AT THE HEART OF THE PROTEST
THE AERIAL VIEW had to have been
breath-taking: an estimated 10,000 people
forming a disorganized rainbow, our
muscles pulsing with the weight of PVC
pipes and sticks, holding up signs and
banners that spoke in a volume as loud
as our voices, all saying different words
At around 9:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, a group of C-U residents, about half of
them high school students, piled into three rented vans with several signs, one large banner,
and several white wooden doves held up by sticks.
Then we began the two-and-a-half-hour drive to Chicago, where we took part in an antiwar
protest that drew demonstrators from eight Midwestern states. Estimates of the number
of participants ranged from 5,000 (according to police) to 30,000 (according to organizers).
Chicago was one of 11 cities around the country where regional peace protests took
place, organized by United for Peace and Justice and Act Now to Stop War and End
Racism. Organizers estimated that at least 100,000 people took part nationwide.
In Chicago, a day of rallies, speeches, and a march began at Union Park, wound
through the Loop, and ended at Federal Plaza.
People of all ages called upon the government and fellow citizens to put an end to the
war in Iraq (this being its fifth year) and to resist going to war with Iran.
by Erik Harper
Erik Harper am a junior at Armstrong-Potomac High School and is looking to further his
knowledge to become a Pediatrician.
AMAZEMENT, WONDER, APPRECIATION, a sense of kindness, and uncorrupted welcome were
all things which passed through my mind, as I gazed down upon the gathering of some of
the most caring people I have ever met.
Thousands attended the anti-war march, for it was a great and worthy cause. Through
the rumble of emotion being emitted from the massive crowd you could hear the knowledgeable
speakers, sharing their ideas with others. Sharing is a large basis of these events.
Unlike the government, the speakers did not keep their knowledge to themselves. They
shared it with as many people as possible and with an open heart.
I glanced around in amazement and noticed that there was no discrimination or hatred
for the soldiers, our soldiers, occupying Iraq and soon to be in Iran, if something is not
changed. The sentiments were not what many who have never attended a gathering such
as this believe, which is that the anti-war factions are against their loved ones serving in
the military. This is simply and utterly not the case.
As I looked around I saw no hatred or discrimination, but compassion, understanding,
caring, and love. They know not to judge a whole, on the actions of a few (i.e. the actions
of the Bush Administration). In the same way, America should not judge Iraq or
Afghanistan on the actions of a few (i.e. the actions of Al-Qaeda or Taliban). Would you
like to be called a horrible person for the actions of a few?
The massive group marched down the streets of Chicago and was met by cheers and
peace signs from windows and sidewalks alike. It was so clear that there are many people
out there who care and want to bring home our beloved soldiers, but don’t really know
how to become involved or simply do not have the time. That is what most of these
marches and events are about. To make people aware of America’s situation and the
wrong path it is taking, as well as to inform them of ways that they, that you, can help
I personally was changed for the better by attending this protest and plan to attend
future ones. I highly encourage and hope you will do the same. If we as American citizens
act together as a whole, anything can be accomplished. Once again, I owe thanks to all
those involved in making it possible for me to attend this truly inspiring event. So now I
leave you with one thought–Power to the people, for the people are the power.