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Minnesota: Protest demands end to Iraq, Afghanistan occupations

By staff

women on bullhorn

Minneapolis, MN – Over 200 people joined a anti-war protest here Oct. 11. The protest was organized under the slogans of “Bring the troops home now,” “Out of Iraq, out of Afghanistan, no war on Iran,” and “Funds for housing and human needs – not war!”

Similar event took place in at least other 20 U.S. cities calling for an end to the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The actions where coordinated to mark is the sixth anniversary of the passage by Congress of the war authorization on October 11, 2002 that allowed the Bush administration to launch the war in Iraq.

The event in Minneapolis, organized by the Iraq Peace Action Coalition, was a bannering at the intersection of Hiawatha Avenue and Lake Street, one of the busiest intersections in the city. Participants lined both sidewalks and the traffic island with signs and banners.

On Oct. 11, 2002, the U.S. Congress overwhelmingly passed a Joint Resolution authorizing the Bush administration to launch the Iraq war. Since then, Congress has continued to provide billions of dollars for war and occupation.

A statement issued by organizers says in part, “In this election year, some politicians talk about ‘winning the war’ and staying in Iraq for 100 years, while other politicians are talking about ‘withdrawal timetables,’ or moving troops out of Iraq only to send them to Afghanistan instead.” The statement continues, “The people of Iraq want the occupation troops out of their country. The war and occupation must end now!”

Speakers included representatives from the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Coalition, Students for a Democratic Society, Youth Against War and Racism, Military Families Speak Out, the Welfare Rights Committee, the Anti-War Committee and a legal defense coalition working with people arrested at the Republican National Convention (RNC) protests.

Meredith Aby of the Anti-War Committee called on demonstrators to build the movement against the occupation of Iraq and to demand that all charges be dropped against those arrested at the RNC protests.

Cities that saw anti-war actions on Oct. 11 included New York, Boston, Cleveland, Dayton, Seattle and San Francisco.

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