•  HOME 
  •  BOOKS 
  •  WWP 
  •  DONATE 
  • Loading

Follow workers.org on
Twitter Facebook iGoogle

2,000 march against Iraq war

Published Nov 5, 2005 10:28 PM

With gold-star mother and now anti-war spokesperson Cindy Sheehan leading the way, over 2,000 protesters marched through the downtown streets of Boston Oct. 29 demanding: “From New Orleans to Iraq: Bring the troops home now!”

A highlight of the blocks-long march came at the Tremont Street Baptist Church where bigot James Dobson and his organization Focus on the Family was holding a “conference” encouraging LGBT people to renounce themselves and become heterosexuals.

Mark D. Snyder of QueerToday.com, standing on the flatbed of a truck donated for the day by the Boston school bus drivers union USW Local 8751 president Steve Gillis, began call and response chants over a booming sound system. “Homophobia: Shut it down!” and “Racism: Shut it down!” rang out. The protesters, proceeding with the march, left a parting message: “Get the F… out of Boston!”

Organized by the Oct. 29 Coalition, a broad cross-section of progressive organizations and individuals, the day’s events included before and after-march rallies at the Boston Common bandstand.

All speakers denounced the war as well as raised issues including anti-racism, counter-recruitment, reproductive rights, same-sex marriage, the Cuban 5, the Somerville 5 and Filiberto Ojeda Rios.

Speaking from the bandstand stage, Stevan Kirschbaum, chief steward of Local 8751, informed participants of the unanimous Boston City Council resolution passed Oct. 26 which reads in part, “The Boston City Council encourages all businesses in the City of Boston, both public and private to either close on Dec. 1, or allow the many workers and students in the City who will want to attend the Rosa Parks Commemoration event taking place during normal business hours, to take the day off, or leave work and school early with impunity.”

Hundreds of leaflets calling for actions against war, racism and poverty on Dec. 1 were distributed throughout the day.

“Let’s go back to our schools. Let’s go back to our communities. Let’s go back to our unions. Every person be an organizer. And on Dec. 1, on the anniversary of Rosa Parks ushering in the modern civil rights movement, let us shut this country down. Stop the war in Iraq and at home. Say no to racism,” said Kirschbaum, also a member of the Boston Troops Out Now coalition, a principal organizer of the Oct. 29 action.