Massive anti-war rally held at White House on anniversary of Iraq War
Washington, DC – On Saturday, March 18, several thousand people gathered at Lafayette Plaza in front of the White House to protest ongoing U.S. wars and interventions. The rally was organized and attended by the Answer Coalition, United National Antiwar Coalition, Codepink, Veterans for Peace, Black Alliance for Peace, Students for a Democratic Society, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Workers World Party, and Socialist Unity Party, amongst many other organizations. First the crowd heard speeches from various organizers of the rally.
Christly Carpio of Students for a Democratic Society gave a speech condemning U.S. intelligence agencies attempts to recruit Arab and Chinese students at the University of Illinois Chicago, which was successfully protested by the local student movement there. She went on to detail the ongoing student struggle in Florida to keep multicultural program and Black history classes against efforts by Governor Ron DeSantis to suppress it. Carpio also discussed the repression doled out by the local governments, including the recent arrest of four student activists in Tampa, including Carpio herself.
“We've been having protests against Governor Ron DeSantis's evil war on multicultural programs, Black history in schools, our attempts to increase Black enrollment in schools, and two Mondays ago myself and my fellow students were beaten, shoved and arrested by the University of South Florida police for calling on the university president to meet with us for this demand,” stated Carpio.
Carpio ended her speech tying the struggle of the student movement to the anti-war movement. “Despite the brutality we have faced, we say no to NATO, no to this U.S. war, and Students for a Democratic Society will be part of this fight every step of the way.”
After the first set of speeches at Lafayette Plaza, protesters marched to New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, going through downtown DC past the Washington Post building. In the church, Joe Lombardo of the United National Antiwar Coalition emceed speeches from representatives of various liberation and anti-war movements across the world including Eritrea, Ethiopia, Syria, China, Palestine, Libya, Guam and many other nations.
Wyatt Miller of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization spoke, tying the struggle against U.S. imperialism internationally to the struggle domestically: “There are oppressed nations within U.S. borders, and the enemy they face in their struggles for liberation is the same enemy faced by nations like Palestine, Venezuela, Cuba, the Philippines, Syria and so on, because that enemy is U.S. imperialism.”
“I’m from Minneapolis. In 2020 after the police murder of George Floyd we saw just a glimpse of the power of the people when we stand up against our common enemies. For a few miraculous days, the rulers of the city, the police, the National Guard, were completely powerless. That tinderbox of ungovernable, multi-national rage at the system is still burning all over this country and the anti-war movement needs to join with it, and help it strengthen and grow, in order to actually, finally bring down U.S. imperialism,” continued Miller.
Miller called for a United Front against imperialism to be built in the United States and ended his speech with a call to free Alex Saab, a Venezuelan diplomat who has been imprisoned by the United States in Miami ever since being kidnapped by the U.S. government.