally will begin at 11 a.m. at San Francisco’s Civic Center, after which protesters will march to Dolores Park. Before reaching the park, monitors will direct those who wish to participate in a symbolic “die in”—lying on the ground for a few minutes to symbolize those who died in Iraq—before continuing to the park. 

The sponsoring coalition includes the two large umbrella groups: ANSWER Coalition and United for Peace and Justice. There are some 150 other endorsers including the city of Berkeley, Alameda County Central Labor Council, Asian Pacific Islanders Resist! Watada Support Committee, Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists Social Justice Committee, Buddhist Peace Fellowship and the list goes on. 

Among the groups meeting to march are:  

• Bay Natives for Peace, who are gathering on the left side of the Civic Center stage and will lead the march. In an e-mail to the Planet the group said it’s asking all indigenous people to join them and wear “Homeland Security; fighting terrorism since 1492” shirts. 

• The Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club will take the 10:14 a.m. BART train from MacArthur BART to Civic Center, then march with the labor contingent.  

• Labor is meeting at the Federal Building, 450 Golden Gate Ave. at 10:30 a.m. and will hold its own pre-march rally there. Rep. Barbara Lee will be the featured speaker. After the march, the labor contingent will reassemble in Dolores Park. Councilmember Kriss Worthington will march in the labor contingent, representing the city of Berkeley. 

• Progressive Democrats of the East Bay is meeting at the plaza in front of the San Francisco Library, 100 Larkin St. They’ll be distributing postcards to send to Dave Obey, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, to hold him to his promise not to let funding for the war out of his committee. Northern California Progressive Democrats of America will have a table at Dolores Park. Telephone: 510-524-3791. 

• Code Pink is meeting at 10 a.m. at Civic Center, Larkin and Grove streets. Sing for Peace will march with them. 

Cindy Sheehan will be among the speakers at Dolores Park. Dennis Banks of the American Indian movement and Tim Paulson of the San Francisco Labor Council will also speak. Para La Gente, a rap group from Watsonville, will perform. 

Marches will take place in cities across the country, including New York, Chicago, Boston, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Orlando and Salt Lake City. 

There are more peace events Sunday: 

Women of Color  

Resource Center Brunch 

At 11 a.m., the Sisters of Fire Awards brunch will feature Angela Davis. Tickets are $45-75. The event is at the Scottish Rite Center, 1547 Lakeside Drive, Oakland. Call 510-444-2700 ext 304. 

Honorees will include Assemblymember Karen Bass, Los Angeles, the first African American and the first woman to serve as majority floor leader for the State Assembly, vocalist Linda Tillery, poet Isle Park, the Serv-ice Women Action Network, which helps women solve problems during and after military service, and California Latinas for Reproductive Justice. There will be a special tribute to 17-year Women of Color Resource Center Director Linda Burnham. 


Ecumenical Peace Institute Dinner 

At 6 p.m., also on Sunday, the Ecumenical Peace Institute annual dinner will feature Joseph Gerson, author of Empire and the Bomb, How the U.S. Uses Nuclear Weapons to Dominate the World.  

The event is at Redwood Gardens, 2951 Derby St. The donation is $15-$35 with no one turned away. Call 510-655-1162. 



And on Nov. 1, the first Thursday of the month, beginning at noon, activists “desperate about the continuing war in Iraq,” according to Ying Lee, a Berkeley Public Library trustee and former Berkeley councilmember, will observe the first year anniversary of the Thursday Die for Peace at the San Francisco Federal Building, 450 Golden Gate Ave.  

After a vigil and the reading of names of some of the Americans and Iraqis who have been killed in the war, some people will choose to commit civil disobedience. Lee is among dozens of people who have been arrested at the Federal Building a number of times over the past year. Other local residents who have been arrested over the year include Ruth Maguire, Sally Hindman, Stephanie Miyashiro and Grace Morizawa of Berkeley and Grace Shimizu of El Cerrito. 

While some of the arrestees may opt to pay the $125 fine after arrest, Lee said she and a few others plan to go to trial, likely some time in December. Lee told the Planet that it is critical for her to have a public trial “to express our horror about the war.”