Report Back from the March 18th Anti-War Demonstration in Washington
by Chris Marion
On March 18th, there was a major anti-war demonstration in Washington D.C.. The event was led by nearly 300 cosponsoring organizations, and drew thousands of activists from all across the United States to the White House to mark the 20th anniversary of the U.S.’s invasion of Iraq, denounce the U.S. proxy war in Ukraine, condemn the U.S. and NATO’s endless wars and military interventions, and demand that the U.S. Government fund the peoples needs such as housing, and healthcare instead of the pentagon.
Speakers from organizations such Code Pink, the ANSWER Coalition, Veterans for Peace, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) laid out their case that if left unchecked, the U.S. is heading towards a direct, military, and possibly nuclear confrontation with Russia and China. Eugene Puryear of the ANSWER Coalition, contextualized the protest for the crowd, saying. “They want you to somehow think that it’s progressive, that it’s good, that it’s morally right, to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to fight to the last Ukrainian. For what? Just for the ability of the United States government to control the whole globe!…But we’re here to say NO, NO, NO. NO to the war machine, NO to imperialist wars, and certainly NO to the proxy war going on right now in Europe!””
Jill Stein, former presidential candidate with the Green Party discussed the very real nuclear threat created by tensions between the U.S., Russia, and China, declaring “These are not like the Hiroshima bombs of decades ago. These are a thousand times stronger. It only takes a handful to basically create nuclear winter that will starve billions of people. Anyone who thinks that the nuclear war happens ‘over there, don’t worry about it,’ you’ve got another thing to learn. The nuclear war happens to all of us.”
From the initial rally point in Lafayette Park. The crowd marched to the White House gate and gathered to call on Joe Biden to start negotiations, and stop sending weapons and money to Ukraine, which are fueling the war and prolonging the suffering of the Ukrainian and Russian people. They then marched to the Headquarters of the Washington Post, stopping to highlight the newspapers role in manufacturing consent for the invasion. Speakers called the Post “stenographers for empire” and “echo chamber for the war machine”. From the Washington Post, marchers pushed on through the streets of D.C. accompanied by a drum line and chanters calling out anti-war slogans such as “I believe that we will win! and “1-2-3-4, we don’t want another war!” through megaphones. Passersby asked what the event was about, and elected to join the crowd while others looked on and filmed the event.
Despite the heaviness of the situation that drew them there, the crowd was jubilant. Celebrating each other, their collective power, and the belief that enough people united by common cause can change the course of history. To sum up the event, Claudia De La Cruz of the People’s Forum declared “Our fight for life, for humanity, for the safety of the planet, is the one that is on the right side of history…and we will win!”