Minnesotans march to demand end to U.S. wars
Minneapolis, MN – More than 75 people rallied and marched through the Cedar Riverside neighborhood, October 21, as part of an demonstration organized by the MN Peace Action Coalition. The protest was a part of a nationally coordinated weekend of anti-war events in cities across the United States. The call for protests coincided with an anti-war protest to be held at the Pentagon that same day, organized by the Women's March on the Pentagon. The call for the Women's March on the Pentagon was timed to coincide with the anniversary of the October 1967 march against the U.S. war in Vietnam.
Stephanie Taylor, vice president of AFSCME 3800 and a member of the Anti-War Committee, addressed the rally, “Members of AFSCME 3800 are overwhelmingly women, and we’re glad the women’s movement and the anti-war movement are coming together in Washington this weekend. Working women and labor unions need to join together in demanding an end to war and U.S. imperialism. Women and children are the ones disproportionately impacted by overseas wars, and it’s our duty to stand with them in opposing imperialist aggression.”
Mike Madden, a longtime member of Veterans for Peace, spoke to what it means when people say “thank you for your service.” He said, “Please don’t thank me for my military service. The first year and a half of my enlistment coincide with the final year and a half of the American war in Vietnam. To the extent my service enabled or prolonged the war, it did more harm than good...Honoring a war hero has the effect of conferring the honor of the individual onto the war and its policy. But when a nation has committed an act of military aggression, it may lay not claim to military heroes. The honorable people are those who oppose the war, whether they wear the uniform or not.” He encouraged the crowd to continue their service and work for peace.
Other speakers included Gina VanArnam from the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar, Mary Beaudoin from Women Against Military Madness, Erika Zurawski from MN Immigrant Rights Action Committee, and Misty Rowan from the Anti-War Committee.
The group marched through the Cedar Riverside neighborhood, which is located next to the University of Minnesota and home to a large Somali population. Protesters chanted, “Refugees are welcome here” and demanded an end to U.S. attacks and war threats on Somalia, Afghanistan, Syria, Venezuela and Iran.