We Can Stop This War! 300,000 people march in San Francisco against the war and the Bush Administration's Lies

POOR correspondent - Posted on 25 June 2010

Richalda Thomas and Tiny/PoorNewsNetwork
Monday, February 18, 2002

it started quietly - just a few of us POOR folk gathered in the Tenderloin in front of the San Christina Hotel- a single room occupancy(SRO) hotel in the heart of the Tenderloin District of San Francisco - it is the residence of one of our very low-income staff writers - I chuckled at the odd juxtapose of people with signs protesting the War cheerily walking towards the march through our "bad" neighborhood ..

After a few minutes of handmade sign choosing - i settled on "POOR Magazine says no to all wars against poor people of color locally and globally". Our small group consisting of Joseph Bolden, Christina Heatherton, TJ Johnston and myself began the walk to the Embarcadero to join the hundreds of thousands in San Francisco who like folks in London, New York, San Diego, Australia and hundreds of other cities across the globe, were protesting this new act of criminal oppression being proposed by the rich white folk in office...a war in Iraq

"I am a man who is interested and involved in many things.." one of our most inspiring encounters occurred quite early in the morning at the intersection of 5th and Market as we had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Ben Dunn - dressed in a regal brown world war II army uniform - carrying a sign that said; Take a stand against war and racism" He was one of several WW2 vets protesting this unjust war who were present at the march. After a few more encouraging words with Mr. dunn off we went....

"Who wants war.. Not in our Name!!!.... What Schools are present here today?" Our contingent was halted at 1st and Market as we met up with approximately 700 multi-racial, multi-cultural students from San Francisco State, City College of SF, UC Berkeley, UCSF, USF and many more .. sharing ..... resisting and marching...against a war with no legal or ethical basis....

One of POOR Magazine's youth in the Media interns who attends City College on a parttime basis when she can juggle child care for 12 month old baby and win the ongoing battle with Calworks (welfare) which continues to question her desire to even pursue a formal education was in this contingent..." This is all such bull-shit" what are we fighting for? " Richalda Thomas started breaking down the truth to any of us who were listening, "while they keep us busy fighting against this war mess.. they are cutting our school budget at schools across the nation like CCSF, and slashing all the social service budgets.." I nodded in agreement as she railed off the crimes against poor people and people of color that are happening under Bush that we can't even begin to address because he is constantly coming up with more frigtening things to fight everyday... Her words reminded me of Dee's (co-editor of POOR) opinion, "The real war is already happening, everyday under this homeland security act they have stripped our civil and constituional rights down to nothing and now have armed men with M16 rifles on the white house steps 24/7 ... this is a coup .. that's what this is, a coup of this nation..."

"Bush voodoo dolls.....Bush voodoo dolls" - at the embacadero we encountered several clever handmade protest signs including one of my favorites: "Stop Madcowboy disease" and "a village in Texas has lost its idiot".... as well as a very real articulation of death to women and children that will happen if there is war in Iraq- several women dressed in chadors holding bloody dolls....moaning and crying.... I was not able to pass their performance without feeling a shudder of terror....

"Black Reparations yes... Racist Wars No..". a coalition of several African Descendent youth and adults who were working on HR40 the bill for black Reparations were in the march with a beautiful banner that spanned the width of the street

"We are here for the people - we are working for justice..." an ILWU labor contingent of several hundred multi-racial men and women dressed in black marched as an enclave within the march in cadence to "An injury to one is an Injury to All"

The day included many beautiful and inspiring speeches, one from Jeremy Corbin a parliament member in England who is fighting the sell-out Prime Minister of England Tony Blair (otherwise known as George Bush's right-hand man), "this march of all these amazing people - we need to come together for other than just the war - we all need to come together- because together we can fight for justice for poor people, for education for children, for the rights of all people...."

"We can Stop this war..." Danny Glover who spoke at the rally - spoke to marchers at the New York and San FRancisco march "Together we can stop this war..." As I looked upon the crowd of 300,000 people all dedicated to truth, all not believing the lies, nor accepting the illogic of this corporate takeover of our government.. for a moment...I believed him ...



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