Peace Notes: Bay Area Marks Iraq War’s Fifth Anniversary

By Judith Scherr
Tuesday March 18, 2008

A number of events were held last weekend leading up to the five-year anniversary of the Iraq War—among them a demonstration at the Richmond Chevron refinery, where two dozen protesters were arrested, a rally in Walnut Creek and a town meeting with Rep. Barbara Lee in Oakland. 

On Wednesday events to mark the five-year anniversary will be held in Berkeley, San Francisco, Alameda and other Bay Area cities. 



From 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. there will be a protest and non-violent civil resistance at the Marine Recruiting Station, 64 Shattuck Square. 

The sponsor, The World Can’t Wait, writes: “The war enters its sixth bloody year this week. One million Iraqi dead, four million more driven from their homes, thousands have been and are being tortured. This war is being carried out in our name.”  

At 5 p.m., Berkeley protesters will cross the Bay to join the march and rally at San Francisco Civic Center. 



At 6:30 p.m., the Alameda Peace Network, Move-On, United for Peace and Justice and others will hold a rally at Alameda City Hall, Oak and Santa Clara streets. At 7 p.m., they will march along Park Street.  

“The resignation of Admiral William Fallon, an opponent of an attack on Iran this week, as the head of the U.S. Central Command once again raises the very real possibility that the Bush administration will launch a bombing attack on Iran,” organizers say, urging people to join the march. 


San Francisco 

Beginning at 7:30 a.m., United for Peace and Justice and Direct Action to Stop the War will coordinate protest activities outside the office of Sen. Dianne Feinstein at the Montgomery BART station. 

There will be a “War Machine Tours of Shame” visiting various businesses that profit from the war, leaving from Market and Sansome throughout the day. There will be non-violent direct action at various sites throughout the city. 

Those arrested for civil disobedience can call the National Lawyers Guild legal hotline at (415) 285-1011. 

At 11 a.m., at the Montgomery BART: Words Against War—5 Years Too Many. Poets including youth will read at the event sponsored by City Lights Books and Direct Action to Stop the War.  

At 5 p.m., there will be a “March & Rally to End the War Now!” gathering at Civic Center, Polk and Grove streets. The event is initiated by the ANSWER Coalition. 


At the Board of Regents 

From 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., a coalition of UC Berkeley student organizations will attend the UC Regents meeting at UC San Francisco Mission Bay. 

Sponsors of the demonstration, including Berkeley Stop the War, Students for Justice in Palestine, Save the Oaks and more, say: “Five years ago, George W. Bush started a war against the Iraqi people. His justification? ‘Weapons of mass destruction.’ A lie. But we know where the WMDs are. Every single nuclear weapon in the U.S. arsenal was designed by the University of California. Tell the UC Regents: No more nuclear weapons! Money for education not war!” 

The coalition will join the 5 p.m. rally in Civic Center. 


Winter Soldier 

If you didn’t hear/see veterans and current military men and women speak out about their experiences in Iraq, the Winter Soldier gathering is archived at KPFA.org and IVAW.org. 


Other matters 

After the Berkeley City Council asked its city manager to write a letter to the Marines saying that the recruiters in Berkeley were “unwelcome intruders”—and despite the council’s rescinding of that action—U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint tried to strip the city of $2 million in federal funds, giving the money instead to the Marines.  

On Thursday, however, the Senate defeated the measure 57-41.“Senate Chooses Berkeley Over Marines,” DeMint announced on his website.